Spotlight on spinouts 2023
Our third annual Spotlight on Spinouts report showcases the state of the UK’s spinout economy and shares important evidence to help inform and contribute to national discussions on the wider debate and future policy in this area. The report builds upon the Academy’s Enterprise Hub’s work to support talented entrepreneurs and decision-makers in transforming their engineering innovations into disruptive spinouts, startups, and scaleups. We have collected a wealth of data on spinouts in the UK – from university of origin and geographic distribution, to investment trends, survival rates and exits, founder demographics, equity stakes and more. Following previous editions published in 2021 and 2022, this report focuses on two additional elements: universities which have experienced the greatest growth in their spinout populations over the last two-years and an in-depth analysis of the gender of founders and directors over time.
R&D tax reliefs
Tax incentives, including R&D tax reliefs, have long been recognised by engineering businesses as important measures to support business R&D investment in the UK. R&D tax reliefs can encourage large multinational companies to invest in R&D in the UK, as they decrease the relative cost of the work. While, for small companies, the tax reliefs can promote R&D investment by increasing cash flow to respond to opportunities as they arise.
Recent governments have taken an interest in reforming the UK’s current tax relief system for R&D, with the most recent changes taking place as part of Budget 2023. The Academy and its Enterprise Hub have taken an active interest in how these incentives support R&D-intensive SMEs and business R&D in general.
Tax relief briefings and explainers
Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation
A vital part of innovation is the transfer of ideas from academic research into products, processes, and services. Drawing on our experience of working at the intersection of research and industry we are interested in how the UK can accelerate the commercialisation of innovative ideas from its world leading university sector – as well as how the government can ensure that those innovative businesses can take root in the economy and thrive.
Commercialisation of University Research
In collaboration with the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, we are exploring how the UK can best ensure that it is maximising its opportunities to create successful university spin out companies that grow to scale and deliver value for our economy and society.
- In March 2017, the Academy welcomed the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report on managing intellectual property and technology transfer.
- The Academy had previously submitted written evidence to the Select Committee's inquiry in October 2016.
Transforming UK Translation
We believe that research should have the widest possible benefit to society, and that new knowledge and discoveries should be applied beyond the academic setting wherever possible. A vibrant translation system is essential for this to occur.
In July 2017, the Academy, alongside the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society, and the Wellcome Trust, outlined a series of commitments to ensure that translation is recognised and celebrated as an integral part of academic research.
Supporting UK businesses to start and grow
The Academy aims to provide a voice for growing engineering businesses in the UK. This goal has fuelled a range of our work:
- In September 2017, the Academy submitted evidence to HM Treasury’s Financing growth in innovative firms inquiry.
- The response built on the Academy’s Industrial Strategy green paper response and submission to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s Access to finance inquiry in February 2016.
- In April 2017, the Academy’s joint response to the government's industrial strategy Green Paper was published.
- In February 2017 the Academy responded to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Review of the Small Business Research Initiative, informed by our report on public projects and procurement in the UK.