UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Lunchtime industry session gives UCL academics food for thought

4 December 2018

The Institute of Healthcare Engineering hosted a lunchtime session for UCL academics on engaging with industry. With speakers from UCL Business, UCL Consultancy and UCL Innovation & Enterprise, attendees learnt about the structures in place at UCL to engage with business.


Dr Vassilis Georgiadis, Senior Partnerships Manager (Pharma & Healthcare) from UCL Innovation & Enterprise, explained how his team helps academics effect societal change with their research. The Innovation & Enterprise team facilitate industry engagement in a number of ways, from funding opportunities through to short courses on entrepreneurship.

Comprising former researchers, ex-industry representatives and consultants, his team is well-placed to scope out and develop strategic collaborations with business. As part of their holistic service, they can perform market analysis, undertake due diligence co-ordinate support from other UCL teams.

Next, Dr Weng Wong, Senior Business Manager (Medical Technologies) at UCL Business (UCLB), provided an overview of the support she can provide academics. UCL Business acts as a technology transfer company for the university. Their role is to commercialise intellectual assets that arise from research at UCL and its partner hospitals. UCL Business has an impressive track record, with £10.9 million in turnover, 67 spinouts created and 258 active licenses.

Weng described how UCLB works with academics and clinicians to identify new technologies developed at UCL and invests strategically to take these to market. They offer a wide range of support and commercial options for academics, including patenting, brokering licensing agreements, and project management.

For academics interested in consulting, we heard from Andy Duncan, Consultancy Manager at UCL Consultants (UCLC). They aim to make it easy for UCL academics to do business with external clients by offering a ‘one-stop shop’ for the provision of consultancy services.

UCLC can handle the administrative and legal details, meaning researchers are free to focus on their area of expertise. There are a number of benefits to undertaking consultancy, such as relationship building, additional income and gaining new perspectives for research. UCLC clients range from large multinational companies through to SMEs.

Finally, we heard from Dr Eugenio Zapata-Solvas, Strategic Research Facilitator at BEAMS, about upcoming funding opportunities. His team promote relationships that can accelerate innovation. They provide challenge-focused workshops which link researchers with industry, policy-makers and consumers to develop proposals.

This lunchtime session received a high level of interest and was a catalyst for discussion - demonstrating the strong appetite amongst UCL researchers to increase their industry ties. Thank you to our speakers for sharing their expertise with us and to those who came along to find out more. We will be working alongside UCLB, UCLC and UCL Innovation and Enterprise to facilitate activity moving forward and would welcome feedback from workshop attendees or others on how best to support this, please email healthcare-eng@ucl.ac.uk to continue this conversation.

There will be an additional session on 11 February 2019, aimed at early-career researchers (PhDs and postdocs). Register online.