Alison Campbell: UK Government Office for Technology Transfer

Alison Campbell, a GUV Lifetime Achievement awardee and former chair of AUTM, took on a new challenge in April last year when she left Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) after nine years to take over as CEO of the newly established UK Government Office for Technology Transfer (GOTT) — responsible for some 800 departments, agencies and arms-length organisations.

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Marc Sedam: NYU Langone Health

Marc Sedam is the vice-president, technology opportunities and ventures, at New York University where he sits within NYU Langone Health. But his team is also responsible for tech transfer on NYU’s overseas campuses, and Marc tells us about the challenges this poses.

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Ilian Iliev: NetScientific

Ilian Iliev is the chief executive of NetScientific, an AIM-listed investor that specialises in helping its medtech, therapeutics, sustainability and robotics portfolio grow in three key markets: the US, the UK and Israel.

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Michael Poisel: PCI Ventures

Michael Poisel is the executive director of PCI Ventures, the unit responsible for University of Pennsylvania’s spinout portfolio — which is more than 250 companies strong. He tells us about Penn’s fairly unique system which does not allow faculty members to serve in any executive function at their spinout and which also forces faculty members to have a minority stake in the business.

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10 Year Analysis

We’re kicking off the new season with something a bit different: senior editor Maija Palmer asks regular host Thierry Heles the questions to talk about his recently published analysis looking at 10 years’ worth of spinout deals.

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Bernhard Weber: University of Graz

Bernhard Weber is the managing director of Unicorn, the innovation hub of University of Graz which opened its doors to spinouts and startups in April 2021. Unicorn offers co-working space and runs programmes like Spin-Off Lab and Startup Werkstatt, which support researchers and fledgling entrepreneurs, and it taps into the EU ecosystem through its participation in healthtech-, greentech- and smart city-focused programme Urban Tech.

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Vilma Purienė: Vilnius Tech

Lithuania is a relatively small country of just under 3 million people that only regained independence in 1990. It’s also only started taking tech transfer seriously over the past decade, but in that time has seen exponential growth.

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Randi Elisabeth Taxt: VIS

Randi Elisabeth Taxt is the senior adviser at VIS, the regional tech transfer office for Vestlandet (its owners include University of Bergen, Haukeland University Hospital, the Institute of Marine Research, Siva, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, and NHH Norwegian Business School) and she tells us about the history of tech transfer in the country, which means its regional approach emerged organically.

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Ole Kristian Hjelstuen: Inven2

Ole Kristian Hjelstuen is the chief executive of Inven2, the tech transfer organisation owned by University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital, which doesn’t just handle all of the typical research commercialisation aspects but also manages clinical trials at its partner institutions (which include all the health trusts in the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority).

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Simon Bond: Bristol Innovations

Today is Simon Bond’s first day as director of Bristol Innovations, an initiative launched by University of Bristol earlier this year to accelerate entrepreneurship among its researchers, students and staff. Bond joins from SETsquared, the global number one incubator backed by the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, which he had led since 2014.

Bond tells us what attracted him to the new job and why it’s less of a goodbye and more of a deep dive with colleagues he’d already been collaborating with for years. He ponders what makes Bristol so successful at spinouts (a report earlier this year found its spinouts generate far above the average UK return per pound invested) and what lessons learned around diversity, equity and inclusion he learned at SETsquared that he hopes to apply in the new job.

He also talks about the importance of inspirational founders who are giving back to the ecosystem, like Science Creates founder Harry Destecroix, and why quantum, immersive media and telecoms are some of the sectors that Bristol Innovations will focus on.