Europe’s deep tech depends on university spinouts TechCrunch

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Deep technology has become a hot topic in Europe, with hopes that the region could have an edge over the rest of the world in terms of innovation stemming from basic research. One of the key arguments: European countries have great and talented universities. But how can academic talent translate into startups? Let’s dive in. – Anna

Universities, a cauldron of deep technology

“From startups to universities, we join forces to make Europe a world leader in a new wave of sweeping technological innovation!” European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel tweeted earlier this week after her talk at the Summit in Brussels. As I noticed while attending the event, she was not the only one to address the topic enthusiastically.

That profound technology that raises great hopes in Europe is not exactly a surprise. Alex and i wrote about Europe’s far-reaching tech boom and investors are interested in it this early year. But the role that educational institutions are expected to play has caught my attention.

Riam Kanso writes in a guest posts before the event. Kanso is the founder The concept of Xwhat I overheard for the first time in the first day of this month. UK-based non-profit organization that aims to transform Ph.D. researchers into adventure scientists.

“It’s a simple but proven formula,” says Kanso. “You have a PhD. working group on cutting-edge research with important real-world applications. They know their innovation can help discover effective treatments for today’s incurable diseases, power carbon-negative cities, or tackle the future of automation. Through a combination of entrepreneurship training, access to professional legal advice, funding opportunities and expert networking, we help them figure out how to turn their research into a company. viable deep tech startups. ”

For example, it is not new for universities to be willing to give birth to spinoffs or spinouts (we will use the terms interchangeably here.) For example, MIT is famous for its counting. many entrepreneurs among its alumni, and quite a few of these ventures are based on intellectual property developed during their studies or research.

But in Europe, intellectual property can be a conundrum. “The potential for significant innovation brewing across Europe’s research labs,” says Kanso, “is largely untapped due to the wide range of changes – and sometimes suffocating – Regulations on intellectual property rights can make it difficult for spinout companies to invest and scale. ”

Even so, both European universities and venture capital firms are increasingly working to ensure the most promising seeds become successful companies.

Note the distance

Despite the obstacles, venture capitalists looking for innovation know that spinouts are well worth their attention. “As an investor in early-stage businesses, many of whom are deeply technical in nature, we see universities as the foundation for the companies we invest in,” said Simon King, original I am a VC with a Ph.D. said.

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