We revisit some of the key insights provided by guests this past season, including Fiona Neary, Prof Susie Speller, Nick McNaughton and Tas Gohir.

cover art for Beyond the Breakthrough episode 109

Technology transfer isn’t just a story of successfully spinning out companies or licensing technologies to corporates. It can also be a story of failure. Fiona Neary, the innovation operations manager at the University of Galway, for example, told us that the institution’s medtech accelerator fell victim to being too resource-intensive after the first cohort, while Mark Mann, an independent tech transfer consultant, spoke candidly about an attempt to raise a social venture fund on behalf of 12 institutions that went nowhere.

But showing the kind of resilience everyone in tech transfer will be familiar with, both learned from their failed attempts and have adapted their learnings into their current work.

As the first season of Beyond the Breakthrough ends, we revisit some of these and other key learnings from our guests over the past few months. 

Tas Gohir, for example, revealed how founders can get the attention of the NHS and why saving the healthcare system’s free model isn’t just about getting more public funding, while Nick McNaughton gave us an insight into his plan to identify talent and provide entrepreneurial training to 1,800 PhD candidates in Australia over the next decade.

We also take another look at insights provided by Prof Susie Speller (a researcher at the University of Oxford who conducts pre-competitive research in superconductors with corporates like Siemens Healthineers), Marty Reid (interim executive director of SETsquared who is looking to boost tech transfer capabilities across his membership of six universities) and we hear from a panel of global experts about how to build critical mass in innovation ecosystems.

And from our crossover episode presented by CVC Unplugged, we revisit some of the learnings from Cambridge Future Tech’s Owen Thompson, whose team is spinning deep tech companies out of universities and corporations (and keeping these startups off PitchBook — at least initially).


Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).