UCL announces new £50 million fund to commercialise research
Posted: 18 January 2016 | Victoria White | No comments yet
The Fund will be used to support academics whose research has commercial potential, with funding for early stage proof of concept, licensing projects and new spinout companies…
University College London (UCL) has launched the UCL Technology Fund to invest £50 million in commercialising its world-leading research.
The Fund will be used to support academics whose research has commercial potential, with funding for early stage proof of concept, licensing projects and new spinout companies.
This is the first investment fund that UCL has launched to commercialise its multidisciplinary research and it will support innovations from academics in all areas of the university, including life sciences.
UCL says the Fund will provide both financing and support to take projects through the whole development journey from proof of concept to commercialisation. It will build on the success of UCL’s technology transfer company UCL Business (UCLB) in commercialising research from the university, by increasing the number of projects that can be supported and improving the financial return to the university.
UCLB has launched over 60 spin-out companies to commercialise intellectual property developed by UCL researchers. Recent UCLB spinouts include Freeline, which is developing gene therapies for blood disorders and Autolus, which is developing cancer immunotherapy treatment.
Maximising commercial opportunities
UCL has secured funding from the European Investment Fund (EIF), one of the largest providers of venture investment in Europe, and from Imperial Innovations, a leading UK public technology commercialisation company.
EIF and Imperial Innovations have each committed £24.75 million to the Fund, which will have an initial investment period of five years. EIF’s contribution to the UCL Technology Fund is supported by the Investment Plan for Europe.
Commenting on the announcement, 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 commercial 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.”