Licensing & Spin-outs

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The University's innovations and intellectual property are commercialised in a number of ways, including licensing to third parties or the formation of a new spin-out company. 

Technologies available for licensing
Find out about some of the technologies that are available for licensing and investment.

Spin-out companies
Find out about our successful spin-out companies and how you can participate in new ventures.

Find out more about how we develop commercialisation opportunities at Strathclyde. ´╗┐Here are some examples of our successful licensing and spin-out ventures:

2011 - Licence of University-owned technology to Treegreen
A University of Strathclyde Enterprise Fellow, Brian O’Reilly, has developed a unique energy saving device that could save households hundreds of pounds a year and to commercialise it formed a new company, TreeGreen Ltd . The Energy EGG received research and development support from the University’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and is now being sold on Tesco Direct. Strathclyde is a partner in the product and licensor of part of the technology, and Scottish Enterprise and The Royal Society of Edinburgh provided additional grants and advice.

2011 - Licence of University-owned technology to Renishaw
Renishaw Diagnostics Ltd, formerly D3 Technologies Ltd which was a spin out from Strathclyde in 2007, has signed an exclusive licence agreement with Strathclyde to allow the development of new format molecular diagnostics assays.  See the full press release for further details.

2010 - Formation of Nautricity
Nautricity Ltd was spun out from the University's Energy Systems Research Unit in the Department of Mechanical Engineering to generate electricity from tidal flows. The seed funding round was led by First Tech Ltd. The unique patented contra rotating tidal turbine technology has been awarded the prestigious Technology Award by the Energy Institute. The technology was originally developed with support from the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Programme. In May 2011, Nautricity signed a deal to site a tidal turbine in London; the first stage in plans to locate a tidal energy farm on the River Thames that would generate enough electricity to power 35,000 homes (see the full press release for further details). In October 2011, The Crown Estate gave the go-ahead for an investigation into the possibility of locating up to six tidal turbines in the Irish Sea. Under the proposal Nautricity will eventually site up to six, 500KW turbines on a small patch of seabed in the Mull of Kintyre.

2009 - Formation of MGB Biopharma
MGB Biopharma Limited is a biopharmaceutical company which was started based on a licence to Strathclyde-owned intellectual property to develop a completely new class of anti-infective medicines based upon compounds which are DNA Minor Groove Binders. It was shortlisted for the Nexxus Scotland Life Sciences Awards 2010 in the category of ‘Most Promising Young Lifesciences Company of the Year (West)’. MGB Biopharma’s first funding round of £2m was led by Archangel Informal Investments Ltd.

2009 - Formation of Smarter Grid Solutions
An active network management technology, developed collaboratively between Strathclyde and Scottish and Southern Energy plc ('SSE'), has led to the creation of the Orkney Registered Power Zone. Strathclyde spin-out company Smarter Grid Solutions Ltd, which received startup funding from SSE, commercially deployed the Smarter Grid technology on SSE's power distribution network on Orkney, allowing the connection of increased amounts of new renewable energy generation to be connected to the national electricity transmission system.

2008 - Licence of University-owned technology to Brightwake
UK-based medical technology company, Brightwake Limited, entered into a licence agreement to commercialise Strathclyde's 'Blood Bag' technology. Developed by the University's Bioengineering Unit, the Blood Bag is a single-use, flat-pack device which uses specially-treated material to prepare blood for transfusion. The technology aims to process blood lost during surgery so it can be safely fed back to the donor without the need for the current suction and centrifuge method, which requires expensive hardware. Brightwake Ltd specialises in the manufacture of medical devices and products.

2007 - Licence of University-owned technology to Variation Biotechnologies
Variation Biotechnologies Inc licensed Strathclyde’s technology which allows the oral delivery of vaccines, called bilosomes. Bilosomes are specialised delivery vehicles which protect vaccines from being broken down in the stomach, thereby enabling the oral delivery of vaccines as an alternative to administering treatment by injection. It is highly effective and non-toxic, without using live pathogens. Variation Biotechnologies is based in Canada and specialises in the development of vaccines for infectious diseases.

2003 - Formation of Cascade Technologies 
Cascade Technologies Ltd is a spin out from the University's Physics Department. The company employs around 50 people and has raised over £6m through several rounds of funding. It is a world leader in the design and manufacture of Quantum Cascade Laser based gas emission monitoring system and gas analyser for industrial emissions, process optimisation, analytical chemistry and trace level applications. The Company began trading from the Strathclyde University Incubator and is now based near Stirling.

2000 - Formation of Propharma 
ProPharma Ltd provides drug manufacturing and formulation services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. ProPharma had its origins in the University’s Formulations Unit, part of our Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and is now part of Aptuit Inc. Propharma was initially formed with backing from Oxford Assymetry Ltd, which became part of Evotec AG, who bought out the University’s shareholding in 2004. Evotec sold the unit to Aptuit Inc. in 2007. Propharma began life in the University’s Royal College, before moving to the West of Scotland Science Park, where the Aptuit unit is still based.

1995 - Formation of Diagnostic Monitoring Systems
Diagnostic Monitoring Systems Ltd ('DMS') is a spin out from the University’s Institute of Energy & Environment in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. The company designs and supplies innovative diagnostic equipment and services to the power transmission and distribution industry worldwide. DMS was acquired by Qualitrol, which is an independent subsidiary of Danaher, and continues to trade from the centre of Glasgow.

1995 - Formation of EnviroCentre
EnviroCentre Ltd is an environmental consultancy that was spun-out from the University of Strathclyde’s Civil Engineering Department.  The company employs aropund 50 staff generating a multi-million pound turnover. EnviroCentre’s contracts include work on contaminated land, Flooding and water management, and environmental impact assessments. EnviroCentre’s CEO and Chairman, Prof George Fleming, purchased the University’s minority shareholding in 2011. EnviroCentre continues to trade from the centre of Glasgow.

1994 - Formation of Integrated Environmental Solutions
Integrated Environmental Solutions Ltd ('IES') is a spin out from the University’s Architecture and Engineering departments and focuses on helping businesses reduce the carbon emissions of new and existing buildings. IES employs around 50 people and developed the Integrated Building Analysis Software System which is regarded as the next generation of Computer Aided Design for buildings.

1993 - Formation of Microlase Optical Systems
Microlase Optical Systems Ltd was spun out from the University’s Physics Department to produce solid state and diode-pumped solid state lasers. Microlase was acquired in 1999 by Coherent Inc, one of the world's leading providers of lasers and laser-based solutions. As part of Coherent, the Glasgow-based unit employs around 60 people. The Company began trading from the Strathclyde University Incubator, but is now based on the West of Scotland Science Park.

Get in touch

Let us know what you are interested in by submitting this brief enquiry form and the relevant specialist will get in touch, alternatively contact our Research & Knowledge Exchange Services Team on 0141 548 3707 at

Find out about some of the technologies that are available for licensing and investment.

Find out about our successful spin-out companies

Find out how we develop opportunities.

Case studies

Read about the development of a powerful new antibiotic treatment for deadly infections which has been licensed by MGB Biopharma.

Read about one of Strathclyde's successful spin-out companies that licensed our revolutionary tidal turbine technology.