UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Ignite: A Medical Innovation Summit

Ignite is an executive level summit for leaders across sectors to meet and positively impact medical innovation through a series of debates.

Ignite is a summit with a difference. By bringing together leaders in medical innovation to challenge each other, learn from other sectors and develop new ways of thinking and working, we will change the future of medical innovation and accelerate progress.

In 2022 Ignite will focus on how the UK’s health science community can best support a national and international effort to tackle bio-emergencies.

Debates aim to give a 360-degree view of medical innovation reflecting on provocative questions. Debate leads include high profile individuals from various sectors including academia, industry, charites and the NHS.



What are the wider benefits of Ignite?

We hope that Ignite will spark unique and inspiring debate that will lead to progressive change in the debate and practice around medical innovation. The potential benefits to individuals, institutions and the sector are great.

What happened in previous summits?

Ignite summit is in its fifth year, with the first two iterations in London, the third in South Africa with funding from UKRI, and the fourth iteration virtually and in collaboration with NHSA.

Over the years, previous speakers included:

  • Dr Ian Campbell (Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK),
  • Dr Graham Spittle (Chief Technology Officer, IBM Public Sector Consulting),
  • Professor Michael Rawlins (Chair of the MHRA),
  • Dame Fiona Caldicott (National Data Guardian for Health and Care),
  • Ms Glaudina Loots (Director of Health Innovation, South African Department of Science and Technology) and;
  • Dr Elena de Angelis (Global Health Director, GlaxoSmithKline).
How will privacy be ensured?

Participants will be asked to abide by Chatham House Rules during and after the summit. The aim is to create open discussions where challenging opinions are encouraged.

How will the summit be evaluated?

UCL will be evaluating both the content and delivery via surveys and optional interviews.

How can alumni remain involved?

Following the summit, Ignite alumni will be offered CASMI Fellowship and have the opportunity to meet previous summit attendees and participate in further networking and engagement opportunities organised by CASMI and UCL. 

Who should I contact regarding further queries?

Kim Gurwitz, Programme Manager in the Academic Careers Office is your main contact point for the summit. You can reach her on k.gurwitz@ucl.ac.uk

2020 Ignite summit report on 'Learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic to accelerate medical innovation’.












Since 2020, Ignite has worked with the Northern Health Science Alliance to deliver the summit.

Who is sponsoring Ignite?

Ignite is a collaboration between the Centre for the Advancement of Medical Innovation (CASMI) and the UCL Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre (BRC). Ignite is a part of a wider drive for investment in developing new models for medical innovation and building capacity in relevant research areas.

Ignite has also received funding from the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund for the summit in 2019 with a focus on medical innovation around sub-Saharan Africa.