A Year of Enterprising Activity: 2018-19

Notable trends

Industry research partnerships
Industry research partnerships have continued to grow, maintaining their positive long-term trend. Although the sector classification approach has changed, engagement by sector is broadly stable versus the year prior. The bulk of awards continue to come from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, representing more than a quarter of the total number of active projects. Engagement with heavy industrial sectors such as chemicals, oil and gas, machinery, and aerospace also continues to be strong and makes up a considerable proportion of overall engagement.

Inventive output, licensing and IP-based startups formed
A major changeover in technology transfer was implemented in early 2019, as activities were brought in-house from Imperial Innovations. New processes were adopted to optimise our technology transfer commercial activities within Enterprise. We established a robust invention disclosure system to guide us through the various stages from Disclosure to Commercialisation. As a result, some of our metrics have changed (see scorecard). Despite the changes, last year we filed a total of 85 new patent filings based on technologies developed at Imperial College London and 63 patents were granted. Our active patent portfolio (excluding commercialised patent families) of 332 patent families indicates a healthy pipeline of good commercialisation prospects. In 2019 we completed the formation of three new IP start-ups companies: Zihipp, Solar Flow and Insendi, based on work undertaken at the Faculty of Medicine, Engineering and Business School taking our IP Startups Portfolio to a total of 72 companies.

Student startups
Student startup formations continues its year-on-year growth, with a 49% rise in the number of startups formed.

Academic consultancy activities through Imperial Consultants grew across all key metrics versus the year prior. The number of companies supported increased by 22% to 494 companies. The number of lead consultants increased by 15% to 330, indicating growth in Imperial Consultants’ internal client base. The number of projects increased by 21% to 666 and overall consulting income grew by 12%, reaching just over £10m.

Industry classification
This year categorisation of industry sectors has adopted a new classification methodology.