cover art for Beyond the Breakthrough featuring Anthony Francis

Originally hailing from Australia, Anthony Francis started out as an accountant before establishing the Technology Commercialisation Group in 1999, selling it to Deloitte in 2005 and spending a couple of years with the firm. He then spent nearly a decade as managing director of Flinders University’s TTO, Flinders Partners, before landing, in 2019, at UCSF Innovation Ventures, the commercialisation arm of University of California, San Francisco, where he’s the executive director of the Office of Technology Management.

With a career that already stretches decades, Francis has a lot of wisdom to share, such as the need to understand that universities and investors trade in different currencies: innovation and money.

In this episode, he also talks about recruiting not only people that will be around for years to come, but also hiring staff that could leave to head a spinout. And with UCSF being exclusively focused on the medical sciences, those spinouts are an interesting beast.

Francis also reveals what being in the US has taught him about innovation back in Australia and what the two places could learn from each other.


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Please note that the intro and outro have been omitted.

Anthony, welcome to the podcast.

Thanks for having me.

I look forward to our discussion to start with hopefully an easy one. Can you give me an overview of your office with some headline figures?

Yes. Thanks. UCSF is properly blessed with a great degree of great science and a great degree of good product for us. In perspective, it has got five Nobel prize winners, a research budget of around $1.6bn, and we have around 2,000 active patents.

So, the environment which I work in is particularly productive and particularly good in terms of being able to get quality product or quality innovation from the system. Our office handles, if I take last year’s figures, about 300 disclosures a year, so that is almost one a day or a bit more. We do about $50m in license revenue. Last year, we wrote 112 licences and created, or co-created, around 10 spinoffs and were active in many more.

We generated around $224m in partnership income, and we filed 300 patents. In addition, we generated, or we are building, an equity portfolio of around $200m that would have come, about half of that would have come from that year as well.

All in all, it is a pretty active office, but all those numbers are impressive or not impressive, but they are all in context with the size of the university and that is why I mentioned that first. Coming from smaller universities, often those numbers sound really impressive, but they are really more context of what comes in the front end as in a supply. So, I hope that gives you some sort of idea. It does mean that our office is really busy.

As I mentioned, it is an office within UCSF Innovation Ventures. Where do you fit into the bigger structure? What are the other units?

Yes, Innovation Ventures was created some time ago by the university to make a more deliberate attempt at creating companies and being better at translating its research to outcomes. It recruited a high profile, a really good entrepreneur, a scientific entrepreneur called Barry Selick to lead the charge. And as part of that, they amalgamated a number of groups in the university to try and coordinate their effort around this.

They encompass an entrepreneurial centre, a programme called Catalyst, which provides early-stage funding and mentoring for projects that come through the university, a group called Strategic Alliances, which is really designed to tackle the bigger partnerships at the university, those that [unintelligible] and others that might come in and look at trying to fund a whole area or trying to partner in a whole area, InVent, which is a fairly new philanthropic fund that Barry raised to try and help validate some technologies in the university, and my office, the OTMA.

So, all of those centring around this idea of how we get innovation to market better have been coordinated into one group called Innovation Ventures.

At what point in the process does the work of your office stop then if you have a separate entrepreneurial group?

It is a good question. It is like a continuum. If you think about a disclosure coming in, that often is the entry point, but equally there are other entry points, like the entrepreneur centre where someone may have an idea and want to get some education around that idea, or they see an opportunity to get some quick funding through Catalyst or InVent, but almost all of those pivot around a disclosure. That is the point at which someone says, this is something that I think that we should take to market, and that is where the coordination of everything comes in. We add the things that are necessary for that. In terms of where we stop, it is a much deeper question and a good one. It is one that we are tackling at the moment.

Typically, the answer you will get from probably every tech transfer office, and ours is no different, is that you start at the disclosure point and you end it with the deal making point. In other words, whether you license something or whether you create a spinoff. We are thinking that is not good enough and the university’s role should extend beyond that point. If we are going to give true value to our partners and our innovation the university has a role to play beyond those points, and we are now exploring exactly how to do that.

Interesting. I will come back to you on that in a year time or so.

They are not well-formed views yet, but we are playing in that space right now.

One of your divisions that you have in Innovation Ventures is the Engagement and Opportunity Development division and an Entrepreneur in Residence programme with a Key Opinion Leaders Network as well. Can you tell me a little bit about these and how they fit together?

Those sorts of initiatives are things that we started probably around three years ago and or so now, and primarily because the process at UCSF, as is typical to many US universities I have found, is patent first. In other words, that disclosure comes in if we follow that process and exploration is around, can this be patented?

So, to try and think about how we could a) get more disclosures and b) think about more projects coming forward, we created these sorts of initiatives, and the Engagement and Opportunity Development group is as it is described, its job is to get more disclosures and engage better with our researchers. It also is intended to actually handhold a little more. We will get to probably triaging later I am sure in your questions.

One of the outcomes from engaging with that group is that there are opportunities we find that need extra help. They are not straightforward. They either need validation or leadership, and we will probably touch on that a little later as well. But those things are elements that we can add to those projects to make them more commercially viable. And so, the Entrepreneur in Residence programme is designed around that as an example. It essentially adds entrepreneurs to our projects. Those that we feel that are appropriate for becoming companies and lack either leadership or something that will give rise to better attraction of investment funds down the track.

So, we use a team of entrepreneurs that we have as a kind of rolling register and add those to those projects. We give the entrepreneurs incentives, both in terms of a small financial incentive along the way, in other words, payment as a contractor, but mostly a success fee that normally means they have equity in the resulting company or a success element if it ends up being a license, so they are very motivated towards getting an endpoint. So, that programme has been highly successful, and really successful around where the researcher does not want to actually become the leader.

If we work backwards from the market, and that is really the thing that I guess all commercialization officers or tech transfer officers do, the things that we know the market wants are leadership and validation. So, that adding an entrepreneur adds the leadership element and probably by virtue of the leadership will add the validation as well.

So, in contrast the Key Opinion Leader Programme is where we have some of those EIRs and others that are willing to give up their time to give market feedback to our projects as they come through. A key function of the EOD team is to do market research. So if you recall, I was saying the old approach was patent first, we are market first. So, our first step is to see whether there is a there there. Is there a market for something?

And we find that that informs the patent process and also allows us to triage. So, inside of that process, we have these key opinion letters that give market feedback to our technologies at a very early stage to help us see whether they need extra help or whether they in fact are in the right shape to go to market in the form they are. They are the groups if you like that we have at that front end of the process.

I might jump ahead a couple of questions just because you touched on it slightly. Can you tell me about your A, B and C categorisation that you have created?

Yes, that is really one of the roles of the EOD group. So, taking our process a little deeper, that group essentially does some market reviews and together with some patentability concepts, and also some thinking around how it might come to market, they come up with a fairly broad recommendation around these three categories, A, B or C. A is straight to licence, and we try and get those to fast track, bearing in mind that UCSF has a fairly high therapeutic, and I want to say targeted, type of technology portfolio.

That means some of those technologies really just need to go straight out to licensing and straight through. The validation step for them is straightforward. It probably just needs money. It is highly technical, there are defined markets. So, we try and find a straight path for those. That is the A group. B group are those that we find need a little bit more help.

In other words, they are probably lacking those steps, the validation or leadership step, and they need some help to try and get to market. But what we have found is in those that market is there. There is a good market. In other words, it is driving us to put them into that B category. So, they are missing something, but it is a worthwhile pursuit to try and get them to market. So, they are the Bs. And those B category projects did not really exist a few years ago, and they have become almost our mainstay, which is crazy as you think about how a process can change the outcomes of a group. The C group are, we call them “wait and see”.

Their opportunities have come to us perhaps a little early. They might need a little more coaching, but they go on the back burner, and we just hope that do not become the living dead. But generally, they are those that essentially sit back, and we watch them and we are very grateful for getting early notice of them to help, but often they need something to happen before they can really become eligible. So, those whole categories are more around resource allocation.

How do we apply resources to those disclosures that come in and how do we become effective around those? And curiously enough, the market pull is not necessarily just the size of the market either. It is how quick can we get to that market. Size is not as important as fast to market for us. So, it is really, where do we marshal the resources and when is the answer we are trying to generate from the A, B and C categories.

Very interesting. Speaking of resources, you also have philanthropic funding that is available through Innovation Ventures. Can you tell me a little bit about this as well?

Barry Selick, I think I mentioned earlier, has been a key driver of this initiative at the university and the university’s been incredibly grateful for how he is been able to marshal philanthropic funds to fill the space of those projects that need a little more work. So, the fund is around $15 million. I think Barry’s ultimate goal is to have a $50m fund. Whether he will get there or not is another matter. UCSF is fairly blessed with some good donors in the space. So, he has been able to raise this fund and he invests, or the group, I should say, invests up to $1m to projects that it feels needs that extra help, comes through the system, needs that extra help.

And the validation step would give rise to a much better return to the university or enable us to have a greater share of the pie if you like. So, it is all centring around this notion that we know what the market wants from our disclosure point. And that is leadership and validation.

So, how do we bring those two things to bear on these opportunities? Some of it is just people like the EIR programme, and some of it is money, like Barry’s programme, which is adding a little bit of cash to the system to push these things along a little further. So, those two elements of leadership and validation become a trust point for someone putting money into those ventures or taking them to the next step.

Are there, other than we have covered quite a few aspects now, but are there any unique aspects to tech transfer at UCSF, it being focused on health sciences exclusively?

I would say not really. I know that sounds like I should answer that differently, but we see tech transfer fairly simply, and that is that depending on the market. So, things change as to what you need to add. Those two things I keep probably going over too many times, just change shape a little bit. In other words, the validation becomes much more important in a therapeutic space because validation is everything. Leadership is important, but validation is everything.

So, it is more or less just the importance of those things change in the environment, but the elements stay the same. So, there is probably nothing overly unique. What may have been unique is more our journey, and that is because health has been such a focus or has been the primary focus from the early days, some elements like digital and a device and others had been traditionally pushed aside in the commercialisation process.

The office just did not have the skills, and that is been something that we have had to adapt to over some time, but so really it has been probably more our journey than what we have ended up doing.

I find it quite interesting that there are not any unique aspects either. That in itself is also telling a lot. So, I was not expecting you to have a list of 10 things that are different at UCSF.

No, I think it is just the emphasis on those things more than anything else. And then the skills that you need to recruit around them becomes the points of difference. UCSF in itself is a different organisation, but not so much different in terms of tech transfer.

What are some of the opportunities in the UCSF ecosystem?

I guess we touched upon them in various ways through our discussion so far. Obviously, therapeutics remains a big opportunity at UCSF. It has been a real powerhouse of innovation or a source of a powerhouse of innovation and around that stuff around immunotherapy and a whole lot of other new areas that have been created through CRISPR, areas where UCSF has a real strength. So, they are some real opportunities for us on our supply side.

Digital remains an opportunity. We are seeing quite a large degree of interest in digital these days, or digital therapies, as well as digital tools that help us either research health or help us better understand the information that sits around health. And you could summarize all of them though, by saying that opportunities that we see that need a leader are an area of growth for us, because just because they would be a problem, does not mean they are not an opportunity at the same time. Similarly, those that need validation are opportunities for us.

Typically, you might find in an office like ours that they would see those as discards or things that you would throw away. We think that where there is a market pull, they are opportunities. So, we have been working hard on some of those areas as well. Another opportunity for us really is probably building our staff mix to be a little different and helpful to university professors. I think too many of one sort can mean that you end up tipping the balance if you like towards one goal, rather than seeing things differently from other professions and other areas.

So, our team now is a little more balanced with marketing folk, consultants, economic folk, rather than the typical kind of technologist that you might see in some of these offices that exist around the place.

How easy is it for you to find staff, or maybe specifically tech transfer practitioners when you do hire those?

It is a bit of a mixed bag. In the end we do not have too many troubles. The challenges for us really are the location. San Francisco is a very expensive location to live and just be. So, the competition around salaries, the competition around roles is tricky. But what we are finding lately is this notion or this attitude we have where we like people to come through our office and leave. Now that might sound crazy. But if you think about the training you get, or the experience you get in a tech transfer office, you get to see lots of opportunities that come past the office with the raft of 300 disclosures and being able to meet the inventors.

Also getting the experience of how these transactions work, what makes success work, means that you could well be a candidate for a CEO of one of our opportunities in time. So, it is a model that worked well for some of the things that I did in Australia, and I am introducing it here now, and having that attitude to have as a recruitment strategy has opened up our ability to recruit folk. In other words, not just folk that are here for the long term, and they are very important, and they are our main focus, but to supplement those with others that might be here for a short time, teach us something, but also not go very far at the end of the day, if they will become part of one of our spinoffs.

I think I had Anne Barnett from Wellington UniVentures down in New Zealand said they do not think of it as people leaving, they think of it as growing their network, which I thought was quite a nice way of putting it.

Yes, I think that is right. Or even more coming from an accountant, I guess even more brutally, growing new customers. Often those spinoff companies become clients of yours down the track. And in even if they do not, they are there to generate you money either by virtue of equity or license fees, they are always friends let us put it that way.

Do you run any internship programmes?

We do. We run them in those mostly in the EOD areas. So that is, they help with the marketing or the market research aspects of technologies. There is a fairly, I do not want to say dry, but there is a fairly straightforward process of working out where or what the market is for a particular technology, but also the good insight that interns often give is new markets and thinking about the technology perhaps a little more broadly than we would ordinarily.

So, we use interns in that process. We also use interns in the process of helping with the companies that we want to start up, almost sitting alongside an entrepreneur in residence to be a resource for those people and also to learn from each other. So, they are the two places that we use interns.

I want to stay on people for a second. How does your engagement fair when it comes to women and researchers from a minority background? Do you track those numbers?

This is a good question for UCSF because UCSF is probably the most well-adapted to coping with, well not coping, but fostering I should say minority groups and women and all groups in an equality sense. We have a vice chancellor for diversity and equality. The good news from our position is most of the work is done. In other words, the whole university or the supply chain is well-attuned to the issue and to ensuring that that diversity is of value to the university, and it is, so it sees it as an asset. So, from our point of view, we track what comes through.

But up until now, we have not seen the need to actually foster any of those areas more than others because we are getting a healthy mix come through. But that does not mean we would not if we saw that being affected or we heard that it was being affected, we would certainly jump on it. And the good news from our point of view is we would have the support of the university as a key priority, but UCSF is certainly the best I have ever worked for in being able to both benefit and to foster diversity.

That is really good to hear. You have previously spoken about how your approach relies on recognizing the gap between the bench and the user, and I think you have talked quite a lot about market policy so far in the discussion, but you also argued that this gap is not actually often recognised. Why do you think that is?

We have probably a healthy view to that gap and that is that it probably does not exist. And by that, I mean, universities, if we put it in perspective, are really trading a different currency. They are trading the currency of technology or currency of scientific endeavour together with reputation. They are not trading the currency of profit. They are not profit-making entities for a start. So, you have got two different currencies being traded.

So, it is almost natural there is going to be a divide between one and the other. How do we take a technology-driven innovation and turn it into a profit-driven innovation is the question. There is no real gap. It just exists. It is what it is. And the way that, I guess not gap necessarily, but the path forward is one that you create, and you create it through leadership and validation because it is the language of the commercial world. Those two things translate to profit and that profit means that they can suddenly understand what it is that you have on the other side of the fence in your own currency. So, it is not often done, and I do not quite know why. I think most people that look at that gap get caught in the detail.

They get caught in the IP, they get caught in reasons not to do something rather than the reason of, If we added this, then what would happen, if we added that, what would happen? And that seems to be the problem, that we just look at the gap and almost peer over the edge of a cliff and think we are not going to go there when, in fact that cliff never exists. The reality is you build the path that gets to the other side.

Was that a reality that you found at UCSF or was that something that you brought to the office?

I think it came from a very early experience of mine where, and we probably won’t touch on it if I go through it, but the idea of trying to get a product to market was something that started my whole process in this and found that you could get caught up in all of the little parts of what it was that made that product work and spend a lot of money spinning your wheels. But in the end, if you could not either attract an investor or you could not attract a market, then all of that was a waste of time. So, the key issues are to try and think about how we get those elements to the product or the innovation and see how it works from there. And curiously enough, when you go through that process many times, you often find that some of the least things that you thought were impressive or were valuable at the time become the most important things. Subsequently, markets shift, things change, the product changes. So, trying to pick winners at the start is also a bit of a fruitless exercise.

If we could pick the winners at the start, we would all be very rich people. 

Exactly. We would all probably have designed Apple or something like that. And we are not there clearly. So, let us try and get as many out the door as we can with the best chance of success.

You have already mentioned I think that you have a background in accounting, and you spent much of your early career in Australia where you had a commercialization firm called TCG, that was later required by Deloitte. What brought you to UCSF or perhaps even more, what brought you to America?

It is an interesting question. Who knows why we do things generally, but I think it was just the sheer size and the opportunity of UCSF. I liken it to, I do not mean any disrespect to Australia, but I liken it to almost having played in the B grade for a long time and then getting called up to the A grade at an age where I thought that opportunity may well have passed me by.

So, when it appeared and UCSF had this different attitude towards commercialisation, in other words, how to break the mould of commercialization, then that really appealed to me and further conversations with my boss, Barry Selick, the vice chancellor, led me to think this is going to be something that we could actually see if we could make a real difference with some of this thinking. So, that was the real attractant to come across.

I always thought that I would always wonder what if you did not take up an opportunity like this, and that is not a good thing to think about as you get older, you do not want any what ifs sitting in your past.

I am 36 and I already do not want any what ifs. So, I definitely understand that as you get later in your career, it is becoming more and more important.

Yeah. It is funny that you get these other naysayers that say, well, it is a big risk, why would you do that? You are getting towards… you are thinking about doing something else or doing something different. Why would you take such a big risk? When I think the risk of not taking it is worse. So anyway, we all do different things for different reasons.

Speaking of doing things, is there anything that the US could learn from Australia or the other way around?

There are always things that people can learn from everyone. But what struck me, and I have had to spend a little bit of time back in Australia through the pandemic, some of those variations between the two territories has become more pronounced, with me anyway, in terms of, and I have been able to test a few as well to see where those boundaries are, and my conclusion really at this point is that Australia is smaller than it knows, but it is better than it thinks.

Curiously enough, because we do not have the, or Australia does not have, the markets that America has nor the investment appetite that America has in this space. It plays a lot more with its sleeves rolled up, a lot more in this market-driven space. In other words, it is more active in developing opportunities than I have seen over here, but on the other hand, America, or the US, has been so much better at assessing opportunities, taking risks and the other side, the investment or the market side, leaning down into opportunities and to taking those through the market.

So, a much more commercial pull exists here than it does in Australia and you have to generate the pull in Australia. So those two sides could learn a lot from each other. The investment side could be learned well in Australia and the little more active side could be learned well in the US. So, and I guess we are probably doing that at UCSF, it is getting the benefit of that diversity in probably having a couple of us over there helping.

Do you think that is changing in Australia with things like Main Sequence Ventures or Breakthrough Victoria fund?

I think it is a little. It is hard to say, it is not the same. The level of experience and the maturity of the investors over here is a little different. I think the issue I see in Australia is that the level of that investment maturity means that there are a lot of other entrants in the space that sit in the middle that have not got experience, and it just seems like it is taking slower steps than what happens over here. Things move pretty fast.

We can get funding on an opportunity within weeks, and it can be of the tune of $15m or $20m. That would be unheard of in Australia. That would be essentially a whole fund. So, it is just the scale and the speed in which these things can occur over here.

I want to move slightly further back in your life. How did you end up in tech transfer?

I have alluded to it before. I think it sounds crazy, but I was a partner in accounting firms at a fairly young age and always felt that when folk gave me their results for the end of the year, I could tell them exactly where all their expenses were and track them really well.

Accountants being historians by nature, number historians really. But in terms of their revenue, I could not help them. I would just look at those numbers and go, well, it is what it is. That is up to you. I always felt that trying to advise those folk, I was only giving them one half of the story. Not that it was not valuable, but it was only one half of the story. I took a product to market back in the very early days, learned a lot from that. It was one of those moments where those lessons of leadership and getting validation or a market pull element meant everything to the product. It was a consumer-based product.

And in going through that journey, I had turned around and thought, well, how does any inventor have any hope of getting to market when those lessons are not really front and centre to them? They might bump into a lawyer, they might bump into a patent attorney.

Each of them are going to sell them something they do not want. A patent that does not go anywhere, an agreement that is with nobody or whatever. So, unless those elements are in place, then the rest is relatively pointless. So, that is where TCG got born. What I found quickly is that inventors were not necessarily great to deal with, but universities were fantastic to deal with because they had lots of good inventors and they wanted to solve the problem. So, it became more focused on universities and one thing led to another.

I ended up leading a university’s tech transfer operations in Australia, as well as selling TCG to Deloitte, each of which, and interestingly enough, the sale to Deloitte was good, but the model for TCG or the model for this space really is not necessarily one for large firms and an 85% efficiency rate and charge out rates of X dollars. It is not really for that. It is not really at that pace. So, it had a mixed landing at Deloitte.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in this courage day?

I guess the key thing that I have learned and has stuck with me through this whole journey is balancing that strategy with detail. And that is strategy drives us, or the end goal drives us, and the detail becomes part of it. Not that it is not important, but it is part of it. And timing around all of that is the thing to watch for.

When do I do this? When do I spend the money? It is often when you sit in a university, it is not your money, so you do not necessarily get that timing point, but that timing point is critical. Let us see if we can get this to happen before we do that and think about how you assemble a project in a way that works backwards rather than forwards.

The other piece of advice I give to anyone that wants to come into the space is do not be fixed in thinking you are going to have a career in tech transfer, try and think a little more broadly. Think about learning entrepreneurial skills while you are there. Think about how you can take your company from here to market. So, see the space as maybe even a learning route.

I guess that goes back to the, you are quite happy when people leave and become entrepreneurs.

Exactly. They grow and they actually get better than you, which is great. That is what you want to see.

The student becomes the master. That is the ideal outcome really. If you had a magic wand, is there anything you would change about tech transfer either at UCSF or the profession more broadly?

Yes. I think we all have a magic wand anyway, so it is how we use it. I would probably be thinking more around how the university thinks or the culture of the university to align itself a little more with tech transfer. That would be the thing that it is a big problem, and I probably can help solve it. So, I do not see it as a magic wand, but it would be a great thing to solve it. It may well be solved beyond my time, and that is probably what a magic wand does, brings it forward.

But if that could be solved, that would be great. One of the issues we have at UCSF is that sometimes the researcher, the university and the investor are not on the same page. Often the mixed blessing that comes with being close to venture capital is that the venture capitalist often will meet with the PI or researcher, and they have formed a view of what is going on before they come to us.

Now that is not bad, but what is bad is when greed comes in and then suddenly the researcher ends up, our employee, ends up almost negotiating against us, and we suddenly are not on the same page.

That typically means for not necessarily great success at the end of the day. So, everyone being on the same page for us would be the one thing that I would try and solve. We will solve it one day, but that is the one thing I would try and solve because I think if we can all start in the same place, we have got a better chance of ending in the same place.

That is a really interesting point actually, because here in the UK, the discussion happens every few months where people get upset that a university takes too high a stake. It can be 40, 50% here in the UK. Although then obviously that stake gets diluted very, very quickly as VCs come in, but there is always this discussion that the universities are being too greedy.

So, it is quite interesting to hear that even in the US, which here is held up as the perfect model sometimes because I think people do not really understand what is going on in the US, but you are also struggling with negotiating those three different moving parts, the PI, the VC and the university.

Yes, I think we are open very much open to the notion of the university not owning very much. Not giving away any kind of secrets, but for us typically in therapeutic deals, we might only have a low percentage of a company or an interest that might be there. In others, where we have played a more active role, we expect a little more.

But in any case, we are very much of the view, the market determines the price, not us. So, if there is a good reason or valid reason for us to have a lot less then we will always take it. And that has to be a market reason, not just because of greed. The problem we really have is just the notion of how things sometimes work over here, where the researcher and the university have both got interests, which means that suddenly we are not necessarily on the same side as our own employee, that is the one that kind of hits us a little hard.

The notion that we will have whatever it takes to get the opportunity going is one that we well and truly accept, but when it comes to our employees having some of our share as well as having their own share is not a bad one, but it often puts us at odds and it is not good to be at odds with your own people.

Can you give me some examples of UCSF spinoffs?

We have got obviously a lot over our history and the website is probably the best place to find those. So, some highlights though that… you know, ours range from all sorts. We have the typical therapeutic companies that really are investment vehicles, that are certain validation steps. We have companies that are breaking new ground, like Pionyr and Arsenal that are really in this immunotherapy space and taking the CRISPR stuff to the nth degree.

Now we have data mining companies like Beekeeper, which is one that tries to access medical records in a good way to answer questions around trials and other questions we might have in new products. And then we have got Akili, which is another digital therapeutic, which is interesting as well. So, they range from all sorts. We are actually working on one right now, which is some artificial intelligence around delivering mental health on a scale up basis. So, we have a broad variety, but our website is a good place to apply and see what we are up to.

Even from that, it does tell quite a good story of how broad your portfolio is. It is not just therapeutics.

That is right. And this intersection of digital and therapeutics is interesting. How do you make a therapy more scalable? Digital offers the opportunity. Not many people have cracked that yet.

We are almost at the end, almost out of time unfortunately. I could talk to you for quite a long time I think. Is there anything else we have not covered that you want people to know?

I think we have covered everything and I do not want to reiterate the things of the past that we have talked about. I guess the one underlying thing that I think is worth probably mentioning throughout the whole conversation we have had is that people drive all of this and that we can have all the clever systems or the clever thinking in the world, but ultimately it is only ever about the people that drive the programmes, the things that we have thought about as a collective.

At UCSF we are incredibly lucky to have a team that essentially is balanced, starts thinking like this, thinks always beyond the scope of them coming to work and thinking I have got to go through six disclosures. They are always thinking about, How do I get this to market? How do I help? How do I make this work?

And I think if you did nothing else, if all these other clever things, if you just got the right band of people, you would be successful in the space. So, I think that is a key element. The only other thing is I would probably like to say is UCSF loves to collaborate. Anything or anyone that wants to reach out and discuss any of these points, more than happy to.

We also have our own system that underpins all this called Impact, which is a system that we are thinking about collaborating with others on to see if they might benefit from some of our processes as well. So, they are the only things, but as I say, people are the most important part of the whole process.

Those are some good closing words and always good to have a call to action as well. Reach out and collaborate with UCSF.

That is for sure.

Anthony, thank you so much for speaking with me today. It has been a great pleasure. I really enjoyed the discussion.

Yes, me too. I really enjoyed it too. So, thank you so much.

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).