Insight Articles

Challenges Facing UK Technology Transfer

The need for new healthcare solutions to combat COVID-19 has
brought about significant technology transfer achievements in recent weeks.
Universities across the UK have especially contributed to new developments that have directly benefited patients and the national health service. Just one example was the collaboration between UCL and Mercedes that produced a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device in fewer than 100 hours from the initial meeting to production of the first device.

These recent eye-catching achievements of the research community in the UK provides an opportunity to reflect on the potential opportunities and challenges facing Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) once the immediate healthcare crisis is over. Could TTOs become more potent, strengthened by the UK government’s doubling of R&D investment to £22 billion, or will technology transfer sink down the list of priorities as universities confront the economic realities of the ‘new normal’?
For this Insight Paper, we spoke to 7 key opinion leaders in UK technology transfer and knowledge exchange to uncover what technology transfer will look like after COVID-19 and what opportunities exist for TTOs in the current climate.