The Imperial Innovations Technology Transfer Office provides dedicated support to Imperial College inventors
Working together with you, we will assess new technologies for their commercial potential, and where appropriate we will protect new intellectual property through patents, copyright and other means of protection.
We are able to support the development of new technologies, providing commercial advice and proof of concept funding to validate new ideas and make them commercially attractive.
You can read more about our process below, and in our Frequently Asked Questions.
The first step towards developing an idea from your lab into a new product, or forming a new company around your research, is to contact our team, who will discuss with you all available options. Alternatively, you can fill in an invention disclosure form. Our team will review your idea and contact you about it.
Contact us about your idea
Invention disclosure form
What's in it for me?
Benefits to you
A significant proportion of net revenue from commercialisation is shared directly with inventors, their Faculty and the College through the College’s ‘Rewards to Inventors’ scheme*. Where the technology goes into a spinout company, the inventor can choose to receive shares in that company, and may also benefit from consultancy or directors’ fees.
Both you and your Faculty will gain credit for an invention which goes on to be used widely. In addition, technology licences and spinouts often result in collaborative research programmes, which can attract high-calibre students and staff, as well as research funding which can benefit the department. An inventor can develop professionally by taking an advisory role in a spinout company and the resulting commercial credibility can lead to further industrial collaborations.
Seeing the results of your research leading into business growth, employment and wider benefits to society can be extremely rewarding.
Intellectual property is recognised as an important component of Research Impact and can assist with obtaining many types of funding. Translation is now a key part of the College’s strategy.
Making life easier for you
Will Innovations delay publication?
Innovations will never delay publication without your consent. We understand that academic publication is of paramount importance and work quickly to ensure delays are not necessary. If you have an idea, please talk to us as early as possible.
Will it cost me money?
No. We pay all patent and legal costs and will only recover them in the event of successful commercialisation.
How much of my time will it take up?
The amount of time required will depend on how involved you wish to be with the onward development of the technology. Work done to refine a patent, for example, might lead to further development of technology which can then form the basis of new patents, and commercial work will enhance your curriculum vitae. Many inventors from the College have chosen to involve themselves deeply in spinout companies based on technologies they have developed and have found they are able to balance successfully their College and commercial careers.
Moving ideas forwards
Moving in the same direction
The translation of technology is key to Imperial College's strategy. Imperial is one of the only UK universities which has had the application of its research to industry, commerce and healthcare central to its mission since its foundation.
"We will ensure that translating both into, and from, practice continues to remain an integral part of how we maximise value for society from our education and research"
Imperial College London Strategy 2010-2014
"We are committed to working together to continue embedding throughout the research base a culture in which excellent research departments consistently engage with business, the public sector and civil society organisations, and are committed to carrying new ideas through to beneficial outcomes across the full range of their academic activity."
Joint statement on impact by HEFCE, RCUK and UUK 2011
"The satisfying feeling of hopefully advancing science and doing some good has always been my main motivation"
Professor Colin CaroCo-founder of Veryan Medical and Heliswirl
Many translational funding grants exist to help researchers develop their technologies into marketable applications. These often require the input of a technology transfer company such as Innovations to provide evidence in support of the technology’s commercial viability.
In addition to funding over 84 Proof of Concept projects since 2004, we have assisted with more than 50 translational grant applications, a service we provide free of charge to staff at the College.
Support for funding applications
Innovations supports College academics, departments and Research Services with applications and bids for major funding. Examples include the multi-million pound GSK aADI (which began in 2003) and the Climate KIC.
Did You Know
We have supported more than 50 translational funding applications for Imperial College London since 2006
Building new businesses
Forming a new start-up company can be an immensely rewarding experience, moving technologies to market, providing valuable services, creating jobs and potentially bringing in research income for your laboratory.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Entrepreneurs in Residence are experienced, successful business people employed by Imperial Innovations to review a portfolio of inventions for commercial opportunities.
Often, an EIR who identifies a promising opportunity will work closely with the inventor to develop it and become founding Chairman or CEO of the new business.
A number of our spinout companies were developed through the work of EIRs, including EVO Electric, Plaxica and Mycologix. Occasionally, an EIR may approach you with the aim of building a portfolio of technologies and providing you with sector specific advice. If you would value a conversation with one of our Entrepreneurs in Residence
"We worked extensively with innovations to create the company. They are now a significant shareholder and are playing a very supportive role in developing the business."
Jo Hajnal Co-founder of IXICO
Creating and supporting new businesses
Imperial Innovations forms and supports new businesses and works alongside inventors to take their inventions to market through the most appropriate route of commercialisation. For technologies with a wide range of applications, the best route is often the formation of a new company.
If the inventors of a new technology decide with Innovations that a spinout company is the best route, Innovations will form the company, provide seed-funding where appropriate, recruit quality management teams and may provide further investment funding if necessary. The team is responsible for the incubation of these new businesses to ensure they have the greatest possible chance of success in their early stages.
Members of our Technology Transfer team have backgrounds in a variety of industry sectors and can access expertise in all areas. As a company matures, we may lead or co-lead larger scale investments to provide financing for the company to develop its technology further. Innovations has access to a broad network of investment partners and has significant investment capability, allowing us to deploy the funds necessary to further develop products, scale up manufacturing, run clinical trials or market new technologies and recruit great teams.