UCL to invest £50 million into new tech research

Government funding

University College London (UCL) has announced the launch of its UCL Technology Fund, set to invest 50 million into world-leading research over the next five years.

The cash will fund academics whose research has commercial potentia, to support early stage proof of concept, licensing projects and new spinout companies, and projects can come from all areas of the university including life sciences, engineering, and ICT.

Dr Celia Caulcott, vice-provost (enterprise) at UCL, said: "UCL has an impressive track record of commercialising our research through licensing and spin-outs and the launch of the UCL Technology Fund underlines our long-term approach towards investment.

"Together with our partners, we will ensure UCL continues to maximise the commerical opportunities of its innovative and ground-breaking research, with the aim of benefitting society as a whole and producing economic impact.

"The fund exemplifies UCL's Grand Challenges strategy, which brings expertise from across UCL and beyond to solve key global problems."

The European Investment Fund and Imperial Innovations will both provide funding, each committing to 24.75 million over the first five years. Independent venture capital investor firm Albion Ventures will manage the fund, monitoring objectives and financial targets.

The university already has UCL Business (UCLB), its technology transfer company dedicated to commercialising research and increasing the number of projects it can support.

This scheme has spun out more than 60 companies to commercialise the intellectual property developed by researchers. One such firm is Senceive, which provides wireless monitoring technology to the construction and railway industries.

"The quality of research at UCL means that there is already a wealth of opportunities to be exploited and this will provide even greater level of resources to UCLB to increase throughput," said Russ Cummings, chief executive officer at Imperial Innovations.

"We expect our participation in this new fund will lead to a significant increase in our rate of investment in UCL related spinouts to which we will have access via our role in this new fund."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at caroline.preece@futurenet.com.