UCL News


Entrepreneurs and innovators honoured at UCL Awards for Enterprise

15 May 2009


Engineering Front building ucl.ac.uk/enterprise/" target="_self">UCL Enterprise
  • UCL Business
  • UCL Advances
  • The UCL Bloomsbury Theatre hosted the second annual UCL Awards for Enterprise on May 15 to honour the achievements of a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

    The awards are unique among UK universities as an event that celebrates a complete cross-section of enterprise activities on one night.

    The ceremony highlighted many of the most notable entrepreneurial and commercial activities that have taken place within UCL during the last year while also bringing together academics with businesses and investors.

    Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of UCL, said: "Innovation and entrepreneurship are integral to universities. Since UCL's inception it has been unafraid to foster new, and sometimes radical, ideas. It is this spirit that has led to the many achievements of UCL's academics, students and alumni. Entrepreneurship involves risk and UCL is unique among UK institutions in its understanding of this."

    Tim Barnes, Executive Director of UCL Advances, added: "The Awards for Enterprise is a fantastic means of celebrating all that our innovative and entrepreneurial academics and students have achieved, not just in the UK - but also globally."

    GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) won the Enterprise Partner of the Year Award 2009, an award given to the business that has most effectively engaged with UCL, for its work with UCL's Institute of Ophthalmology.

    GSK and UCL's Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) have entered into a three-year strategic collaboration to investigate new compounds to treat potentially sight-threatening disorders.

    Professor Philip Luthert, Director of IoO, said: "This exciting and innovative partnership aligns perfectly with our goal to harness academic excellence for the benefit of patients."

    Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director of UCL Business PLC, won the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of UCL businesses and subsidiaries.

    Professor Mike Spyer, UCL Vice-Provost (Enterprise), said: "Throughout his time at the university, Cengiz has done more to develop commercial activity at UCL than any other person currently here - and we're delighted to be able to recognise that achievement."

    Image: UCL's Engineering Front Building.

    Further winners from the 2009 Awards

    UCL Business Award 2009: Best spin-out company from UCL

    Professor Rajiv Jalan, Division of Medicine

    For the transaction around his technology: L-Ornithine Phenylacetate. A novel treatment for hepatic encephalopathy.

    UCL Consultants Award 2009: Best consulting project by a UCL academic into business

    Mr Spencer Chainey, UCL Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science

    Mr Chainey's work has a growing reputational value in his field, and other spin-offs feed directly into the work of the Jill Dando Institute (JDI). The JDI now manages the National Community Safety Information Sharing Systems Network for the Home Office. Mr Chainey's work has also led on to other consultancy work for the JDI.  

    London Entrepreneurs' Challenge Awards: Winners of the UCL annual student business plan competition

    2009 Winner (£5,000)

    Gearch - Saving trees by searching the net. The first green search engine on the internet www.gearch.com.

    2009 Runner-Up (undergraduate) (£3,000)

    Alive and Giving - An innovative fundraising website that acts as a charity comparison site for prospective donors and provides a marketing solution and payment provider for UK charities.

    2009 Runner-Up (postgraduate/staff) (£3,000)

    FreeLens - A photographers and publishers exchange based on geographically matching photographers and assignments via a job bidding process.

    2009 Provost's Prize (£2,000)

    Alive and Giving - As above

    2009 Innovation Central Bursar (£3,500)

    Anatomatic - modernizing the technique of teaching anatomy through the use of digitally animated video sequences. 

    UCL Advances Entrepreneurial Spirit Award 2009: The member of UCL that has done most to drive the entrepreneurship agenda

    Professor Anthony Finkelstein, UCL Computer Science

    For consistently demonstrating an appreciation of and support for the role of enterprise and entrepreneurship in UCL Computer Science and beyond. A major product of his achievements is that the department is bettered both academically and in its engagement with business, which represents greater opportunity for students and faculty.

    UCL Enterprise Partner of the Year Award 2009: For the business that has most effectively engaged with UCL

    GlaxoSmithKline (As above)

    UCL Bright Ideas Awards 2009: Start-up funding for promising businesses emerging from UCL

    Alive and Giving Ltd - (undergraduate) - As Above

    GetMyCloset - (undergraduate) - An online platform for users to exchange, borrow, sell and buy second hand clothes whilst recreating the ambiance of high street shopping via virtual boutiques.

    NPComplete - (postgraduate) - An algorithm web service that can be seamlessly integrated into any existing software requiring access to optimisation algorithms.

    UCL Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Award 2009: For the KTP project of the last year that showed most potential

    The winning partnership was the engagement between UCL and the Camden Primary Care Trust (PCT). The project aim was to develop a geodemographic database of health and well-being in Camden and to use this to ensure that health services were provided by the PCT according to need. It was awarded a Grade A by the assessment panel. The academic concerned was Professor Paul Longley, the KTP Associates were Pablo Mateos and Kate Jones, and the PCT supervisor was Natasha Roberts.

    Lifetime Achievement Award 2009

    Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director, UCL Business PLC (As above)


    UCL context

    UCL Advances links the expertise and creativity of researchers, business and investors. Through the deployment of a systematic programme of engagement, Advances helps to create a wider network in order to address specific challenges with major societal or market potential. In the short time UCL Advances has been active it has already built a reputation as a pioneer of collaboration between industry and academia, primarily through having spawned a number of initiatives that span the gap between science discovery and exploitation.

    UCL Business plc is the access point to the wealth of innovation and intellectual property emanating from UCL, and offers a number of services to assist the technology development process, from consultancy through to collaborative research, IP licensing and the creation of spinout companies and joint ventures to maximise the commercial potential of new discoveries, materials and processes.

    UCL Business is part of the university's enterprise agenda. The university is committed to sharing and developing our finest research in partnership with industry, so that we can bring the benefits of our research to as many people as possible. Our academics provide expert consultancy and training to businesses, large and small, and we in turn aim to foster entrepreneurial awareness among our staff through a dedicated department.