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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S010734/1
Title: Promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in University Spinout Companies - A case for Action
Principal Investigator: King, Professor L
Other Investigators:
Humbert, Dr A Grisoni, Dr L Byrne, Professor H
Manfredi, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Elsevier UK Pertinax Pharma Royal Society of London
Department: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Organisation: Oxford Brookes University
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 November 2018 Ends: 31 October 2020 Value (£): 299,018
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Jun 2018 Inclusion Matters Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Too few women researchers are leading spinout companies. There has not been enough attention focused on the progression of women researchers at all career stages on the entrepreneurial pathway from research to spinout leadership. Whilst challenges relating to women's research career progression are well understood, the STEM community and the Higher Education (HE) sector as a whole are not as well informed about women entrepreneurial career progression pathways to spinout. Research shows that founders and co-founders of university spinout companies are predominantly men. For example, the Enterprise Research Centre (2014) survey of a sample of 350 active UK spinouts found that women were the main founders in only 8.3% of cases. The disproportionately low numbers of women founders are not limited to UK spinouts. Research carried out by Elsevier (2017) comparing the United States, the European Union, Canada and Australia, shows that although there has been an increase in the global share of women among inventors listed in patent applications from 11% (between 1996-2000) to 14% (between 2011-2015), they remain significantly under-represented among all the countries included in the study. Encouraging and understanding women's engagement in spinout companies is of strategic importance to the UK's new Industrial Strategy which aims to increase investment in science, research and innovation and to support new businesses and growth. Therefore, there is a compelling case for better understanding barriers as well as enabling factors that exists for women scientists, engineers and mathematician in key stages of the spinout process and entrepreneurial activities to commercialise research and innovation.

This project vision is to achieve a step change in institutional capabilities to increase the participation of women researchers in STEM disciplines in university spinouts and to mainstream gender in the ecosystem which drives innovation. Our project aims to achieve a step change in institutional capabilities to increase the participation of women scientists, engineers and mathematicians in spinouts through the development of a series of interventions to build their innovative and entrepreneurial skills designed to translate their inventions into spinout companies. The project will last 24 months and be articulated into two stages. Stage one will focus on research to understand the causes of women's under-representation in spinouts, and individuals' self-perception of innovation, drawing from existing methods. The second stage of the project will develop practical solutions for institutions to create inclusive opportunities and overcome the barriers for women who take the journey from research to spinout.

Findings from our research and best practice will be shared with EPSRC and the wider community at institutional, sector, department and individual levels. Adaption and delivery of entrepreneurial leadership development will enable women to initiate and lead spinouts, grow innovation, entrepreneurial ambitions, confidence and competencies in women scientists engineers and mathematicians. Our findings will be inspired by role models, career stories and mentoring arrangements with successful women spinout CEOs and Board members.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.brookes.ac.uk