Minister visits Nottingham to see University inventions

11 Jul 2011 10:15:00.000
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The Government Minister who oversees the UK’s Intellectual Property Office has seen for herself how University of Nottingham research is turned into inventions and taken to market.

Baroness Wilcox, Minister for Intellectual Property, visited the Technology Demonstrator at Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus to view a selection of inventions designed to tackle pressing global challenges such as health, energy and climate change.

During her tour she met researchers and inventors like Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill, co-founder and Chief Research Officer at Monica Healthcare Ltd. With support from the University, he has created commercial products out of his research findings, including a portable wireless foetal monitoring device for at risk pregnancies.
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“This visit to Nottingham by the Minister responsible for protecting and developing Britain’s innovation and new business ideas for the future — our ‘intellectual assets’ — signals the real value and great potential that exists in UK universities as engines of ingenuity and economic recovery,” said Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer.

“The University of Nottingham has a very strong track record transforming brilliant discoveries and research insights from concepts into new products and processes,” said Professor Rudd. He will present Nottingham’s strategy for ensuring its world-changing research is successfully commercialised, contributing to East Midlands and UK economic success.

Baroness Wilcox also met Dr Susan Huxtable, who runs the University’s Technology Transfer Office, which manages a portfolio of over 300 patents. Her team supports the licensing of university inventions and the formation and development of new ‘spin-out’ companies. Dr George Rice, who runs the ‘Technology Demonstrator’ showcase facility, showed the Minister displays of interactive prototypes designed  for businesses interested in Nottingham technologies available to develop for commercial development.

Baroness Wilcox said: “The University of Nottingham’s Technology Demonstrator is a great platform for developing intellectual property as it gives inventors the chance to show their creations to a potential worldwide audience. At the Intellectual Property Office, we recently launched a guide for universities to explain how they can best manage their intellectual assets and reap the financial benefits.

“It’s wonderful to meet students, researchers and inventors who are passionate about their creative ideas and have a world class venue in which they can develop.”

The Government’s Intellectual Property Office helps businesses and individual entrepreneurs, including university researchers, protect and commercialise their ideas. Last month it launched ‘Peer to Patent’, an online tool which allows experts from the scientific and technology community to view and comment on patent applications. It’s report, Intellectual Asset Management for Universities, is a useful new guide to IP.

The University of Nottingham has been involved in over 40 spin-out and related companies and has a current portfolio of 26 spin-outs, 14 of which have products in the marketplace. Its knowledge transfer successes have been recognised with several Queen’s Awards for Enterprise and Innovation.

The University of Nottingham is one of Britain’s most successful research-intensive universities. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) Nottingham was ranked seventh in the UK for ‘research power’ — a mixture of excellence and volume of research — climbing seven places in seven years (more than any other university) to sit alongside the top six institutions. Their positions have remained unchanged since 2001.

Nobel-Prize winning research here revolutionised medical diagnostics, thanks to Professor Sir Peter Mansfield’s research into magnetic resonance imaging and development of MRI scans. Pioneering cochlear implantation programmes for deaf children, transgenic tomatoes, safer pedestrian crossings, and drug discovery and regenerative medicine breakthroughs all resulted from Nottingham research.

In 2000, the University won the Queen’s Award Anniversary Prize for Higher Education. A Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2001, and a Queen’s Award for Industry (International Trade) in 2006 recognised its innovation in establishing two overseas campuses in Malaysia and China.

In 2007, the University’s School of Pharmacy was awarded the Queen’s Award for Innovation, and this year another University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy spin-out success, Molecular Profiles, won a 2011 Queen’s Award for Enterprise. Molecular Profiles specialises in providing pharmaceutical development services and consulting expertise to pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

In 2008, The University of Nottingham became the first Times Higher Education ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’, reflecting the training, support and encouragement academics and students receive to enable them to create enterprises.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as “the embodiment of the modern international university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research, and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

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Story credits

To arrange interviews with Baroness Wilcox, contact Simon Butt, Corporate Relations Manager in The University of Nottingham’s Communications Office, at, +44 (0)115 84 67156; or Dan Palmer, in the Press Office at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, at, +44 (0)20 7215 5303.
Simon Butt

Simon Butt - Stakeholder Relations and Campaign Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 84 67156 Location: University Park

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Published Date
Monday 28th November 2011

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