Researcher working in lab

Powering innovation and economic growth across the UK.

Key facts

  • Innovation is core to Imperial: In 2019/20, Imperial academic and student start-ups attracted an estimated £66 million in external investment and were supporting 1,311 jobs (HESA HE-BCI 19/20).
  • Imperial is one of the most collaborative institutions in the UK, between 2017 and 2021, we shared research awards with over 600 and co-authored publications with around 800 UK organisations all over the UK.
  • White City Campus is home to 73 companies ranging from startups to scaleups to large corporations and the White City Incubator employs over 120 people and has raised over £100m since 2016. 


Through our academic, industry and community partnerships Imperial has an impact well beyond our campuses: our interactive impact map demonstrates how science, innovation and skills generated at Imperial have an impact across the UK. Our White City innovation ecosystem supports entrepreneurial staff and students, and industry partners, to move cutting-edge research into ideation, incubation and growth settings – creating impact in London and beyond:

  • Puraffinity, a green technology company focused on designing smart materials for environmental applications, has been part of Imperial’s innovation ecosystem since 2014. They moved to our White City Incubator in 2017 before expanding to a bigger research facility at White City to accelerate their growth. The company is establishing a new manufacturing centre near Middlesbrough which will reduce the impact of chemical pollution on the environment and public health. 
  • Imperial start-up Fresh Check has produced the first affordable test for surface contamination with a simple colour changing spray. Utilising facilities in Peterborough and Carmarthenshire, Fresh Check are creating new products which will be made in the UK and exported globally. Simpler hygiene verification will make it easier for UK SMEs employing 135,000 in the food/drink sector to expand.