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From Food Tech Innovation Portal


Why to deal with this? A spin-off, also known as a spin-out or a starburst, refers to a type of corporate action where a company "splits off" sections of itself as a separate business. University spin-offs transform technological inventions developed from university research that are likely to remain unexploited otherwise.

In Innovation Management, spin-offs are considered an opportunity to commercialize research and development result externally. This possibility allows companies to further develop innovations and benefit economically via license agreements.

When is it suitable/applicable? University spin-offs can be a useful instrument to commercially exploit a newly developed method/theory which has not been able to attract the interest of existing business units. In existing businesses, it can make sense to "spin out" a new company if this is likely to make the company more successful (i.e. because the spin-off will be more specialized in a certain technology or service and can act more flexibly if independent).

Some success factors:

  • Strong entrepreneurship culture of the universities and awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities and benefits
  • Availability of support for founders to access investors, consultants and other forms of support
  • A highly motivated team that can realise the technology transfer from the involved research group(s) to the spin-off company
  • The research expertise available is complemented with management experience
When is it NOT suitable/applicable? A spin-off is mostly suitable in the situations described above.
What costs are related to it (financial, time effort etc.)? The effort depends on several factors which need to be taken into account, for example:
  • time and effort necessary for further development of the product/process and admission, if applicable (e.g. medical products)
  • time and effort necessary for attracting investors
  • cost related to IP (e.g. patent costs) as the most valuable resource of the spin-off
  • focus of the founders (e.g. professors with a full-time job or students having to finish their degree)

What’s the relevant HTE output? The search function of this website (Food Tech Innovation Portal) will help you identify institutes and technology centres with experience in your technology area to build up your network.
Whom can I talk to from the HTE team? ZENIT, Agropolis International, TEIN, Qualiméditerranée, TRITECC


Relevant internet links Links:
Online databases and tools Tools:
Where to get advice, consultancy? Support
  • University or research organsiations’ technology transfer units or innovation offices
  • Public and private innovation consultants
  • Business incubators
Related innovation sheets Business angels, Venture capital, Start-up

Title Spin-off
Aspect Management
Latest Version 03-07-2012
Completed by ZENIT

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Created by Hte zenit on 3 July 2012, at 10:32