UCL Innovation and Enterprise


Bridging the “valley of death”: improving the commercialisation of research

24 January 2012

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has identified the difficulty of translating research into commercial application as a key issue, particularly the lack of funding—the so-called “valley of death”.

The Committee has therefore agreed to conduct an inquiry into how the UK Government and other organisations can improve the commercialisation of research.
The Committee has invited written submissions on the following questions:

  1. What are the difficulties of funding the commercialisation of research, and how can they be overcome?
  2. Are there specific science and engineering sectors where it is particularly difficult to commercialise research? Are there common difficulties and common solutions across sectors?
  3. What, if any, examples are there of UK-based research having to be transferred outside the UK for commercialisation? Why did this occur?
  4. What evidence is there that Government and Technology Strategy Board initiatives to date have improved the commercialisation of research?
  5. What impact will the Government’s innovation, research and growth strategies have on bridging the valley of death? 
  6. Should the UK seek to encourage more private equity investment (including venture capital and angel investment) into science and engineering sectors and if so, how can this be achieved?
  7. What other types of investment or support should the Government develop?

UCL staff who wish to contribute to the UCL submission to this inquiry are requested to email VPEnterprise@ucl.ac.uk before 3rd February, including "Valley of Death" in the email subject, and addressing the questions above.