Universities are about teaching and research. But a third aspect, the commercialization of the intellectual property generated is increasingly important, both financially and politically. As an example, the Chemistry department in Oxford has generated over £100 million for the University.
From a commercial deal to help fund a new laboratory the company IP Group Plc has been created. This company which has links to many UK universities has helped the foundation of over 200 University spin- out companies and is now a member of the group of 250 largest UK companies with a market capitalization of a billion ponds.