Progressing the Strategy
Since Imperial launched our Strategy 2015-2020 we have made significant progress, producing groundbreaking research, exciting collaborations and world-leading policies. Here are some of the highlights:
Imperial is consistently rated in the top three UK universities and is among the top ten in the world. This year we will see researchers moving into the new White City The Molecular Sciences Research Hub and we will be launching the Excellence Funds for Frontier Research and Learning and Teaching Innovation.
Major research breakthroughs have included wirelessly transferring power to drones while in flight, opening up a new field of industrial applications ranging from 24/7 surveillance to recharging science equipment on Mars and implantable miniature diagnostic medical devices.
In other fields, Imperial scientists have discovered a new form of light, which could lead to circuits that work with photons instead of electrons, and have also found that some breast tumours evolve to make their own ‘fuel supply’ when cancer treatments cut their supply of oestrogen.
Other research has found that previous exposure to the dengue virus may increase the potency of the Zika infection and that current rates of climate change could result in sea levels catastrophically rising by more than two metres.
Students, too, have been behind groundbreaking research, creating an edible hay/straw bale wrapping for livestock and finding inventive new ways of recycling waste materials: using surplus chicken feathers to make water-repellent coating and thermal insulation.
One of our design engineers was named London’s most innovative international student last year, eclipsing hundreds of entries from 49 countries with his incredible violin made from spider silk and resin.
Imperial is one of Britain’s most family-friendly workplaces, ranked amongst the top 30 by the Working Families charity. Studies have also shown that 89 per cent of our staff are proud to work for the College.
We’ve entered exciting new partnerships with companies such as Nestlé and City Proton, while expanding our existing ventures with the Gates Foundation, Citi and the UAE Diabetes Centre among others. A quarter of our research funding comes from industry and has grown by three per cent over the past few years.
Important collaborations include research with the Institute of Cancer Research to discover new ways of battling the disease, and a €15 million joint project with the University of Cyprus to make infrastructure such as airports and transportation/communication networks more efficient and secure from potential threats, such as cyber-attacks.
We’re continuing to explore new ways of funding. Research income has increased by more than £50,000 (currently £299,000) per staff member in recent years, with cash income from philanthropic donations jumping by 321 per cent to £31.9 million.
Recent milestones have included the launch of Imperial’s 13-storey I-HUB at White City that will encourage entrepreneurs and major corporations to work alongside the academic community.
Meanwhile, a new Imperial biomedical research facility has received £20 million of government funding and will support over 500 engineers, scientists and clinicians. We’ve also secured an extra £2.7 million to develop technology to improve the management of chronic conditions like COPD at home.
Our next priorities include expanding fundraising in the USA and Middle East and planning for – and seeking to shape – potential changes after Brexit.