MIDLANDS INNOVATION COMMERCIALISATION OF RESEARCH ACCELERATOR (MICRA)
Funded by Research England
CREATING THE UK’S BIGGEST TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER ECOSYSTEM
What is MICRA?
The Midlands Innovation Commercialisation of Research Accelerator (MICRA), brings together the innovations and capabilities of the eight Midlands Innovation universities, in what is the largest formal collaboration between technology transfer offices (TTOs) in the UK.
The Midlands Innovation (MI) group of universities consists of the eight universities of Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. These universities are already highly effective at identifying new inventions, patenting these, and starting up ‘spin out’companies to develop and commercialise new technologies. Together, the MI universities generate more patents perpound of research income than any other university alliance in the UK.
The MICRA programme will build a spin-out and start-up ecosystem that will significantly increase the innovation productivity of the region, and will help to accelerate thes peed at which innovations can reach markets.
MICRA provides a structure which enables technology transfer offices to strengthen their capacity and share best practice. The aim is to provide a world-class service in the Midlands, for both academic innovators and industrial partners, which will improve the quantity and quality of technologies being commercialised.
Expertise and best practice will be shared in a number of ways, including:
■ Establishing a cohort of business development managers who will operate as a collective across the eight university sites. They will work together to provide investors and business partners with a comprehensive menu of opportunities across all universities.
■ Fellowships for staff from corporate investment companies, to embed themselves into university TTOs.
■ Secondments and exchanges of TTO and industry staff with industry partners in order to better understand technology transfer from industry’s viewpoint.
This collaborative approach will result in more sharing of experience, advice and contacts across the Midlands Innovation partnership. The partners will work together to address industry innovation challenges through a collective programme of IP development.
INCREASING INNOVATION PRODUCTIVITY
Midlands Innovation Gateway – a single access point
A single web-based access and information point – the Midlands Innovation Gateway, will give technology transfer staff access to resources. The Midlands Innovation Gateway also means that the collective licensing and investment opportunities of the Midlands Innovation universities can easily be found by investors and businesses.
Strengthening the innovation ecosystem
Start-up businesses need high quality incubation space in which they can develop and grow. MICRA will create closer links between the technology transfer offices and these existing assets, and ensure that all spin-out companies are able to gain affordable access to the location and community most suitable to their needs. This will stimulate the growth of innovation-led businesses in the Midlands.
MICRA is also aiming to coordinate with other initiatives available from Midlands resources such as the Manufacturing Technology Centre and Science Parks to develop Innovation Hubs. These Innovation Hubs will enable industry to come together with investors, academics and staff from university TTOs to nurture and scale-up their ideas. The Innovation Hubs will also host business angel and other pitching events that will expand and grow the network, bringing more stakeholders together.
MICRA will result in a number of benefits for industry, investors, universities and the wider economy. Some of these include:
■ developing a larger pipeline of better investment opportunities
■ easier access for industry and investors, through a single Midlands Innovation Gateway portal
■ a strong ecosystem which will provide the support needed for spin-out businesses and start-up companies to develop and grow
■ improving the capability of the research base to engage with industry
■ enhancing the capacity of technology transfer offices, building skills andsharing best practice
■ significantly increasing the amount of investment, resulting in more higher-value jobs and growth
Midlands Innovation aims to attract a £300m pool of patient capital for investment
Midlands Innovating Commercialisation of Research Accelerator: Licensing opportunities
Details of the opportunities for licensing through the Midlands Innovation partnership can be found below.
You can contact any of the partners for further information. If further information is accessed via the IN-PART platform then (if not already registered) you can register for free via the ‘register’ button on the IN-PART website.
Download our MICRA brochure as a PDF