UCL News


UCL in the News: Peter Reid, Chief Executive of London Technology Network

16 July 2007

Not-for-profit organisation London Technology Network (LTN), which promotes innovation by linking business with research scientists in universities across London and the south east, is aligned with the government's strategy to promote innovation.

As chief executive and founder Peter Reid says: "Britain has a long history of developing innovations but failing to gain commercially from them." The LTN is a joint venture between the London Business School and University College London. …

Following a discussion with the DTI, he won a £4m award from the Higher Education Innovation Fund to develop LTN. …

Reid says LTN generates "300 collaborations a year" (from sectors as diverse as manufacturing, life sciences and transport logistics) looking to develop new processes or products.

"Businesses are initially suspicious of the ability of academics to help," he says. "But these academics can help them reduce cost, time and risk. They've got world-scale experience and deep skill and they work to a company's budget and timescale," says Reid. …

He also points out that universities are keen to work with start-ups to encourage entrepreneurship: "There's a genuine desire to be relevant to their community. They don't want to be in an ivory tower, and they're not. It's a way of transferring knowledge to society. …

"British businesses under-invest in new products and processes," he says. "The expertise they need won't necessarily come from inside the business. This process helps business to adapt to global changes."

Amy Duff, 'Director'