HIGHER EDUCATION BUSINESS INTERACTION SURVEY
Results from academic Session 2000/2001
1. This report covers commercialisation activities of Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) during the academic year 2000/2001. It is based on anonymous returns from all 17 contacted Scottish institutions. This is the second UK and third Scottish survey on this topic. UK results are more complete than in the previous survey and consequently UK comparisons over time have to be treated with some caution; the Scottish results and comparisons between Scotland and UK in 2000/01 however are generally robust unless indicated otherwise.
2. In Scotland as in the UK as a whole interaction with businesses is increasingly seen as of strategic importance alongside teaching and research. Over two thirds of Scottish universities think that technology transfer is one of their three key contributions to economic development, a proportion twice as high as in the UK as a whole.
3. Biotechnology, medical science/technology and ICT are the top two sectors targeted for HEI - industry co-operation in Scotland. Work with the public sector important in Scotland, as it is for the UK as a whole.
4. Compared to the previous year the number of invention disclosures has decreased by one third in Scotland. The 302 invention disclosures reported contribute 14 per cent to the UK total.
5. Scottish HEIs filed 104 new patents, 11 per cent of the UK total; this is 8 less than in the previous year. 30 patents were granted in Scotland (13 per cent of the UK total), a significant increase since the previous year.
6. The number of licences granted by Scottish HEIs was 107, 15 per cent of the UK total. Compared to last year the figure has dropped slightly.
7. In Scotland 31 spin-off companies with HEI ownership were created, 14 per cent of the UK total; this is 6 less than during the previous year. The 25 reported Scottish staff or graduate start-ups however contributed only 8 per cent to the UK total.
9. Scottish institutions are much more likely to offer science park accommodation, more than half compared to one third of UK institutions offering this assistance. On campus incubators were also used more frequently in Scotland.
10. There has been a general increase in reported commercialisation activity across the UK compared to the previous year, some of it due to more complete data recording. The conclusion for Scotland however is more mixed with some activities showing an increase and others a decrease. The number of new patents filed, licences granted and spin-off companies formed with HEI ownership have all fallen slightly, while the number of patents granted has increased. Commercialisation activities are also now more clearly embedded in the HEIs' strategic planning activities.
11. Scotland's higher education institutions have been and are generally more active than the rest of the UK regarding commercialisation of their intellectual property, contributing: 11 per cent of new university patents filed, 15 per cent of UK licences granted and 14 per cent of spin-off companies formed in 2000/2001.
Other year's HE-BCI reports are available to download from the HE-BCI section of the Scottish Executive website.
The UK results are published by HEFCE at the same time as the Scottish report and are available on the HEFCE website under "Publications".