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Europe's Old Universities Spin Out New Tech Companies

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The trend in university spinoffs.

Som European universities are intensifying their efforts to get promising technologies out of their labs and into commercial use.

Credit: iStock

Across Europe, some of the world's oldest universities are intensifying efforts to get promising technologies out of their labs and into commercial use, mimicking examples set by Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other U.S. leaders in the field.

European institutions are now encouraging their academics to license technological breakthroughs or start businesses, and they are establishing tech-transfer offices and investment funds to speed commercialization.

However, in order to succeed, schools must be located in communities that nurture tech ecosystems, with financing readily available and experienced entrepreneurs willing to advise novices.

“We've set up more companies in the past five years than in the previous 795,” said Chas Bountra, pro-vice chancellor for innovation at the U.K.'s University of Oxford, during a recent conference that touted Oxford's artificial intelligence-related startups.

From The Wall Street Journal
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