Working with multiple clients of various sizes across a variety of industries, IBP has been able to help support many businesses and solve challenges. 

But how does it work and what does that look like? We have curated a selection of short examples of how we have enabled business development, with previous clients, and what that experience was like.  Contact our team to find out more about how to work with IBP.

Future of Water 
Imperial Business Partners worked with Imperial Tech Foresight to develop a bespoke workshop for a collaborative project on the future of water in the UK. The co-creation sessions focused on understanding and deconstructing the changing landscape of water in the UK exploring social, technological, environmental, economic and political factors together with leading expert academics from the College and external experts. The outcome of the work was to gain a rapid understanding of the changing opportunities and risks for water exploring the present, possible and probable futures by exploring the potential outcomes of the potential implementation of technologies and emerging shifts cross secondary and tertiary consequences. 

The design of the session was bespoke for the client. The aim was to balance future provocative thinking and grounding technology insight from Imperial experts. As an example, we highlighted future areas, such as "cloud harvesting technologies" and "waterways enhanced with nootropics" to more present future opportunities, such as "self-healing water pipelines" and "digital water". Ideas were discussed and placed on a futures timeline connected to their impact. The final result is a designed timeline that the client used to share their perspective on future waterways. It also helped the client advance their thinking in this area focusing on stretchy future opportunities that go beyond the present-day ideas and highlighting positive disruption in the area for the next ten years and beyond. Exploring futures can help to think beyond ‘current mindset’ and presentism to consider future impact and opportunity that brings businesses out of their organizational thinking. It also helps identify weak signals that might lead to new business prospects.   

An International Chamber of Commerce 
Imperial Tech Foresight curated a series of bespoke, interactive workshops with a group of international manufacturing organisations to explore how future design processes might evolve in light of new market demands, and what might happen when Industry 4.0 allows the development of more holistic manufacturing systems. The impact of additive manufacturing and advanced knowledge sharing was also explored during this two-day immersive programme. 

Through IBP, an International Chamber of Commerce was able to tap into the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Imperial, gaining accelerated access to new knowledge, insight and world-class academic expertise, subsequently providing their network with a credible vision of the pioneering technologies disrupting the manufacturing sector.  

A global bank 
Banks and other financial services companies are increasingly benefiting from the specialist expertise of academics at Imperial.  Our world leading researchers are helping them to advance thinking and innovate in areas including cybersecurity, data analytics, fintech and climate finance. 

One of our partners, a global banking network, recently published Lending to Low-Carbon Technologies, a report on financing for low-carbon solutions. Delivered through IBP and authored by colleagues from Imperial College Business School’s Centre for Climate Finance and Investment, the report examines how finance can better support low-carbon solutions and help meet the UK government’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

This global banking network is the latest of several banks to benefit from working with the Centre. Elsewhere within the Imperial College Business School, financial services companies are working with the Centre for Financial Technology to identify new methods for capturing and analysing data, reimagining current systems and our notions of money and value to better serve businesses and society. 

An energy provider 
After an initial client scoping session, Imperial Business Partners were able to leverage the expertise of the Energy Futures Lab to commission a report around electricity market design.  The aim of this piece of work was to identify, critique, and discuss how electricity markets can be reimagined for a significantly decarbonised electricity production mix in the mid-21st century.  The work primarily focused on how market design affects investment in large-scale generation technologies that are expected to provide the main part of the future low carbon electricity supply (offshore wind, large onshore wind, and nuclear) in the UK context.  Upon delivery, IBP curated an interactive roundtable discussion involving the client, authors and individuals from BEIS to deliberate the report’s key findings.   

An international airline 
Following an in-depth client consultation, Imperial Business Partners contracted The Leonardo Centre to carry out an in-depth analysis of the quality, degree of maturity, and effectiveness of the organisation’s efforts towards a more sustainable operating model.  

The resulting report built on the uniqueness of the Leonardo-Golden database; the first to focus on global corporate initiatives designed specifically to address the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Leonardo Centre were able to leverage the most advanced linguistic analytical techniques, such as machine learning and natural language processing to identify and codify all the sustainability initiatives worldwide from the public and sectors, including institutions, cities, and universities.  This subsequently provided the client with a robust, objective, evolutionary assessment of the status of their organisation and industry through an analysis of its behaviour and sustainability initiatives. 

A global bank 
As part of a six-part, co-designed webinar series, Imperial Business Partners scoped and delivered an insight session focusing on emerging distributed ledger technologies and the barriers which are inhibiting the adoption and mainstreaming of cryptocurrencies.  Drawing on academic expertise from the Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering, the webinar looked to address important questions such as how do you create an organisational design that can balance centralisation with decentralisation?  How does blockchain change the way we perceive trust and what extent can delegation be performed in a decentralised system?  To complement the academic theory and demonstrate the application of emerging fintech, a start-up showcase was incorporated, forging industry connections with Imperial Enterprise Lab and our unique, entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

How have companies benefited from Imperial and IBP?

Global law firm develops in-house data-science team

Two Imperial alumni were recruited by law firm DLA Piper after their data science projects helped the firm uncover valuable insights in its data. The two students developed a tool for analysing billing data that helped optimise the staffing profiles it applies to different work, and its efficacy led DLA Piper to establish their own in-house data science team, with the two students joining when they graduated.

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By working directly with them you can develop pathways for your next cohort of strategists and practitioners, as well as developing development opportunities for your current employees. 

And more than that – by embracing innovation, you are investing in making a meaningful impact for your customers, staff and stakeholders, while building the platform for profitable returns in the future. 

Long-term partners for projects small and large

Engineering company Dyson, known for innovative home appliances such as vacuum cleaners, fans and hand dryers, have worked with Imperial College London since 2005. Initially exploring technologies to improve computer vision through work with Professor Andrew Davison and Dr Stefan Leutenegger, they have subsequently supported further research across the College, becoming a keystone partner for the Dyson School of Design Engineering, where projects range from behavioural psychology and researching best-practice in design principles through to new product innovations.

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It’s a far cry from the ‘ivory towers’ of expertise providing limited impact and few applicable insights or societal benefits that was once the perception from outside the academic bubble.

Increasingly, researchers are themselves well-versed on the importance of working with funders or investors too, and have become more IP-savvy– recognising that the democratisation of science doesn’t have to mean foregoing commercial opportunities.