More than 80 percent of collaborations between commercial and academic institutions since 2013 have resulted in successful startups, a report by Knowledge Transfer Ireland has found.

The report also shows 26 new products and services have launched in 2016 from fully active and operating spin-outs.

Spin-outs are companies that are based on ideas and products developed during the course of research undertaken between enterprises and state research bodies with Research Performing Organisation (RPO) licences.

Knowledge Transfer Ireland gives enterprises the opportunity to engage with academic institutions for collaborations on specialised research. KTI offers companies the chance to access the various resources of state-funded institutions. KTI was established in late 2013 as a partnership between Enterprise Ireland and the Irish Universities Association, arising from a recommendation from a Government-led task force that reviewed the state of business-research base engagement in 2012. KTI is accountable to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The current number of spin-out companies that exist in Ireland as a result of these collaborations now stands at 109. It is estimated that they support over 980 jobs nationwide.

A recent spin-out from NUI Galway, NVP Energy, revolved around a wastewater treatment technology that generates a reusable gas for electricity and heating whilst significantly reducing running costs.

The findings in the report were based on data from seven state universities, 14 institutes of technology, three specialist research institutes and two state research bodies.

It shows that Trinity College and University College Dublin have generated 41 percent of all active spin-offs.

Prepared and edited by Arthur Velker.

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