NHS Technology Transfer

Our process

While Technology Transfer is not always a simple, linear process, the steps below give some guidance on what you should expect when you work with us.

The Idea

The idea comes from you! Sometimes the most innovative, progressive ideas evolve as a direct result of day to day activities.

Invention Disclosure

If you have an idea, contact us as early as possible. We will arrange to meet with you to discuss your idea in more detail, and then we will progress to begin the commercialisation process. It is important to note that anything you disclose to us is considered confidential.

If you have an idea please let us know here.

Technology and Market Evaluation

Invention disclosure will be followed by a period of assessment where we will evaluate the potential of your concept and find the best way forward for the idea. We will look at:

  • Novelty
  • Potential market
  • Market attractiveness
  • Clinical & patient benefits
  • Commercial opportunities

We use this information to determine how we may best protect your idea. Imperial Innovations will look into ways to help support development of your ideas, either through public funding schemes or the Imperial Innovations Internal Proof of Concept fund .

IP Protection

IP protection is an important step to commercialising your idea as it will provide legal protection to secure against unauthorised use of your invention. We will determine the type of IP your invention entails (patents, know-how, copyright, trademarks or design rights), and work with you through the IP protection process.


We proactively source development partners from academia and industry whilst working with the inventors during the development of their project. We work with the inventors to raise finance for the development work and negotiate and conclude agreements with development partners. Overall we act as a virtual product development entity.


At Imperial Innovations, we work closely with you to determine the best route to market for your technology. Often, this will be to license your technology to an industrial partner. We license technology to small, growing companies, as well as large established businesses. We will find the right partner to license your technology, and negotiate commercial agreement on your behalf.

Spinout formation

As opposed to licencing technology, we may decide that forming a spinout company is the most appropriate route to commercialisation.
For ideas which have the potential for a wide range of applications, the best route is often the formation of a new company. Imperial Innovations has the business expertise, network of contacts and investment capabilities to form new companies and help increase their survival and financial security in their early stages. We invest in these businesses in order to accelerate development and increase their value. In fact, Imperial Innovations is one of the most prolific early stage investors in the UK.

The Technology Transfer team also manage the Imperial Incubator on behalf of Imperial College London. The Incubator is a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, providing office and laboratory space for early-stage companies based on intellectual property developed at Imperial College or elsewhere.