Press release

Dundee ranked top 6 in UK for spinout success

Published on 8 October 2021

The University of Dundee is one of the best universities in the UK for producing successful spinouts, according to a new report.

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The University Spinout Report 2021, carried out by GovGrant, names Dundee as the UK's sixth most successful at commercialising innovation. The University spawned 1.5% of the UK’s spinouts with these companies raising £325.7 million over the past two decades.

“We are delighted to see Dundee’s success with spinouts recognised in another UK-wide independent ranking,” said David McBeth, Director of the University’s Research and Innovation Services.

“Dundee has a long-standing track record of commercial success and tangible impact from genuinely world-class research, particularly from its Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine.

“Our Drug Discovery Unit, MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit and new Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation are some of our innovative centres which accelerate new therapies to market and we are very grateful to the Medical Research Council for their continued confidence in our approach.

“At present we have several high growth spinouts making real strides commercially, our pipeline has never been stronger, and we are always on the lookout for entrepreneurial management talent.”

Formed in 2012 at the University, Exscientia is a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence-driven (AI) drug discovery and design and a world-leader in its field. The company has won numerous prizes including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Innovation, recognising its pioneering work.

Exscientia is the University’s most prosperous spinout to date, and having recently launched a successful IPO it has grown into a market leader in its field.

Another successful University spinout, Amphista Therapeutics, was founded by Professor Alessio Ciulli. The biopharmaceutical company creates first-in-class therapeutics that help harness the body’s natural processes to selectively and efficiently degrade proteins that cause diseases previously thought to be ‘undruggable’.

Professor Ciulli is now Director of the Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD). The new Centre will be located at the Dundee Technopole site, adjacent to the new Tay Cities Innovation Hub where world-class life sciences innovation and entrepreneurial expertise will drive high-growth company formation, providing new treatments and technologies, and jobs for the region.

The Innovation Hub is being developed as part of the Growing the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster. Independent analysis of this project predicts that some 280 new biomedical jobs will be created by 2033, rising to 800 new jobs and over £190 million benefit to the local economy by 2053.

Ten Bio is a spinout venture founded by Dr Robyn Hickerson and Dr Michael Conneely that offers an alternative for many experiments currently only performed in animals. They have developed a product, branded ‘TenSkin™’, that sees human skin stretched to an optimal tension to mimic the mechanobiology that exists in intact, living skin on the body. They received recognition earlier in the year as they were awarded £65,000 in a national competition supporting Scotland’s most exciting new enterprises, funded by Scottish EDGE.

The University Spinout Report 2021

Produced by IP specialists and R&D tax credit experts, GovGrant, celebrates the UK’s position as a global leader in innovation. It is based on an analysis of just under 1,000 UK spinout companies, a sample that comprises £19.28 billion of capital invested, 4,489 deals and 1,907 investors.


Hannah Adams

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 385131