This event was hosted by the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership on 22nd October 2019.
The aim of the event was to illustrate examples of engagement with industry through a number of collaborative research projects. The presentations were aligned to the Cities, Environment & Development pathway along with illustrating the use of commercial data to underpin academic research. It also provided the opportunity for networking for academics and industry partners to develop opportunities for conducting joint research.
Professor Li Wei, Chair of the UBEL DTP, opened the event and discussed the structure and breadth of the UBEL pathways along with how important it is that there is a strong partnership with industry in order to deliver high value and high impact research. Professor Paul Longley (UCL) gave the first presentation on ‘The value of academic research in the real world’. His presentation covered a broad array of examples of collaborative research and discussed the ladder of engagement with commercial organisations from sponsoring a Masters dissertation to the co-creation of data.
There were three showcases delivered by the academic and representatives from the commercial organisation;
- The Local Data Company, a retail data and analytics company, and its co-creation of data with UCL through the footfall technology ‘SmartStreetSensor’.
- Dunnhumby, a consumer data analytics company, where collaborative research is being undertaken with a UCL PhD student on the subject of ‘Understanding the customer mission’.
- Huq, a mobile geo-data analytics company, where the focus of the collaborative research with UCL is on ‘Applying new forms of data in retail location analysis’.
The final presentation was from a UCL PhD student who has recently commenced a co-funded PhD with Arup, an engineering and design company for the built environment, where the title of the research is ‘What makes a successful bicycle sharing scheme?’
There was then a question and answer session chaired by Matthew Hopkinson of Didobi and Visiting Professor at UCL. Issues around commercial sensitivity of data sharing, competing commercial organisations collaborating with academics and what is required to create strong commercial engagement and impact with industry were discussed. The event finished with networking drinks.
Matthew Hopkinson has written an interesting post event blog on ‘Where you work is more significant than where you sleep’