University of Birmingham announces first investment from Spinout Investment fund

By January 11, 2017News


Alta Innovations Ltd, Birmingham, 11 January 2017:

University of Birmingham announces first investment from Spinout Investment fund

The University of Birmingham has made the first investment from its £5m University of Birmingham Spinout Investment fund, which provides match funding for spinout companies in which the University is, or will become, a shareholder.

The investment has been made to Smart Antenna Technologies, a spinout founded in 2013 to develop a new generation of antenna for smart phones and laptops. Currently mobile devices have separate antennae for GPS, WiFi, BlueTooth, G4, and G5. Smart Antenna has invented a new antenna system that combines these separate antennas into a single unit, providing a considerable saving in space, battery life and cost.

The University of Birmingham Spinout Investment fund was created to provide investment where there is a clear commercial appetite for the technology, the concept or product has passed proof of concept testing and where there is confidence in the management board to deliver to the next stage of planned growth.

Smart Antenna’s technology will extend smart phone battery life by up to 10%. The company estimates the demand from the mobile device market will exceed 2 billion units per year, and will be exploiting the substantial opportunities in other markets including the Internet of Things and car antenna systems.

The University of Birmingham investment was part of a £1 million investment raise, which will enable Smart Antenna Technologies to recruit additional engineering staff and complete product development with a major industry partner.

Dr James Wilkie, CEO of the University’s tech transfer company Alta Innovations said: “The technology developed by Smart Antenna has attracted substantial interest and we believe this is an exciting time to invest.”

– Ends –

About Smart Antenna Technologies

Smart Antenna Technologies was found founded in 2013 by Dr Sampson Hu, who has been working on the core technology since 2009, while completing his PhD at the University of Birmingham. Dr Hu received support from Alta Innovations, the University’s technology transfer company, which operates an end-to-end training and support service for entrepreneurs at the University. Smart Antenna Technologies is based in Edgbaston, Birmingham and has a separate office in Bath. The company has grown from 3 employees to around 20 in three years. For more information see:

About Alta Innovations

Alta Innovations is the technology transfer company for the University of Birmingham. It provides an Intellectual Property service to University academics, and its offerings also include free business training and mentoring, office and laboratory space at the Birmingham Research Park. Alta Innovations also manages the University of Birmingham spinout portfolio, which includes both life science and technology companies.

For further information about the University of Birmingham spinout portfolio, or for an interview with Dr Sampson Hu, please contact Ruth Ashton, Communications Manager, on 0121 414 9090, 07989 558 041, or email [email protected]

About the University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.

For more information on the University of Birmingham, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out of hours media enquiries, please call: +44 (0) 7789 921 165.