Brain Sciences


Underpinning the London Framework: the value of local and regional partnerships

1 December 2020

Last month, on Thursday 5th November, we officially launched the UCL London Framework to a (virtual) room of over 60 colleagues spanning UCL and our partner organisations.

Alan Thompson

Last month, on Thursday 5th November, we officially launched the UCL London Framework to a (virtual) room of over 60 colleagues spanning UCL and our partner organisations. Hosted by UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, the event marked a pivotal moment for the London Office as we now can move forward on working with the UCL community and our London partners to amplify UCL’s impact in and for London.

We were delighted to be joined by a fantastic panel of experts who shared their perspectives on the value of UCL in London. A huge thank you to Dr Celia Caulcott, Professor Paola Lettieri, Jon Rowney and Carol Paige for taking the time to join us. The value of partnership, communities, innovation and our place in London really shone through as key themes to be taken forward. You can view the launch event of the London Framework here.

As I have shared with many colleagues already, the London Framework is a clear and coherent way of working for UCL in London. Creating purpose, connecting people, celebrating place really is what it is all about. I’m delighted to now have a framework where UCL’s activities in and for London can be advocated, brokered and convened in a targeted way, whilst, at the same time, recognising all the benefits that our wonderful city brings to UCL.

In just a matter of weeks, on 15th December, we will host an event to celebrate the signing of the UCL-Camden Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Working with Camden Council over the past year has been a fantastic learning experience. We have so many aligned initiatives going on at UCL and Camden and the MoU is a powerful way of demonstrating the importance of university-local authority partnerships, for the benefit of local people and our place. We look forward to hearing from an excellent panel at the event, including Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Professor Henrietta Moore, Professor Muki Haklay and Dominic Galliano, who will all share their experiences of integrated working between Camden and UCL. UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur and Cllr Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council will introduce the event.

Recently in the news you may have seen that UCL has opened a COVID-19 testing centre at UCL’s Ramsay Hall on Maple Street. This partnership, between the London Borough of Camden and the Department of Health and Social Care, demonstrates how working with our local partners is key to our relationships with London, for the benefits of Londoners. This important collaboration is just one of many examples of how we are working with Camden Council and I look forward to sharing the details of wider activities in due course.

Just a few days ago myself and Professor Paola Lettieri, Director of UCL East met with Julian Ellerby, Director of Local London and his colleague Sheila Weedan, Head of Policy and Programmes. Local London is a partnership of eight London boroughs in the north and east of London, including many of those close to our UCL East site, including Newham. Aligning the work of the London Framework across all of London is core to our objectives and we looking forward to working closer with Local London to enable greater understanding of how we can have impact in East London. This is just one example of how the London Office aligns with UCL East and support each other in connecting and collaborating with our London partners.

Whilst many of us are now looking toward the festive break at the end of year, in the London Office we are busy planning and developing our programme for next term. In alignment with the key priorities of UCL and our regional partners in London, we are developing a programme of activity, events and innovative resources to help demonstrate UCL’s impact in London. We will share more details, including how to get involved in the New Year but in the meantime, please do get in touch with us if you’d like to be involved.


Colleagues from across UCL have continued to impact London and Londoners through their research and activities. To mention just three examples…

UCL co-hosted an online event on 18th November during London Climate Action Week with London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI), and Climate KIC. The event “How can CleanTech contribute to London’s drive for net zero carbon?” explored the role CleanTech and Innovation must play in supporting Climate Change Action and examined the existing and new partnerships that will be vital in a collaborative effort to achieve net zero carbon targets. The Deputy Mayor Rajesh Agrawal introduced the event, highlighting innovative collaboration across London's low carbon environmental goods and service's sector as a key contributor to recovering from COVID-19 and tackling the climate emergency. He also announced the soft launch of the CleanTech London partnership, a collaborative initiative that has been designed to drive an increase in growth and productivity in London’s clean tech businesses and to build on London’s strengths in clean tech, but also address prevailing barriers to developing, commercialising and scaling-up clean tech innovations. The CleanTech London partners are: Greater London Authority, Climate-KIC, Imperial College London, London & Partners, London Legacy Development Corporation, London Waste and Recycling Board, Sustainable Ventures, Transport for London and University College London.

The Sir John Cass’s Foundation have donated £130,000 to support the implementation of a 16-25 education, employment and training (EET) programme across six London Local Authorities from October 2020. The programme aims to create employment pathways for care experienced young people and reduce the numbers not in education, employment or training (NEET). The programme, led by the Centre for Inclusive Education (CIE) within the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) aims to achieve better outcomes for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND). They are committed to supporting young people particularly at risk of increased disadvantage through the intersectional impact of the pandemic on existing socio-cultural risk factors for increased disadvantage.

Professor Wendy Best (UCL Psychology and Language Sciences) and Dr Victoria Fleming (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) have developed the ‘PJs project’ alongside SME industry partner Therapy Box, an app that delivers a short, fun task for children which enables clinicians to understand their semantic processing skills in relation to developmental language disorders. Funded through the Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Fund (HEIF), the project has been adapted to COVID-19 demands which has seen healthcare services adopt remote delivery. The app has been trialled with speech and language services across London.