UCL News


UCL Awards for Enterprise 2015

11 June 2015

UCL Awards for Enterprise demonstrate that 'Enterprise is everywhere' across the university's research, students and partners.

UCL Awards for Enterprise 2015

Winners of the eighth annual UCL Awards for Enterprise were announced on Wednesday 10 June, at a ceremony held at UCL Advances' new incubator space for product and creative businesses at King's Cross, BASE KX.

The awards recognise the efforts and accomplishments of UCL's most innovative and entrepreneurial staff, students, graduates and partner organisations in furthering enterprise and entrepreneurship at UCL. The scale of such activity everywhere at UCL - from research collaborations with the biggest companies in the world to small start-up stars of the future emerging from the student body - has made UCL a recognised international leader in enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Enterprise has contributed to the rise of UCL as a top-five world university by leading engagement with businesses through its research, providing knowledge transfer at every stage, and support to students in their desire to start businesses or gain the skills needed for successful careers. It was clear to see that 'Enterprise is everywhere' at UCL, with all faculties represented in the show cased stories.

The awards ceremony event was a black-tie dinner with a trade fair featuring businesses supported by UCL Enterprise. Catering, food and beverage companies that have been supported by UCL Advances, UCL's centre for entrepreneurship, were used in the provision of the dinner for the event, reflecting the centre's values in supporting small businesses in every way possible.

The venue was BASE KX, a new space for creative and product companies at King's Cross, which will open officially in autumn 2015. It will provide support to help businesses grow and flourish, with all residents being encouraged to contribute to the services provided, sharing knowledge, skills and supporting each other to build a productive business community. BASE KX will be managed by UCL Advances, UCL's centre for entrepreneurship, with support from Camden Town UnLimited and the London Borough of Camden.

Awards for Business Partners

Reflecting UCL's close links with industry is the UCL Corporate Enterprise Partner of the Year award, which was given this year to technology provider INTEL.

INTEL has enabled the institution to take a global lead in Cities research via a partnership that also involves Imperial College. Together, the partners have formed the Intel Collaborative Research Institute (ICRI) for Sustainable Connected Cities.  This is a research centre and global hub dedicated to exploring how technology can support and sustain the social and economic development of cities worldwide, helping to provide practical solutions to problems ranging from droughts and long commute times, to wasteful use of energy. 

Dr Anna Clark, Director of Corporate Partnerships at UCL, said: "What happens when academia, government and industry collaborate is unrivalled opportunities arise to solve complex problems. It means research and development, the market, and government policy can be more informed than they were before. So there is very much better understanding, I think, between the three sectors."

The UCL Small and Medium Enterprise Partner of the Year Award went to Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst - a unique bioscience open innovation hub that emphasises collaboration, offering small biotech and life sciences companies and start-ups access to experts, networks and facilities that are usually open accessible from within large multinational companies. The ecosystem hosts over 40 companies ranging from large corporations such as GlaxoSmithKline to academic representation of UCL and Cambridge University.

Dr Martin Picardo, CEO Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said: "Our aim has been to create, develop and nurture new start-up businesses to build strong links between academia and industry through partnerships at an early stage. It's a really great honour and a privilege to win this award and we're very grateful to UCL for recognising our contributions to SMEs and the building of an ecosystem that is different to anything else in the UK, and we hope for their continued support moving forward."

Awards for UCL Staff

Winning this award is absolutely incredible. We are, as an organisation, philanthropically funded so not only does it really acknowledge the generosity of our donors previously, but means moving forward we can show future donors the impact we can have on society.

Shivi Riahi

The UCL Business Award went to Dr Martin Pule, UCL Cancer Institute and NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, for his work at Autolus - a biotech company focused on the development and commercialisation of engineered T-cell immunotherapy products for the treatment of Cancer.

Dr Tristan Smith, UCL Energy Institute, was awarded the UCL Consultants Award for the projects he has led within the International Maritime Organisation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Social Enterprise Project Award was given to the UCL Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ), which offers free legal advice and representation to those in the local community most in need of assistance in social welfare, employment, and education disputes.

Shivi Riahi, Research Assistant and Manager for the centre said: "Winning this award is absolutely incredible. We are, as an organisation, philanthropically funded so not only does it really acknowledge the generosity of our donors previously, but means moving forward we can show future donors the impact we can have on society."

The Provost Spirit of Enterprise Award, which was presented by Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, was won by Professor Rachel McKendry from the London Centre for Nanotechnology. Rachel has been involved in developing global early warning systems for infectious diseases (i-sense), and is currently working with Google Flu Trends on their modelling techniques that will contribute to the earlier global detection of flu outbreaks. She has seeded a partnership with Microsoft to track the spread of infectious diseases using Twitter and search engine queries, and is working on a project developing develop a mobile phone-connected diagnostic test for HIV.

Other nominees for this award were Dr Nick Shepley, UCL English Language & Literature, for the festival 'One Day in the City: Celebrating London and Literature', and Professor Bas Aarts, UCL English Language & Literature, for the work he and his team have done to develop a range of interactive resources for delivering grammar learning.

The Life Learning Award recognises individual academics and teams who are involved in developing or delivering high quality and innovative short courses to further enhance UCL's legacy of knowledge transfer and societal impact. This year the award was presented to Susan (Soo) Ware, Faculty Tutor in the Bartlett School of Architecture for the Professional Practice & Management in Architecture ARB/RIBA Part 3. 

Awards for UCL Students

The UCL Bright Ideas Awards are designed to develop and nurture business ideas by UCL students and recent alumni. They provide funding ranging from £25,000 to £100,000 and all UCL students are eligible to apply during the first year following graduation. 

This year's winners include Comp-A-Tent - a business which produces compostable tents for music festivals (Amanda Campbell, 3rd Year BSc Architecture and Interdisciplinary Studies), Greenseed - a social app and marketplace for those with in an interest in gardening (Naomi Poyser, 3rd Year BA Classics, Arindra Das MSc ICT Innovation), Naisa - a multi-brand platform for modest Islam fashion (Nafisa Bakkar and Selina Bakkar, Alumnus BSc Natural Sciences 2014), and Lexicum - a platform that helps language learners remember every single word they came across (Martin Ruskov, Alumnus, PhD Computer Science).

The UCL Best Impact by a Student Consultancy Project was won by Securedtech Limited Consultancy Team (Fabia Howard-Smith, Jo-Ann Yeo, Diana Chan, Christine Tsai - all from UCL Arts and Sciences BA Sc)  - a major IT subcontracting firm which worked on technology provision for Heathrow Terminal 2.