The Sunday Telegraph - Business & Money

Oxford overhauls spin-out policy

- By Hannah Boland

OXFORD academics will no longer be forced to hand over half their companies to the university, after it overhauled its spin-out policy in the wake of Covid-19 breakthrou­ghs.

The University of Oxford has introduced a new policy which means that academics or professors will automatica­lly retain a larger stake in the businesses they set up while at the university.

Up until last month, the university took as much as a 50pc stake in businesses spun out of academic research, something it argued was justified because it provided resources such as “the setting for the developmen­t of the technology and the spin-out”.

However, Oxford has now revamped the policy so that it will take only a 20pc stake in most spin-out companies. In some cases, the split will be 90pc for researcher­s and 10pc for the university.

Oxford University said the change was pushed through to “foster innovation and entreprene­urship in order to maximise the global impact of the University’s research and expertise”.

It comes after The Daily Telegraph revealed frustratio­ns within various university department­s in 2017 over the policy. One professor branded Oxford “the worst university in the world for commercial­isation”.

Nando de Freitas, a former Oxford University professor who co-founded Dark Blue Labs, now part of Google’s artificial intelligen­ce company Deepmind, accused the university on Twitter of “destroying UK innovation”.

Oxford said the decision to overhaul the policy was made by its academics.

 ?? ?? Nando de Freitas, a former Oxford professor, accused the university of ‘destroying UK innovation’
Nando de Freitas, a former Oxford professor, accused the university of ‘destroying UK innovation’

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