UBEL DTP Business Collaboration Showcase Event 22nd October 2019

Business collaboration Event

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’

University/Industry Collaboration in Artificial Intelligence

AI original

This event was jointly hosted by Enterprise Europe Network, UCL Innovation & Enterprise and the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership on 3 July 2018.

The event had a hot topic-focused roundtable who delved into the detail of today’s most pressing AI questions with AI specialists including London business leaders, top academics as well as Ph.D. and postdoctoral researchers.

Leading UCL and Birkbeck academics also reported from the frontline of applied academic research into AI, highlighting the impact of their collaborations with London businesses.

Our expert panel included:

  • Professor Bradley Love (UCL) on building useful representations based on human activity patterns in machine learning

Professor of Cognitive and Decision Sciences in Experimental Psychology and Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute for data science

  • Professor James Thomas (UCL) on harnessing the power of AI for evidence synthesis and interpretation

Professor of Social Research and Policy and Associate Director at the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre

  • Professor Fred Dick (UCL/Birkbeck) on smart approaches to individualised learning and setting up academic/business collaborations

Professor of Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience, Director of the Birkbeck/UCL Centre for NeuroImaging and Project Co-ordinator of the INTERLEARN Ph.D. programme


Some of the questions the event aimed to answer: Where are the latest ideas coming from? What changes are coming and what will they mean for London businesses? How can we get ready to take advantage of future government funding to support joint university/industry working?

Data Analytics, Innovation and the Impact on Business and Society Event


As part of UCL’s Impact Series the CDRC in partnership with UCL Innovation & Enterprise and the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership organised a networking event at Senate House, University of London on 10 October 2018.

For full event details please read the CDRC blog post .

Matthew Hopkinson, Visiting Lecturer at University College London and facilitator of the event, has written a very interesting post event blog on ‘Why Academia and Business can learn more from each other

Please find the presentation slides here: UCL Data Analytics Event_10 October_Presentation Slides

Photos are on flickr.