Imperial College London

Industry collaboration and entrepreneurship reach new heights


The team from alumni startup Jelly Drops

The team from alumni startup Jelly Drops

Imperial is using its world-leading academic expertise to address real-world challenges through industry partnerships and entrepreneurship.

Imperial has been using its academic expertise to solve real-world challenges through record numbers of industry partnerships and consultancy projects, while more and more Imperial students are launching startup companies with support from the College’s entrepreneurship programmes.

These are some of the facts revealed in the newest Review of Enterprising Activity, Imperial’s annual look at the collaborative work its enterprising academics, students and professional staff are doing with other organisations to address societal challenges through partnerships, technologies and startups.

Dr Rebeca Santamaria-Fernandez, Acting Director of Enterprise, said: “By working with businesses or pursuing entrepreneurship, Imperial academics, researchers and students are applying their talent and expertise to make a real-world impact and create a better society. The College is offering more and more support to its enterprising community and it’s really fulfilling for us to see this hard work reflected in the case studies and figures featured in the latest Review.”

Record figures

The Review reveals that in the College year 2018-19, students launched a record-breaking 59 startups, while researchers carried out research projects with £64.8 million of industry funding and 666 consultancy projects for companies and other external organisations – the highest figures recorded in the five years to 2018/19.

The Review also shows how Imperial continued to turn its research into startups and technologies available for licensing during the bedding-in period after its tech transfer function was brought in-house in early 2019.

Real-world impact

These enterprising activities support the College’s academic mission to help make society more sustainable, healthy, smart and resilient. Alongside the data, the Review features case studies that help illustrate the impact of the work, showing, for example, how:

  • Research with chemical and pharmaceutical companies is helping make manufacturing greener and smarter.
  • Academic consultants are helping London cleantech companies innovate in battery design and wearable technology.
  • Academic and student startups are advancing solutions such as a new platform for online and mixed-mode learning and hydrating sweets for people with dementia.
  • Technologies developed by academics and researchers, which are now available for licensing, could help create a more resilient built environment.

Learn more

You can learn more in the Review of Enterprising Activity, available now to download as a PDF or view online.

Further information on ways businesses can work with Imperial’s staff and students, and the support available for enterprising staff and students is available on the Enterprise website.


David Silverman

David Silverman

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Enterprise, Comms-strategy-Entrepreneurial-ecosystem, Entrepreneurship, Student-entrepreneurship, Imperial-Consultants, White-City-Campus, Imperial-Innovations, Comms-strategy-Real-world-benefits
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