From large multi-national companies to small start-ups, the University of Southampton has a long history of working collaboratively with businesses, providing research expertise and excellent facilities. Since 2000, the University of Southampton and its academic teams have formed 77 new ventures. More than 40 of these are formal University spin-outs and many are backed by investors from our alumni community.
Read on to hear from some of our staff involved in enterprise initiatives and discover how you might be able to take advantage of our expert knowledge and facilities.
Future Worlds is the startup accelerator at the University of Southampton. It exists to engage, support and accelerate aspiring founders who have ideas that can change the world. The focus is to help purpose driven, highly scalable and disruptive tech startups. Future Worlds backs founders, and founding teams, who combine the vision, determination and technical skills to pursue audacious startup launches, supporting them to achieve their most ambitious goals. Future Worlds is actively supported by alumni investors and mentors.
In 2021 and 2022 Future Worlds has run the highly successful Founders Cohort Programme. The cohort programme ends with an investor Demo Day and will run for the third year in 2023.
Startups supported in 2022 were working in markets ranging from sustainable finance and AI for real-time aerodynamic performance analysis to the world’s first wearable muscle fatigue tracker for elite sports, chemically aware AI platforms and knowledge graph visualisation technology. The support provided by the programme included tailored workshops, one-to-one and group sessions with a variety of external mentors and the team, pitching practices and access to bespoke learning and support platforms.
See a list of all Future Worlds startups here.
Boldrewood Towing Tank
The University’s Boldrewood Towing Tank is now fully operational with a complex drive system, fine-tuned for safe and smooth operations. The facility can now accommodate towing experiments at high speeds of up to 10 m/s. The Towing Tank is the largest University towing tank in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. It will continue to support education and research for the University in fundamental fluid dynamics, renewable energies, autonomous systems or innovative ship design.
The Towing Tank has a strong link to the marine industry through the Wolfson Unit which conducts maritime consultancy work for yacht, ship and power boat manufacturers. The Tank is also available for hire by external companies.
Facility manager Bertrand Malas said: “The Boldrewood towing tank has been designed with flexibility in mind, so that a wide range of experiments in various domains can be performed in addition to conventional towing experiments. This can include the assessment of wave or tidal energy devices, autonomous vehicles tests, sports engineering or various wave experiments.”
See the website for full technical specifications, and information on how to hire the towing tank.
nC² Engineering Consultancy is a group of experts in material science, mechanical engineering and tribology. Established in 2015, the team provide consultancy services to industry to support the engineering of safer and more efficient products, carrying out bespoke tests in the University’s state-of-the-art facilities, analysing the data and providing expert opinion.
nC2 work with clients across a range of sectors, from energy and transport to medicine and heritage, who need help with product development or to find out why something has gone wrong. The team specialises in advising clients when choosing coatings, polymers and metal alloys for harsh environments, and we are nationally recognised for their expertise in investigating component failures.
Over half of the nC2 team, including the Director, Professor Nicola Symonds, are Southampton alumni, and are always delighted to hear from former students – whether you’re seeking problem-solving services as you move ahead in your engineering career, or you’re interested in contributing your skills and expertise as part of the nC2 team.