Thursday 15th June saw UCLB host its 30th anniversary Summer Reception event in UCL’s historical Portico building and Flaxman Gallery.
The evening featured reflections on the last three decades of helping academic entrepreneurs turn great ideas into successful products and businesses with real-world impact.
Dr Anne Lane CEO of UCLB, shared some key highlights from 2023, as well as the past three decades, noting some of the big milestones of its associated spinouts, including the recent news of Quell Therapeutics’s collaboration with AstraZeneca:
“We’ve seen no less than five public listings of UCLB portfolio companies on NASDAQ since 2018 – MeiraGTx, Orchard Therapeutics, Autolus Therapeutics, Freeline Therapeutics and Achilles Therapeutics. Each one of those companies is a fantastic achievement, but each also represents a potentially huge impact in the treatment of human disease and benefit to patients.”
Looking to the future, Anne expressed a desire for UCLB to maximise what it finds at UCL, creating a more diverse portfolio with an increased focus on engineering and computer science, as well as other departments at UCL including Arts & Humanities. “We want to nurture more social ventures too. These are projects that don’t tend to generate huge profits, but they do create huge impact.”
Professor Geraint Rees, Vice Provost of RIGE, meanwhile, provided insight including how UCL’s annual impact of £9.9bn across the UK is comparable to the trade boost delivered by the London 2012 Olympics.
He added that London’s universities, including UCL, collectively produce a spinout company for every £35.5m invested in research and development, comparable to the cities of Boston, Los Angeles or New York City – each with more and larger universities.
The party later raised a glass to another 30 years of future success, joint innovation and impact for UCL and UCLB.
Running alongside the event was a dedicated UCLB exhibition (located in UCL’s North Cloisters), highlighting the work from organisations including social venture company Trim Tots, a healthy lifestyle programme for children; Turning Landscape CIC, which has created paint for coal mine waste; Senceive, which has developed a wireless enabled remote condition monitoring solution; Satalia, a global leader in enterprise AI, and Bramble Energy, which is commercialising a revolutionary polymer fuel cell technology.
To find out more about the people and technologies that are using the knowledge generated at UCL to create economic growth, tackle global challenges and change the world, visit the exhibition, which will be running until 13 October, 2023.
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