15 December 2008

The UN Climate change Summit in Copenhagen is the biggest environmental meeting in history- so what is UCLB’s contribution? Dr Steven Schooling, Director of Engineering and Physical Sciences at UCLB, highlights some examples of how the intellectual property emerging from UCL’s diverse knowledge base is being utilised in relation to climate change and sustainability.

“One of UCLB’s key areas of focus for its technology transfer activities is the development and commercialisation of low-carbon technologies. At a recent UCLB Investor Breakfast event, an audience drawn from industry and the investment communities were briefed on a selection of developments in the area of materials technologies.”

Professor Xiao Guo from UCL Chemistry showcased his recent work on metal-hydride based materials which offer the potential to provide a safe, high-capacity and affordable source of hydrogen to fuel-cell devices – one of many low-carbon related innovations within the UCLB portfolio.

UCLB has been involved in the creation of a diverse range of spinout companies, a number of whom are working in areas relating to climate change and sustainability. The first example is Space Syntax Ltd, a spinout from the Bartlett School of Architecture whose mission is to assist in the creation of urban environments that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

One example of their work is the development of a London Pedestrian Routemap. The map arose from Space Syntax’s detailed knowledge of people movement in urban environment and aims to encourage walking in London by providing a simple, memorable picture of key walking routes in the capital.

A second example is Eurotempest Ltd, a spinout from UCL Space & Climate Physics which provides reinsurers and risk managers with forecasts for European windstorms and their localised potential wind damage to two-digit postcode resolution. With climate change generating ever-changing patterns of weather, the company’s “Properties at Risk” service provides managers in the insurance industry with up-to-date estimates of likely claims volumes in the days leading up to a weather event.

UCLB also assists in the stimulation of research collaborations and consultancy activities between UCL and the private and public sectors. For example, with support from a dedicated UCLB Business Manager, the university’s recently formed Energy Institute has been actively engaging with industry in consultancy and collaborative research projects covering issues ranging from the carbon intensity of energy to micro-combined heat and power field trials and regulations for building thermal efficiency.”

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For further information contact:
Dr Steven Schooling, Director Engineering and Physical Sciences, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000, (s.schooling@uclb.com)