The University of Pennsylvania, through its Center for Technology Transfer and its UPstart company formation program, has announced a new partnership with IP Group PLC, developer of intellectual property-based businesses.
“We are excited to be one of the first U.S. universities to partner with IP Group,” Michael Poisel, UPstart’s director, said. “The collaboration increases the potential for great companies to emerge from the innovative research at Penn.”
The IP commercialization partnership has an initial pilot phase of 18 months and will focus on early-stage, proof of principle opportunities based on intellectual property developed at Penn. The agreement covers materials and clean technology, life, medical and human sciences technologies (including agreed therapeutics opportunities), information technology, as well as electronics, communications and robotics.
“Penn has a global reputation for innovation and commercialization,” Alan Aubrey, IP Group’s chief executive, said. “It is extremely exciting to have signed this pilot agreement and we look forward to working with the team to progress opportunities and to backing our first spin-outs.”
The UPstart program at Penn is CTT’s business incubator. It provides services to aid researchers at the University with entrepreneurs and investors to promote the advancement, development and commercialization of Penn's early stage technologies.
After three years of operation, Penn’s UPstart program supports 57 active company projects, of which a number are established companies with more than $15 million raised in funding. Among these companies are Graphene Frontiers, which has developed a low-cost method for producing large sheets of the one-atom thick material; Axonia Medical, which has pioneered a technique to regrow nerves; and CytoVas, which makes personalized diagnostics for measuring cardiovascular health.
IP Group’s portfolio comprises holdings in more than 70 companies, including Oxford Nanopore Technologies, the DNA sequencing development company; Revolymer, best known for its removable chewing gum; and Xeros, which has developed clothes washing techniques with a much reduced requirement for water. Based in the U.K., IP Group also has offices in Wilmington, Del.