Institute of Communications and Connected Systems


Award Winning Entrepreneurial Spirit is found in Electrical Engineering

29 November 2017

Researchers from ICCS win UCL Provost's Spirit of Enterprise award.

UCL Provost Michael Arthur handing awards to Drs Tong and Thompson

Author  Robert Thompson, Impact fellow

Research theme logos - Infrastructures for Smart Services and Applications
IoT | Agriculture | Low Power Networks | Enterprise

Dr Kenneth Tong and Dr Robert Thompson were this week presented with the UCL Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise award 2017.

Dr Tong and Dr Thompson, members of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering department at UCL, were presented with their award at the award ceremony hosted by the UCL Provost, Michael Arthur.

The evening was an excellent show of UCL’s talent in the field of enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit. The award is no small accolade for the enterprising duo, especially when you realise the immense achievements of all the nominees from across UCL.

Dr Tong and Dr Thompson’s success was in recognition for their collaborative work with the oldest agricultural research centre in UK, Rothamsted Research, in which they have been exploring how data, available from the Internet of things, can help inform agricultural practices at a local level in the developing world.

Supported by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award funding, the researchers adopted an innovative approach to knowledge exchange and the promotion of innovation, collaboration, and enterprise through a series of multi-disciplinary hackathons and social enterprise training, delivered as a competition.

In response to the award Dr Tong said:

This is not just a recognition of our work, but of all the contributions from the team members at both UCL and Rothamsted Research, particularly Tim Bodley Scott, Bianca Forte and Diane Roberts.  Without their huge support, we would not have such a successful and wonderful Hackathon!

Dr Thompson added:

This recognition shows UCL, is a place where innovation and enterprise really thrive. By thinking out of the box we managed to create something that brought people from different background together to solve real world problems, managing to excite students and staff alike along the way. We were proud of what we achieved and this is the icing on the cake.​​​​​​

As a result of this process two new spinout companies have been formed: Cassaver and Pudl Metrics who are currently working with cassava farmers in Kenya and rice farmers in the Philippines.