UCL News


UCL in the News: UCL launches centre for academic entrepreneurship

20 June 2007

UCL has launched an ambitious plan to boost its private funding by creating a new commercial science department that it hopes will entice top international researchers.

The newly created department of management science and innovation received official approval by UCL's council on June 13 and will move into an £11m new building in 2008.

The department plans to hire up to 15 new researchers who would boost the university's private funding. …

These include Steven Currall, professor of management science and head of the new department, who said in his inaugural lecture yesterday that its launched would boost UCL's academic and knowledge transfer programmes and help the university make more money from its research.

"We want to enhance UCL's entrepreneurial culture. There have been a number of interesting and successful start-ups that have come out of UCL but I think we can do much more and be providing more coherence and programmes to bring different activities together," he told EducationGuardian.co.uk. …

He now hopes to help UCL and its partner, the London Business School, "change the world" through taking breakthrough innovations to market.

Management science is the academic field that conducts theoretical and empirical research on managerial, organisational and operational dynamics in innovative organisations.

Innovation features in the new department's title in order to encompass academics in different areas that would not necessarily produce tangible technologies with intellectual property. …

Prof Currall hopes that the new department will also help advise policymakers. "We have an obligation to create knowledge and disseminate it to government so it can make better decisions on the behalf of citizens," he said.

"UCL Advances" - another new creation - will help teach academic staff how to commercialise their innovations and "equip them to have better communication with business", Prof Currall said.

"Part of the reason academics are so dismal at this is because they are not orientated towards the kinds of things commercial activities focus on. My job is to help educate people and position them to turn their academic research into potential societal benefits. …

Anthea Lipsett, EducationGuardian.co.uk