UCL Technology Innovation Forum Event

The Future of Imaging: Markets, Technology, and Innovative Companies

1st Plenary Session: 'Google Earth - Changing our View of the Earth!', Ed Parsons (Google)

UCL was pleased to host "The Future of Imaging" event on Tuesday 16 October.

This was UCL's first Technology Innovation Forum event and drew an impressive turnout with over 200 attendees representing academia, established companies, start-ups and investors.

The forum opened with a keynote presentation from Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist at Google. Mr Parsons demonstrated how Google plans to revolutionise the storage of images by linking them to geography so internet users can see photos by clicking through maps and other techniques.

After that there were breakout sessions along three main themes of Business Drivers, Research Opportunities and Future Champions, in which researchers and companies with interests from across various imaging industries and disciplines heard presentations on business and research trends and practices. Alongside these sessions, UCL academics gave tours of some of UCL's world-leading imaging research facilities, such as the virtual environment of the UCL Cave (in UCL Computer Science) and the Arius3D scanner (in the interdisciplinary UCL Chorley Institute).

Mr Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist, Google

The day ended with a panel discussion chaired by Anne Glover of Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd that included Alan Schafer (Wellcome Trust), Roland Harwood (NESTA) and Peter Radcliffe (E100 and London Business School) Crucially, throughout the day were many opportunities for networking and forging contacts between academic and business interests. UCL Advances' Executive Director Tim Barnes, stated that this was one of the most important reasons for the event.

"UCL Advances exists to help foster more links of all types between UCL and business. The Future of Imaging is our first step in making this happen," he commented. UCL was well represented with researchers from more than 20 departments present and major businesses attending included Siemens, Canon and Kodak. There were also a number of UCL spin-outs and associated new companies show-casing at the event, such as IXICO, Endomagnetics and Space Syntax.

Mr Barnes also announced plans for a new online service that will serve the community of interested parties established at the event, and allow it to grow and help foster further networks among its users in future.

Professor Phil Luthert, Director of UCL's Institute of Ophthalmology, said afterwards that he found the event extremely useful and hoped that it would lead to a number of new research-business collaborations in the future, remarking, "The meeting today was a great success. It was good to see UCL do something like this in such a professional way. More to the point I got out of it what I was looking for!"

Introduction and remarks before the Panel Discussion - Malcolm Grant, Provost and President (UCL)
1st Plenary Session: "Google Earth - Changing our View of the Earth!", Ed Parsons (Google)