Universities will receive a £20 million investment to help them “spin out” research into commercial businesses, the Treasury has announced ahead of the autumn statement.

The funding is intended to support the “next generation” of university “spin-outs”, which see academic institutions commercialise their research and raised £5.3 billion in 2021/22.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “Innovative, globally competitive businesses like Oxford Nanopore are making a huge contribution to our economy.

“It’s critical that we harness this potential and give universities the tools they need to translate cutting-edge research into exciting UK businesses that start and grow in the UK.”

Oxford Mail: Oxford Nanopore

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Biotech business Oxford Nanopore, founded at Oxford University in 2005, has been pointed to as a success story by the Treasury and is valued at around £1.7 billion.

The company specialises in rapid DNA sequencing and helped to sequence the virus that causes Covid-19 during the pandemic.

The £20 million investment follows an independent review into university spin-outs which has recommended a series of policies to make such businesses easier to start and more attractive for investment.

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Mr Hunt has accepted the review’s recommendations and intends to announce a package of measures in the autumn statement designed to support science and technology companies based in the UK.

These measures include an extra £50 million for research and development firms and vehicles to support pension funds’ investment in science and technology businesses.

Mr Hunt said: “Innovation is the key to our future success as a nation and it’s vital that we do all we can to help companies start, scale and grow in the UK.

“Tomorrow’s autumn statement will be a huge step towards delivering our Mansion House reforms and unleashing the full potential of our pensions industry.”