Alice Malivert, postdoctoral research fellow in the plant growth room.

Imperial is home to world-leading research and innovation.

Results from the Research Excellence Framework rank Imperial top in the UK overall for research, with a greater proportion of world-leading research than any other UK university. Our White City Campus provides a platform for innovation, entrepreneurship and multidisciplinary research. Academics here focus on ground-breaking research and turning their ideas into new ventures – in areas such as quantum engineering, clean energy and machine learning.

In 2022–23, we continued our commitment to both discovery-led research and the translation of that work into tangible benefits for society.

2022–23 in focus

Launch of Institute for Deep Tech Entrepreneurship

Imperial launched a pioneering new Institute for Deep Tech Entrepreneurship in September 2022. The Institute aims to drive the development of groundbreaking, ambitious technologies with world-changing potential, and to support a thriving Deep Tech ecosystem across the UK and beyond.

Deep tech refers to the collective innovation of products or services to addressing the world’s most pressing challenges – including climate change, developing sustainable food and water systems, and improving human health.

The Institute builds on Imperial’s strong research foundation and our entrepreneurial culture. It focuses on three key areas: supporting commercialisation of deep tech, addressing ecosystem and policy challenges, and developing a research platform.

Navigating to the future

A prototype quantum sensor built at Imperial, with potential application in GPS-free navigation, has been tested in collaboration with the Royal Navy.

The test marked an important milestone in bringing new quantum technologies out of the lab and into real-world settings. The experiment is the first step towards understanding the application and exploitation of quantum-enabled navigation, which could provide significant navigational advantages in satellite-denied areas.

Changing the face of trial monitoring

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers has developed a way to monitor the progression of movement disorders using motion capture technology and AI.

The team of AI and clinical researchers combined human movement data gathered from wearable tech, with new medical AI technology, to identify movement patterns, predict future disease progression and increase the efficiency of clinical trials in two very rare disorders – Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and Friedreich’s ataxia (FA).

Imperial selected for US $148m AI initiative

Up to twenty Imperial fellows will be funded for up to six years, as part of a new initiative to support them in learning and applying AI methods to their research. Imperial was selected alongside eight leading universities across the world, as part of The Eric and Wendy Schmidt AI in Science Postdoctoral Fellowship.

The $148m global initiative aims to accelerate the next scientific revolution by applying AI to research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Graduates win prize for packaging invention

A startup founded by Imperial graduates won £1 million in the Prince of Wales’ Earthshot prize in December 2022. Notpla, founded by Imperial alumni Pierre Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia developed a seaweed-based biodegradable alternative to plastic.

The team won in the Earthshot category ‘Build a Waste-Free World’ awarded to efforts to eliminate food waste, single-use packaging and inspire a new generation of people, companies and industries to reuse, repurpose and recycle.

The Notpla team met while studying Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial and the Royal College of Art, where they received support from Imperial Enterprise Lab, the Centre for Climate Change Innovation and the Imperial White City Incubator.

Read next

Imperial in 2022-23: Education and the student experience