Gateway to the forefront of science and technology.

Working with us, businesses secure competitive advantage by working with world-leading experts in a broad range of areas and getting closer to promising talent, emerging innovation, start-ups, scale-ups, and other businesses that are part of our innovation ecosystem. 

We offer dedicated support for businesses that want to extract the maximum benefit from their interactions with Imperial. We deliver a portfolio of services that will support decision-making in your business and finds new solutions based on science and research. 

Through bespoke pathfinder activities, led by dedicated engagement managers, we enable businesses to connect with and benefit from the world-leading expertise, facilities and resources at Imperial College London. We build long-term, productive, collaborative relationships with businesses around the world.

Over 20 partners have already joined our network. They benefit from a close relationship with Imperial, a global top ten university and the most innovative in the UK.

We are committed to providing a thriving environment for sharing knowledge, exchanging insights, building partnerships to accelerate innovation, and scanning the horizon for new developments.

Joining Imperial Business Partners (IBP) puts you at the forefront of science and technology.

How universities can help your business innovate now and for the future

Companies that invest in innovation produce greater returns in the medium and longer-term than competitors that don’t – even in troubled times.

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to think creatively in order to meet targets, reassess their space in the sector or reconsider their role in helping the world recover from the coronavirus

crisis. Now more than ever, innovation is at the front and centre of business innovation strategy. 

It’s not only about intellectual capital. Innovation is an iterative process that takes different shapes in different businesses, but there is one common thread across industry sectors: the crucial role of collaboration.  

Partnerships bring cross-disciplinary fertilisation, new scenarios, new challenges2. In order to enable step-changes in competitive advantage, companies need to step up their game and bring new value and ideas to their innovative ecosystem. Universities are perfectly placed to enable them to make big decisions and support them through implementation. 

From finding new applications of established technology, utilising multi-disciplinary research to address major challenges, or engaging the curious minds of scientifically credible start-ups and entrepreneurs, the collaborative, inquisitive and innovative culture embodied by universities is exactly what businesses require, both now and in the future

In the video below Professor David Gann and Dr Ian MacKenzie discuss their research and how findings have enhanced IBM’s capability to foster radical, client-centric innovation, sharing knowledge across institutional boundaries and promoting mutual innovation opportunities.  

High-value businesses founded from university research

Man holding fuel cell

Ceres Power

Credited in early 2020 as the UK’s most valuable cleantech company, worth an estimated £600 million, Ceres Power’s fuel cell technology was pioneered through projects in the 1990s before forming a company from the research, which included Professor Nigel Brandon (now Dean of the Faculty of Engineering) among its founders. Startups focusing on different aspects of fuel cell technology and energy storage at Imperial College London continue to attract investment, thanks to the College’s successful track record within the sector.

Man holding covid test kit

DNA Nudge

Building on over 30 years of world-leading research by Professor Chris Toumazou, Regius Professor of Engineering at Imperial College London, the device utilises simple low-power lab-on-a-chip technology to enable consumers to make healthier choices. It has been quickly adapted to produce COVID-19 testing kits that provide results within 90 minutes, with the UK Government announcing a contract for 5.8 million devices, for a total purchase of over £160 million.

Examples of seaweed polymer in use


Student startup Notpla formed in only 2013 with the support of Imperial’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through the use of a seaweed-based polymer, the group created edible water bottles, which could then be adapted for multiple purposes, addressing the problem of single-use plastics and non-recyclable materials in food and drink packaging. Among their clients so far are a number of sporting events organisers, such as the London Marathon and Vitality.

The full package: Staff, students and state-of-the-art facilities

Not only are universities home to some of the best and brightest experts across a wide range of fields, from economic theory to translational medicine, and from manufacturing processes to environmental policy, the communities themselves are innovative and inquisitive by nature.  

They include academic leaders who know their research inside and out, but who have also been able to rethink an entire problem from start to finish to truly address the challenges.  

They are increasingly collaborative in their outlook, recognising that insights from colleagues who work across different subjects allow for a broader perspective and holistic approach to answering a question. 

They attract and support ambitious students, full of ideas, ready to disrupt an entire industry or challenge ‘the way it’s always been done’. 

And they provide access to state-of-the-art equipment, highly skilled technicians and professional support staff who can help manage a product or idea from concept to creation. Technology transfer and corporate partnerships are part-and-parcel of university life in the 21st century. 

Find out more

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Imperial College London
Level 3, Faculty Building
South Kensington Campus
South Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ

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Insights and events

Gain insights from the latest research at Imperial with our Insight Briefings and Technical Digests.

Discover our upcoming events and content from our previous events.

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