UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Innovation & Enterprise Seminars

The transferable nature of our enterprise seminars and speakers provide skills in resourcefulness, resilience and reflection for both students and staff.

MAPS Innovation and Enterprise Seminar Schedule 2023 - 2024 

Every thriving business, live saving medicine or treatment and revolutionary technology begins as an idea. Our seminar series welcomes UCL staff and alumni to discuss how they turned their knowledge or research into solutions that can influence global strategic policies and make an economic and societal impact. Would you like to follow this path and don't know where or how to start? Are you interested and want to find out more? Be prepared to receive hundreds of years (in total!) of experience condensed into a few hours!

Join us for this year's seminar series for a superb opportunity to hear inspiring stories and interact with those that have become successful in their field. Have your questions ready!

The seminars are open to both UCL staff and students. The below schedule provides registration links for each seminar. Please keep a look out on the MAPS Faculty Events feed, termly, to see more detail about each seminar. 

MAPS IE Seminar Series - Programme 2023/24 

Our past seminars:  

Reflections on Academic Entrepreneurship: Translational Research and Commercialisation - Prof. Quentin Pankhurst, Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering department 

Guest speaker, Prof. Quentin Pankhurst, Director of the UCL Healthcare Biomagnetics Laboratory, shares:

  • His experience over almost 30 years at UCL, during which time he has founded or co-founded multiple spinout or start-up companies in the field of healthcare biomagnetics, including Endomagnetics Ltd. (2007), Resonant Circuits Limited (2009), and MediSieve Ltd (2014).
  • His insights about the role of academics in the translation and commercialisation of medical devices.

UCL Warning Research Centre: impact beyond academia - Prof. Carina Fearnley, Department of Science and Technology Studies

Guest speaker, Prof. Carina Fearnley discusses:

  • The growth of the WRC: Successes and failures, ongoing challenges in operation, growth, and funding, as well as engagement of the centre.
  • Key factors to the centre’s  growth such as the ability to conduct and implement interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work, meeting the demands of those requiring and implementing academic knowledge and skills.
  • Reflections on the experience of working across MAPS Faculty and insights on how to enhance intra-departmental collaboration.

Showcase of UCL Spin-Out Nanomerics by the CSO and Co-Founder Prof. Ijeoma F. Uchegbu, UCL School of Pharmacy

Guest speaker, Prof. Ijeoma Uchegbu shares: 

  • What Nanomerics understood to be the critical moments for their existance.
  • How Nanomerics has evolved into an organisation it is today.
  • Challenges and opportunities for those wishing to embark on a similar journey.
  • The benefits that Nanomerics brings to their academic career.

Academic Consultancy: using research to influence global strategic policies - Dr Gianluca Pescaroli, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

Guest speaker, Gianluca Pescaroli shares: 

  • The first time he heard about the possibility of doing consultancy and his understanding of what consultancy can be.
  • His small journey of mistakes, near misses, and lessons learned.
  • Some examples of his work with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Greater London Authority, Arup, and Resilience First.
  • If consultancy is your next career move, if it’s something simply not worth it, or if it’s a “necessary evil” you could consider making a difference with your research.

A Bespoke Talk with the MAPS Faculty from Cassie Dawson, Senior Consultancy Manager, UCL Consultants (UCLC)

Guest speaker, Cassie Dawson discusses:

  • An explanation of how academics can use UCLC’s services, including contracts, project management and finance. 
  • Case studies of projects that have emerged from MAPS.
  • Some other relevant completed project examples of overlapping subject area or interest to MAPS staff.
  • The potential for consultancy to provide a pathway for demonstrating impact on society.

Showcase of a UCL Start-Up ZNotes - Zubair Junjunia, UCL Maths Alumnus & Founder of ZNotes

Guest speaker, Zubair Junjunia shares his story:

  • From his initial idea to create ZNotes in 2014;
  • To being accepted on the UCL Enterprise Launch Programme (now called "Build your own business 3: Launch your business") for assistance in evolving ZNotes into a start-up;
  • How he continued to run ZNotes whilst completing his Mathematics Master’s degree;
  • Drawing attention to the benefits of this venture;
  • And any challenges he faced along the way. 

How to get started with a company: challenges/opportunities – Professor Andy Beale, Chemistry Department 

Guest speaker, Prof Andy Beale discusses: 

  • The sometimes painful "on the job" learning process.
  • What Finden Ltd. understood to be the critical moments for their existence.
  • How Finden Ltd. has morphed into an organisation quite different to what they had initially envisaged.
  • What Andrew sees as challenges and opportunities for those wishing to embark on a similar journey.

Corporate Partnering - Jim Skinner, Chair of American Chemical Society, SCHB

Guest speaker, Jim Skinner discusses: 

  • Research and development contracts.
  • Manufacturing agreements.
  • Sales, marketing and/or distribution contracts.
  • Equity (financial) investments by major corporations.
  • And many more...

What to do and avoid in starting a company - Professor Peter Dobson, The Queen’s College, Oxford

Guest speaker Prof Peter Dobson discusses: 

  • Why are you doing it? 
  • Why not license the ideas to existing companies?
  • Have you done due diligence on the idea? 
  • Is there a "supply chain" involved? 
  • How will you raise money to start?
  • And do you have a clear idea how to sustain the growth of the company?
  • Do you have an "exit plan"? 
  • And many more...

Introduction to Patent Applications - Amy Bishton, Patent Agent Barker Brettell 

Guest speaker, Amy Bishton discusses: 

  • What is a patent?
  • How do I obtain a patent?
  • What can I obtain a patent for?
  • Are there restrictions on what can be patented?
  • What can be done with a patent?
  • What does a patent application contain?
  • What are the basic requirements for these?

Inspiring partnerships between academia and industry: opportunities, priorities, and what it might take – Dr Andrea Macrina, Mathematics Department

Guest speaker, Dr Andrea Macrina discusses: 

  • What collaboration opportunity might there be between academia and the industry? 
  • Why collaborate on joint research with an industry partner, and is there a particular stage in one’s academic career when to begin? 
  • Serendipitous encounters or strategic planning? 
  • Where and how do academics and industry practitioners meet? 
  • What to do after contact details have been exchanged?
  • How do I bring an industry partner on board?

What makes a business attractive for venture capital? (Part 1 & Part 2) - David Grimm, UCL Tech Fund

Guest speaker, David Grimm discusses:

  • How to develop the broader business thinking about new technologies. 
  • The different types of commercial funding available.
  • How particpants to understand when venture capital may be a good method of funding for their business idea.

How to Keep a Trade Secret: Best Practices for Creating/Maintaining Trade Secrets – Kirby Drake, Founder of Kirby Drake Law PLLC

Guest speaker, Kirby Drake discusses:

  • What is a trade secret?
  • What is protectable as a trade secret?
  • Effects of trade secret disclosure.
  • Considerations as to whether to protect through trade secrets or patents.
  • Reasonable measures – best practices to maintain trade secrets.