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VENTURES & CONSULTANCY BRADFORD LIMITED Managing Director: Edward French VCB has had an exciting year of growth in many aspects of its activities. This new publication is intended to allow all our stakeholders (customers, suppliers, the University, consultants and advisors) an overview of progress during the year. q Profit on budget, £90k University benefit q 4 New Ventures reached "seed" stage q 3 Patents filed q 40 new projects evaluated commercially q Licensing responsibility for University q New Biotech Manager q Biotech collaboration started q Consultant accreditation scheme q Entrepreneurial Society established The company is currently in transition to a much greater level of commercialisation activity. During the year we have taken responsibility for University licensing, which means we are now responsible for commercialising the full range of University Intellectual Property. Together with the planned Seed Capital Fund (around £6m) and company Incubator (for 15-20 companies), we shall soon have the necessary tools to reach the level of the best in the UK. Most important in reaching this goal is obtaining a team with the technical- commercial skills that are crucial. This is illustrated by our recruitment from Newcastle's Technology Transfer department of Dr Philip McGurk as our Biotech specialist. We are currently starting around 5 new ventures each year - with a huge potential value to the University, and through the Seed Capital Fund we expect to see this rise over the next 4 years to twice this level. Particular stars this year have been Blue Dot Antennas - a set of patents related to mobile communications, and Acoutechs - a new type of acoustic material which has recently won around £75,000 of funding. The consultancy and services side of the business has seen a squeeze in activity levels - due mainly to the increasing pressures on academics' main responsibilities of teaching and research. However, we hope that through implementing a new approach to consultancy during 2000-2001 we can start to reverse this trend. In particular we are pleased that the registration and accreditation scheme is progressing well, and that this will help us offer external clients more reassurance about the quality of work and professionalism that can be offered. VCB has been taking a larger role in the national pursuit of excellence in technology transfer through our active membership of Unico, the University Companies Association. This has proved an excellent vehicle for all of VCB's staff to learn from the best practice of other Universities, and through holding the chair next year we believe this can be further enhanced. During 1999-2000 the University benefited directly from £90k of income from VCB activities, and by a further £111k of tangible-indirect benefits. Furthermore, the University has gained significant shares in Redimove, Blue Dot Antennas and Acoutechs during the year, giving the potential for 7-figure returns as these projects progress.
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