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.

She tells us what convinced her to take the job and why it’s been a year full of wonderful surprises, such as finding innovation everywhere from the National Physics Laboratory to Kew Gardens to the Government Internal Audit Agency.

She also ponders the differences between government and university tech transfer, explains why GOTT’s remit does and doesn’t cover the whole UK and tells us how GOTT’s grant fund operates on a very flexible model.

Further listening

If you want to hear more about Alison’s earlier career, you can listen to her first appearance on Beyond the Breakthrough where she discusses everything from KTI and AUTM to her work on harmonising knowledge transfer metrics for the EU.


         Audible logo           


Please note, the intro and outro have been omitted.

Alison, welcome again to the podcast.

It’s great to be back.

You are my first return guest, so I’m quite excited about having you on again.

Well, I suppose if nothing else, it gives people hope that there are more jobs out there in the sector.

That is very true. To start with, Government Office of Technology Transfer is quite a new organisation, so can you give me a little bit of an overview of what it does, why it was set up?

So we are indeed quite new. Although scarily, I’ve been in the role for 10 months and believe me, that’s gone really speedily. Our aim is to help, I call it, help culture change happen.

We are very much focused on cross-government UK public sector research, development, and also all of the other good stuff that happens through government investment, both in its core departments, departments like DEFRA, for example, departments like HM Treasury, through to what we call the arms-length bodies, which can be organisations, anything from the Met Office, UKRI and its constituent bodies, the museums and galleries. So really it’s sort of quite a broad remit.

Now, our job is to try and encourage engagement with intellectual property and what we’re referring to as knowledge assets, the management of those and the good exploitation practice around those. And I can talk about that a little bit more in a minute.

We basically came out — the history is quite helpful, so we came out of something called a balance sheet review in Treasury. Lots of detail this sounds like, but it actually says the mark came from and the desire came out of Treasury, where there was a recognition that intangible assets in which it invested were perhaps not being utilised to their maximum.

It was followed by, as we often have in the UK, a really good review undertaken by Andrew Mackintosh, the Mackintosh Review, that further probed that, came out with a whole bunch of recommendations in early 21. And one of those was to set up a new office to help support this endeavour.

So via something called the Rose Book, which is an HM government guide, how to look at knowledge assets, how to manage them and develop them — that came along the way, but our office was born out of that.

So we came out of something called a knowledge asset team that had really good Treasury people in it and some people for what was the department BEIS. And they worked together to support the review, to support the development of the Rose Book, and then when we came into existence, our team has changed in its composition, but its remit is very much fixed and its challenge is great but fun.

There’s quite a lot to unpack there, so I think we’ll return to quite a few bullet points there. Just because you finished all the composition of your team, I might ask you, what does your team look like now then? Is it still Treasury people plus people like yourselves with expertise in tech transfer?

We are a mix. We’re a mix of primarily policy and tech transfer people. And I think that’s one of the things that makes it really interesting, as well as the actual nature of the job itself. It’s just a wonderful mix of people.

So we’ve got experienced civil servants who are really familiar with policy, policy development. And some of the aspects that we look at are policy related barriers, incentives, challenges, what can we do across government to help support change there if we need to engage in a kind of policy dialogue.

And tech transfer folk that we have recruited externally, whose job it is to help support identification of IP and new opportunities, all the stuff that we might be familiar with, except the way in which we need to operate as a small central unit.

It’s about working with a range of organisations, we call them our clients, working with clients in the field, helping support them at various stages in their IP and exploitation journey, rather than us being a central office for tech transfer, that actually takes things from cradle to grave.

So to a certain extent, you could perhaps think of us as a team of consultants who are there to advise, support in particular projects, and also signpost.

Do you work throughout the UK? Or are you specifically working with organisations in England?

So our remit is UK-wide, but there are issues to do with that which is devolved, and that which isn’t. So certain areas of generally in government are the responsibility of the devolved nations and so our remit wouldn’t extend that far, because there’s aspects that they should be and rightly are responsible for.

So I’d say primarily, but not exclusively, England, and it’s quite nuanced. So there is that slightly broader remit.

Okay.You’ve mentioned a few organisations already, DEFRA, Treasury, the museums. How many government organisations or arm’s length departments, how many are there?

Well, depending how you look at it, and depending how you cut the pie, you could say around about 800. In a practical sense, when you begin to distill that down, we’re probably looking at somewhere between 200 to 300 organisations that are potentially in scope.

We’re primarily looking at those organisations that fall under something called the central government category. And by central government, it is some of those departments that I’ve spoken of, Treasury, etc. And then it’s the organisations that sit beneath them.

That then brings it down to something that’s slightly more manageable, but as I say, in the early hundreds.

Manageable in a relative sense, I suppose, compared to the 800 or so. Are there any organisations that are in your remit that surprised you or that you didn’t even know existed before you took this job?

Oh, I don’t know. This whole job has been a surprise to me and fortunately, a delight in the process. There are and some of the sort of surprises have come in different ways. One of them that I really, really like is what’s going on at Kew Gardens.

And they are, I mean, when you think of Kew Gardens, you obviously think of the World Heritage Site, you think of all the wonderful stuff that they do, the visitors’ experience, you can even go as far as thinking of the shop. So you think, oh, they’ve got commercial suss. But of course, like many that sit within those very, very interesting sectors, quite a lot of R&D goes on in the background.

So, Kew have some very interesting commercial arrangements with third-party organisations in terms of Kew being able to validate some of the ingredients that are going into over-the-counter type products. And they’re also undertaking other elements of R&D that are of great interest to organisations in terms of their own innovation portfolios. So Kew’s recently struck a deal with an investment fund called Greensphere, where they’re really looking at how Kew can validate some of the exciting opportunities in sustainability that are coming through to the fund. And the fund’s also looking at investing in potential spinouts out of Kew. Not something that I think I would ever have expected, but that does happen.

And then, you know, other kinds of organisations, you know, looking internally, we have the government internal audit agency. They’re doing some really exciting stuff in terms of data analysis, using AI and machine learning to really help improve the way in which you can explore huge data sets that they have submitted, obviously, for audit purposes, and how they can use that to really
make their lives more efficient and more effective.

We’ve actually given them some grant funding to help with that. And they’re now looking at the next phase, which is how can we extend the utility of this to other organisations, primarily within government, but not necessarily uniquely. Again, somewhere that, you know, we just didn’t think that you’d… Internal audit is not somewhere that you think you’d be looking immediately.

No, that doesn’t exactly scream innovation, I suppose. That’s fascinating, though. From botanical research to auditing technology, that’s already a phenomenally broad range of innovations and agencies that you work with.

How do you source opportunities with, even with a relatively small 200 or 300 organisations that you’re responsible for? Do they come to you?

Yes. Good question. And the answer is many different ways. So, some of what we have to do, the job is about raising the profile, raising the interest in knowledge assets, management, exploitation, thereof, into intellectual property.

Some of it is proactive and some of it’s response-led. So we’re doing this in a variety of ways. One of them is just boots on the ground, going out, talking to organisations. And our conversations happen at different levels, so I mentioned that we have a really nice policy team. They’re able to go out, talk to organisations, perhaps about them developing a knowledge asset management strategy, provide some guidance around that.

Our tech transfer people might be going out in response to a particular opportunity that somebody might have raised and going and having that more regular, for our readers, more regular conversation around an opportunity.

But we’re also bringing together — we have a knowledge asset champion network, which are individuals from across the public sector who are either active in this area, in their organisations or who have a keen interest in it.

So bringing them together to share experience, develop networks, communities of practice around there, really helpful. And we’ve also got a knowledge asset grant fund, which is essentially an exploratory and proof-of-concept fund. And that’s really helpful in terms of teasing out new opportunities. And that fund is really designed to be a very high-risk fund. So we can offer awards from anything from around about £5000 or £200,000 through to £250,000 for different projects at different stages.

It’s explicitly there on the one hand to tease out new opportunities from people and organisations that wouldn’t have thought about engaging previously. So the barriers to entry are not high in terms of putting in an application and having that considered.

We are happy if some of the outcomes in go, no-go decisions and no-go is actually okay, provided everybody can learn from that. But for the larger awards, then we really are looking in terms of that traditional proof-of-concept to really move an opportunity significantly further forward. And we’re finding it actually a really useful tool.

It means that we can begin to have some of those early-stage conversations. We can think about the kinds of awards that we’re giving. Sometimes we need a little bit more agility than we have. So we’ve previously had three calls a year. We’re about to go into the next year and the team are going to run four calls during the year to really make sure that we can respond to volume, but also turn opportunities quite quickly. And it’s looking good. It’s still very much early days, but it’s looking good and we’ve got a nice pipeline coming through.

I’m guessing when you say we’re going into the new year, you operate in the April to April tax year.

Financial years, yeah.

How does that knowledge asset grant fund work with UKI2S? Are they related? Do you go from one fund to the other if you apply for a small sum and then go to the bigger ones?

Very good question. So UKI2S is the public sector seed fund and it has been in existence now for about 20 years. It’s great. It started its life with some of the research councils and it’s grown. Last year it had some injections of cash, some investment from more organisations, including what was a government department, BEIS. So BEIS put in £14m to create a sub-fund for new companies that are arising from knowledge assets in particular, completely across government. So the seed fund is there.

Our grant fund could indeed be an escalator on its way to seed funding. It doesn’t have to be. Our grant fund can be used, as I say, in a very exploratory manner. Some of the outcomes that we would expect could be a de-risked opportunity that might go on to be licensed rather than a spinout per se. But we would hope, and indeed we’re beginning to see that some of the opportunities that we’re looking at do have legs as spinouts. So we’re optimistic that UKI2S will be either a lead or a co-investor in some of those.

And I think what’s really great about the seed fund is that it appreciates public sector and government spinouts and understands that they are somewhat different, even from those that are coming out of the university base, that they, as spinouts, will have a different context and background that needs to be taken into account.

And in terms of what we want out of investment through the fund, obviously we want success. Success for us looks like jobs. It looks like good companies. It looks like growth. It looks like a degree of sustainability. So the fund having that catalytic nature as opposed to a pure play, let’s see a really
significant financial return on investment. I mean, of course we’ll take that too.

Yeah, never say no to more money coming back in. As you said, you’ve been there for about 10 months now. You were at Knowledge Transfer Ireland. What attracted you to GOTT? What brought you back to the UK? Was it just time to come back home?

I think with all things, there are a number of factors at play on there. Do you know, one of the key ones, I have to say, my job in Ireland was a really special one and it was a real privilege to be there and to work with some of the people that I did across the university system and the agency system there. It was an absolute delight. So it was with great sadness that I left. I mean, that’s the kind of thing that you perhaps might expect folk to say when they’re going for a job interview, but it’s genuinely true. It was with a great deal of sadness that I left.

But I was ready personally for a new challenge. This came along and it just looked blooming interesting. It was something new. I personally enjoy new. In the team, we often talk about the fact that we are very much in startup mode and there’s, you know, the majority of the team actually relish that. It’s fun. It’s about creating something that I hope will have some longevity and I really hope it’ll have some kind of an impact as we go through.

But it was also about, “well, do you know what, I worked in a research council, I’ve worked in a university, I’ve kind of done university research council, tech transfer, commercialisation, knowledge exchange”. It was almost like there’s just another little corner to be filled in here, which is really looking at that government and public sector portfolio, which is somewhat different, that does make it quite interesting.

And also, you know, an attraction to do this within a rather different environment. So in taking the new job, you know, I’ve entered the civil service and I have to say that that’s really, you often look at it from the outside. You’re a recipient of various decisions that are made, you know, that they are organisations that sit within the civil service that are, you know, a high calibre. You understand there’s high calibre people in there, but it’s a really nice opportunity to work inside of that system and actually see both what it’s like and the kind of people that are in there. And it’s, I think, confirmed all the prejudices that I might have had. And to be honest with you, they were all very positive prejudices.

So the job in itself is more interesting and more enriching than I was expecting.

That is wonderful. That would have been my next question as well. What were some preconceived notions that you might have had before you started this job?

When we look at the job in itself and what needs to be done in terms of supporting broader exploitation and commercialisation across government, public sector, I think some of the preconceptions I might have had, you touched on earlier, which is not really knowing the depth of opportunities that sat within some of these organisations. One has a sense that they could be there, but you only start to begin to really understand what they might be like when you’re in the job. So that was one of them.

And I think I hadn’t appreciated in terms of the way in which so much work’s done. There are some really smart commercial teams that sit within a number of these organisations, many of whom are dealing with a lot of procurement, third-party contracting issues, but really sharp people on the ground.

Their bread and butter may not be tech transfer as we know it, but they’ve actually got quite an interest in it. And I really wasn’t aware of that kind of level of capacity either.

What have these 10 months been like so far? I guess you joined at a time when we’ve had three prime ministers since you’ve been at the job.

Do you know, I actually think I just came at a fascinating time. As my DG said to me a few months ago, she said, good lord, you’ve joined and I think we’ve managed to throw everything at you that we possibly could.

And then after she said that, about 10 days ago, we suddenly discovered that we were having what’s known as a machinery of government change and we are no longer in the government department because it doesn’t exist anymore that I joined. So it’s been a fascinating 10 months.

Yeah, lots and lots of changes in terms of, as you rightly say, prime ministers, secretaries of state, ministers in, out. But there is that bit of, you know, that you hear about, about the British civil service, who is just there to support the government of the day and actually to keep momentum going. And that is something that you can definitely see in spades. So that bit, fascinating in the last 10 months.

In terms of the day job, it’s been great because we are in startup mode. We’ve really been gearing ourselves up in terms of the usual, as you do in any business, sorting out a lot of internal operations, really getting it out and building on, because there was a lot there already, building on some really nice client and stakeholder relationships that have started to happen and beginning to see how we can really leverage some of the policy areas to our advantage, how we can take some of those early conversations and really move those further forward in terms of how can we help you, what can we do to get you there and just actually seeing that, I think, you know, a pace of change and a momentum and what I really love in any job is just how engaged and receptive people are.

You know, there is a real interest and a willingness to make this business of knowledge assets work. How we do it is hard. It’s hard for everybody. But within that sort of broader stakeholder community, you know, people want to do it. And it’s for a lot of folk, it’s nice that there is some kind of a central recognition that this is important and it matters.

And it’s not the “this is what we do on a Friday afternoon if we’re lucky”. It’s the “yeah, this actually can have more prominence”.

How would you say, other than perhaps the political changes of the last few months, is the UK different now from when you left about nine years ago and went to Ireland? Is there anything that’s changed at the fundamental level in tech transfer in the UK?

I think there’s a couple of changes I’ve noticed. So when I went over to Ireland in 2013, we were very much talking about knowledge exchange. We were talking about KE in its absolute breath, and also the REF had been relatively recently introduced with that whole sort of impact agenda. And what I think I’ve seen over time is the impact agenda in REF has really paid dividends. We thought it was going to early on, and you can see that it has.

There’s been a whole piece that was happening while I was away around place, around connected capabilities, about how do we join up, how do we make the sum of the parts. I’ve definitely seen that come to fruition, and that’s something that I see and I think is really important to me, that sense of the UK as a nation and the regions and the importance of regions and regional innovation. I think that one seems to have come to the fore.

What I’ve also noticed is there’s that slight movement, maybe away from that breadth of knowledge exchange. We still talk about it in those terms, but there’s a sharper focus coming back on commercialisation. And then when we, I think, put that in the context of government of the day, where we really are looking at jobs and growth and that kind of thing in our current economic
environment, one can see why.

But also I think everything has its rhythm and its cycles, and it’s just important that these things kind of get tempered over time. So there’s some of the changes that I think I’ve seen happen.

What are some of the challenges that you have in government commercialisation that are perhaps different from university tech transfer?

It is a different environment, and it’s full of really bright and smart people who have… Usually, they’re coming into roles where, to be honest with you, certainly within research and development, you hear people say, I’ve got the best kit and equipment I could possibly have here. Why would I not be here? Coupled with the, and I might stay a little longer than I might do somewhere else, because why wouldn’t I? Because this is just brilliant and cutting edge. We’re talking about people in science and technology.

And they are government employees who come to work in the service of society, as it were, not to suggest that others don’t, by the way, but a slightly kind of different mindset and a different kind of funding model into those organisations, different from that that you would get within universities.

So one of the differences is that mobility. So you wouldn’t necessarily see the same level of mobility or expectation of a researcher or potential founder to jump out of an organisation and into a new spinout.

A couple of reasons. One is they’re actually really enjoying the day job, and maybe they’re not ready to go. But also there are less examples of doing that.

And I think that’s one of the other differences. We’ve got a very mature university tech transfer system in the UK, where we have had the last 20 or 30 years of building up tech transfer, commercialisation and expectations around that. So it’s embedded. There’s role models, there’s success models, there are expectations.

And there’s funding for people who sit within the universities to do this thing called tech transfer, innovation, commercialisation, support, whatever you might want to call it.

Whereas in the government sector, there’s less of those support functions, there’s less funding for it, and there’s less historic experience of doing that. And that’s one of the things that we are really looking forward to doing within GOTT is being able to take the examples of really good practice, and be able to shine a light on them as exemplars as to what you can do and how you can do it, and how you can do it differently.

So there’s, you know, other conversations going on at policy levels about making it nice and clear within government guidelines, for example, that do exist. It’s called the Orange Book, which is a book from Treasury. It talks about what the rules are, and the guidance around, you know, taking equity, for example, and can you commercialise and the essence is yes, of course you can, that’s perfectly acceptable.

But it’s just making sure that that is understood and really beginning to change perspectives on commercialisation. So definitely some differences there, I think, in terms of maturity and practice, which is not to say that we don’t have some aspects of good practice and not to leave you with the impression that there’s complete immaturity or lack of sophistication. There’s some really terrific stuff going on. There’s a number of really great deals that have happened recently, some really good spinouts that have come out of the sort of broader portfolio as well.

I would have asked you about positive aspects of this, I wouldn’t have just let you talk about the challenges. Is there generally an entrepreneurial culture among public sector staff, or is it something that you still need to teach people to be open to commercialisation?

I think the answer to that is yes, but no, but yes, which is: it depends where you look and it also depends what the context of the organisation is. If you’ve got a particularly well-funded organisation that’s working in one area that hasn’t traditionally considered this, then yes, there is going to be a little bit more of a challenge to help people think more entrepreneurially.

In some other areas, it really is in sharp focus, either because the areas that they’re working in, they’re dealing a lot with external organisations who either want things from them or part of the supply chain, and they’re understanding that kind of a context.

It’s a real mix, I think, in terms of that entrepreneurial mindset. But you know, it’s like anything, it’s driven by the top. So when I look at organisations where leadership thinks this is important, they’re actually encouraging this sort of open, innovative and entrepreneurial cultures. It’s part of the strategy and it’s part of the ethos, and you can see it happening. I think it’s a matter of time and of evolution, to be honest with you, rather than necessarily a lack of that spirit. It’s about teasing it out a little more.

Yeah. Are there any strengths that government commercialisation has that university might not, or maybe to a lesser extent?

Yeah, you know, I think, well, first of all, one of the strengths is, let’s just look at science and tech. It’s absolutely brilliant. I’ve been so surprised at how humble people are when I go out and talk to them. And I’ve heard this more than once. Occasionally people will say, “well, you know, we’re really quite good at what we do, we’re probably actually the best in Europe. Well, do you know what? I actually think we’re probably the best in the world at doing this.”

It’s delivered in a very understated British kind of manner.

Very British, yeah.

So there’s tons of potential because there’s some really blooming good stuff happening. I think also there’s a lot of potential in terms of the opportunity for more collaboration across organisations. There’s less of that overt, no overt’s the wrong word, but they’re not in competition with each other. The different organisations have very clear remits and they’re all part of that sort of broader sort of government ambit. And they’re actually very willing and open to working with each other.

So I can see the opportunity to bring together thinking, expertise, and potentially pieces of intellectual property that we can start to help build things from. And there is a great willingness to explore that and to share, learn, and work together. Those for me are the two really big areas of opportunity.

That’s fascinating. I know in university, people in tech transfer specifically always say we’re not competitors with each other, but universities on some level are still competitors with each other.

So I hadn’t really thought about the fact that government is, if not one coherent organisation, perhaps, that they’re not, the different arms are not competing with each other and they are quite open to collaborating and finding innovation between themselves.

Being a public sector organisation, the answer is probably yes, but are you tracking any equity, diversity, and inclusion numbers among your engagement?

Well, that’s very interesting. EDI is something that’s incredibly important to our government departments. And we’re not unique in that in terms of government departments. I’ve been hugely impressed in terms of how we apply that. So for example, our grant fund programme, as indeed the majority of programmes and initiatives that run, we make sure that that is reviewed in terms of compliance and suitability for equality and diversity in the way in which we set the programme up.

Are we tracking? At the moment, we are just dead keen to get as many organisations and individuals engaged and involved, and we have enough funding to support them at the moment if they’re coming into our grant fund. So we’re not necessarily having to, needing to at this stage, design any particular programmes and calls for any particular sector when we look at EDI.

Will that change in the future? Possibly. Is it something that we bear at the back of our mind? Absolutely. So for example, when we’re looking at putting together review panels, we want to make sure that we’ve got the right kind of mix. And for us, that’s anything from, as well as the sort of usual diversity, we’re also dead keen that we are bringing people in from across the UK.

And again, it goes back to that sort of regional play. Really important to get that kind of dimension in there as well. So it’s something that we do feel very keenly, and I think more of as we go forward, definitely no less.

On that note then, perhaps, what does the future look like for GOTT?

Oh my goodness me. Well, I’ve probably got more ideas than it’s sensible to impose upon a small team. But I think for now, in this phase of our development, it really is that kind of, as I say, first phase of starting the business. So it’s both looking at the offering that we’ve currently got and how we can deliver to that in terms of support for, as I say, policy, opportunities, exploitation.

We’ll very soon be developing our knowledge asset capability enhancement, or KACE offering, which is essentially around helping more upskilling within the broader government community. And that’s anything from the usual elements of training through to workshops, groups, how we really develop our networks, that kind of thing. So that comes next. And then there’s more to follow after that. But we’ve got to do it piecemeal.

That makes complete sense. Is there any support that you wish you had as GOTT, rather than the support that you offer?

Oh gosh. More people definitely. We have definitely, definitely seen the benefit of being able to complement the team with people with tech transfer and commercialisation expertise. And I would love to have some more of those people. Headcount’s often an issue. And also it’s quite a competitive marketplace out there at the moment to bring in people with that kind of experience.

Those that are joining us can, I think, really see the opportunity that it brings to spend a portion of their career working in this kind of an organisation that’s new and different and has that policy crossover. And really seeing how enriching it is for them with the conversations that they’re having
with different kinds of colleagues and the environment in which they’re working.

So I’m really hoping that we can really sort of play on that. And also, I mean, in terms of support, we are looking at… we’ll shortly be announcing a new sort of procurement process, which means that we can start to engage with lots of more external experts who can come in in the usual way to help us with specific projects. Our projects will be quite diverse in terms of what we want. And I mean more than diverse in terms of sector or stage of a tech opportunity. But actually, it can be anything from working on an opportunity or a piece of IP to helping us with some of the nitty-gritty of what we’re trying to do as GOTT within our own team. So really looking to leverage the best of the best from outside.

And then looking internally as well. It’d be really remiss of me not to say there are real pockets of excellence that do sit within the public sector. Organisations like Ploughshare that service the Ministry of Defense, working with them, understanding what they do, what they can offer. Again, trying to see what we can do collaboratively with them and other organisations like NPL,
Science and Technology Facilities Council have been hugely helpful to us in terms of what they’ve built up by resources and experience and also seconding people into our team, which is another great way to go. We’re loving secondments.

That’s amazing. Yes, I can imagine you can get expertise for six months or 12 months. You’ve already mentioned a couple of technologies at the start of this episode, but I wanted to give you another opportunity in case there were other examples of technologies that have come out of GOTT in these past 10 months.

Well, I was just talking there and mentioning NPL, the National Physics Laboratory, you know, great on standardisation and the testing. So one of the technologies that we’ve had some input into is one that’s become a spinout company called Celsius Health.

It’s using thermal calibration to look for foot ulcers in diabetes. That sounds great, doesn’t it? What is absolutely amazing is they can monitor changes at 0.2 of a degree Celsius that will make the difference between having an incident or not having an incident. And that in itself, if that can be developed into the right kind of medical devices, will make a huge difference, not just in terms of patient care and the effect on the NHS bill, but it makes a difference in terms of patient lifestyle. It can make the difference between an amputation or not. So it’s those sorts of things.

But coming out of an organisation, back to one of your earlier points, that you might think, well, that’s all about measurements and physics and calibration in a really nice kind of health care kind of application. That’s one of them.

And we’ve also been working with organisations like Ordnance Survey in terms of geospatial mapping and looking at new technologies that they’ve got there, things that will bring in AI and machine learning to really advance that further forward and beginning to see some opportunities as well coming forward. So we haven’t delivered on them yet, but opportunities that we’re funding that, to one of my earlier points, have brought, say, three different organisations together to apply technology around building and building design energy and energy efficiently and looking at how you might apply that using a sort of test model on a hospital system. So some really exciting stuff out there.

I look forward to hearing more about this. And I’m going to look up Celsius Health, was it?


… when we’re done with this because that sounds absolutely fascinating. I’ve been doing a little bit of research on diabetes companies this morning, actually, so that works quite well.

We are sadly almost out of time. I’m sure this is not the last time that we’re going to talk, but is there anything else for now that you want people to know about GOTT?

I think I’d say it’s early days. Be patient with us. Keep watching. I think there’s some good stuff going to be coming out. And you know what? If we have success, the success won’t be about the success of the Government Office of Tech
Transfer. The success will be about what’s happening out there in the wider public sector environment and the progress that it’s making. And from what I’ve seen today, I can’t help but believe it’s going to be delivering in spades.

Amazing. Alison, thank you so much for talking to me again. It’s been a great pleasure as always.

Thank you.

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).