UCL celebrates the achievements of its innovative and enterprising community
5 June 2019
The winners of the UCL Awards for Innovation and Enterprise 2019 were announced at a ceremony last night.
Exceptional staff, students and alumni from across the UCL community were recognised for their outstanding range of innovative work, spanning drug discovery and regenerative medicine through to virtual reality exploration of arts and culture.
The awards capped off a hugely successful 12 months for innovation and enterprise activities at UCL. Highlights include £438 million of investment in UCL gene therapy spinouts and team of UCL undergraduates who won the $1m Hult Prize.
Addressing the audience at the awards, UCL’s President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, emphasised the importance of innovation and enterprise activities in enhancing research and teaching and tackling societal challenges.
Demonstrating a spirit of enterprise
The UCL Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise Award was won by a team from the Bartlett School of Environment Energy and Resources (BSEER). The award recognises the achievements and positive attitude of a UCL academic, student or alumni who has demonstrated a willingness to engage with enterprising activities.
In the award citation, Kim Novelli, Partnerships and Research Project Manager, and Professor Paul Ruyssevelt, Partnerships Director, were recognised for leading their respective professional services and academic teams at the BSEER.
Over the past five years, BSEER has developed a partnerships approach to enterprise which sits across research, teaching and consultancy. The school now employs a full-time Partnerships Manager overseeing the development and maintenance of relationships with a large number of partners who support research projects, sponsor post-graduate students and commission consultancy.
Paul said: "We’re delighted to have won the UCL Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise Award. In BSEER we’ve applied innovation to our enterprise activities to develop a partnerships policy which establishes long-term strategic relationships with government, industry and third sector organisations to provide support for academic endeavours and generate income that delivers benefits across the school.”
Recognising innovation activity across UCL
The translation of fundamental medical research into clinical practice for the benefit of patients was a strong theme of the awards.
For example, Professor Jonathan Knowles, who has developed commercially successful bone and nerve graft implants, was commended in the UCL Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise Award. Dr Giuseppe Mazza, who is improving the drug discovery process for hard to treat diseases, was also commended.
There were also awards for UCL spinout Echopoint Medical, which is commercialising miniaturised sensors and microcatheters, and UCL’s Small Molecule Therapeutic Innovation Network.
The wide range of innovation and enterprise activities at UCL were also showcased, with awards for:
- Dr Manjula Patrick, who is helping organisations improve their services for people with hearing loss
- Dr Parama Chaudhury, who is leading training for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Diplomatic Academy
- Musemio, a student edtech startup developing innovative mobile virtual reality games that allow children to explore arts and culture
- Dr Hector Altamirano and his team for his collaborative approach to tackling the major global economic and health problems of damp buildings
- UCL Institute of Education and Numberfit for their partnership, which has enabled the company to design innovative new numeracy products that raise engagement and attainment in maths
Reflecting on the awards, Dr Celia Caulcott, Vice-Provost (Enterprise), commented:
“Excitingly, we’re seeing more and more brilliant minds from across our entire community taking their ideas out into the wider world in a variety of different ways, including partnering with charities and businesses, developing bespoke short courses for professionals, providing consultancy and creating new businesses.
“Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the incredibly high standard of this year’s awards. As we strive to develop a culture of innovation and enterprise across UCL, these awards can provide an inspiration to our students, staff, alumni and partners.”
About UCL Innovation & Enterprise
UCL Innovation & Enterprise works with UCL’s diverse community of staff, students and alumni, together with external organisations and businesses, to bring ideas to life for the benefit of society and the economy.
Photo © Matt Clayton