Strengthen and diversify our revenues

While Imperial’s revenues continue to grow, and we are now comfortably above a billion pounds of total income, the pressures on our cashflow from operations are also growing as discussed in more detail in both the Managing Risks section and the Financial Review.

In this context, revenue diversification has never been more important. As the accounts show, fundraising continues to go from strength to strength and is now an important resource.
We also continue to build businesses that take advantage of our know-how, brand and London location, for instance:

  • ThinkSpace is a 100% College-owned business, which supports knowledge-intensive companies and the commercialisation of scientific research by providing a home for businesses from around the globe to work directly alongside Imperial's world leading academics;
  • ScaleSpace is a joint venture between Imperial and Blenheim Chalcot based at our campus in White City. There, we seek to provide dedicated support to technology companies that are moving from startup to scale up;
  • TWIG is a company which leverages an online science teaching platform to provide free resources to primary schools in the UK and to serve as a potential commercial opportunity elsewhere. Imperial provides expert review of the science content under licence and is also a major shareholder.

Provide professional support, consistent processes and appropriate technology for all of our staff and students

We are several years into an ambitious programme to reduce our non-academic cost base whilst simultaneously improving service levels. As the discussion in the Finance Review shows this has been a challenging time.

  • The Student Information Management Programme (SIMP) aims to improve student information systems and processes for staff and students across the student lifecycle. We have now delivered a new student admissions system and are in the midst of migrating to a new student records system.
  • We have been working to better understand and track our use of teaching space, which is an increasingly valuable resource as our student numbers grow. We have identified large variations in the usage and quality of our space and are now moving on to using the data to improve decision making.

Act courageously and innovatively when pursuing new opportunities

We continue to invest our own funds into new and exciting ideas. For instance, the Excellence Fund for Frontier Research supports blue skies research that often works across traditional disciplinary boundaries. This year’s awards went to the following projects:

  • Dr Ben Almquist, Dr Christopher Rowlands and Dr Andrei Kozlov from the Department of Bioengineering are collaborating at the intersection of nanofabrication, biophotonics, neuroscience and synthetic biology. Their potentially transformative project seeks to engineer the biotic-abiotic interface between nanoscale devices and complex biological systems.
  • Dr Minh-Son Pham of the Department of Materials is developing a meta-crystal approach to develop advanced materials that are lightweight and mechanically robust, with the potential to advance future low carbon technologies.
  • Dr Karen Polizzi and Dr Cleo Kontoravdi from the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Dr Christopher Rowlands from the Department of Bioengineering, are collaborating on the integration of living analytics into bioprocessing.

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Managing risks