Arbitrator Intelligence uses AI to give parties and counsel access to arbitrators’ track records on key issues, enabling them to make more predictable arbitrator appointments.
Arbitrator Intelligence Reports provide exclusive, proprietary feedback about hundreds of arbitrators on topics such as document production rulings, the length of proceedings, the efficiency and fairness of case management, the arbitrators’ questions during hearings, and the quality of reasoning in the final award.
In doing so, Arbitrator Intelligence helps clients narrow the pool of arbitrators, compare shortlisted arbitrators, develop and validate chairperson selection, assess institutionally appointed arbitrators, and gauge opposing parties’ arbitrators.
AeroSolar has developed a unique process for the post-treatment of halide perovskite semiconductors for photovoltaics (PVs). It uses solvent and solution aerosols that are controllably passed over the surface of a perovskite film leading to recrystallisation and substantial increase in the material quality and therefore PV efficiency. AeroSolar is working with commercial perovskite PV manufacturers to improve the performance of the solar cells and therefore add value to their products. AeroSolar is also exploring further applications where the use of aerosol delivery can provide unique advantages.
Reader in Energy Materials and Devices
School of Engineering and Materials Science
Why did you start your spin-out?
I started the spin-out in order to achieve impact from my research. I entered into research in order to develop technologies that could help with the need for clean, sustainable energy generation.
I hope that by spinning out AeroSolar I will be able to translate my academic research into real commercial products.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurial academics?
I would say consider very hard if you want to go down the route of commercialisation. It is a great experience, but also requires constant persistence to succeed.
Once you start it’s very hard to stop!
Pryfiber Ltd is developing a flexible micro-endoscope using a single multimode optical fibre. The company aims to revolutionise diagnostic and interventional endoscopy by becoming the primary enabler of all precision procedures.
The technology will pioneer endoscopy to small spaces – such as joints, winding lumina in cardiac arteries and blood vessels in the brain – where current endoscopes are too big.
Reader in Photonics
As an academic researcher, my goal is to translate research ideas into commercial products for real-life applications. Starting my spin-out is a key step.
RoEx leverages advanced AI technology to democratise audio production, aiming to do for music what Instagram filters did for photography. They provide user-friendly tools that allow artists of all skill levels to produce high-quality work. Committed to enriching the global music community, they’re reshaping the future of media creation, making it more accessible than ever before.
Professor of Audio Engineering
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
We realised early on that RoEx has huge potential in the market, even during my PhD research conducted under Prof Josh Reiss, which underpins the technology. With the market opportunity, combined with Josh’s history of cofounding successful QMUL spin-outs, and my own industry experience and successful start-up exit to Apple, we felt now was the right time to spin-out the technology.
Entrepreneurship as an academic is challenging, more so than anticipated initially. I have found it valuable to remember the foundation of the business is a technology with immense potential – one we’ve already seen results from and that gives us a unique advantage. Also, the move from academia to entrepreneurship demands the rapid acquisition of new skills. Again, I have found it transformative to embrace this learning curve. Lastly, I’d like to add that QMUL are invaluable allies. Their support spans all aspects of business, and their vested interest in your success can be a game-changer. Lean on this backing and move forward with conviction.
SequenceServer empowers biologists with intuitive comparison and visualisation of DNA and protein sequences. Now cloud-hosted, the software is accessible to teams of biologists worldwide. The secure cloud platform builds on an open-source framework developed over the last 10+ years in Prof Yannick Wurm’s lab. SequenceServer is used across sectors from vaccine development to agriculture to wildlife forensics.
Professor in Evolutionary Genomics and Bioinformatics
School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences
I grew up in Silicon Valley and have always loved great software with intentional and thoughtful user interfaces and user experiences (UI/UX). However, I became a biologist, where great software UI/UX design is rare. When my research hit a need for a software that didn’t exist I rose to the opportunity and created SequenceServer, a software for BLAST analysis of proprietary or unpublished DNA and protein sequences. Initially open-source, it rapidly became popular, but I struggled to find the software engineering capacity to maintain it. Spinning out a company has enabled me to take SequenceServer to the next level, increasing accessibility and researcher productivity, and adding new functionalities.
Creating a spin-out is hugely gratifying at personal and professional levels. It’s also a lot of work and can be a distraction from other things in science and in life. So, there are some trade-offs – be careful not to underestimate them. Also, think carefully about the businesses’ funding and business plan. Raising investment and venture capital is alluring and attracts a lot of press, but it shouldn’t overshadow the primary goal: creating a sustainable business with robust foundation.
Bela is an embedded computing platform for creating beautifully responsive interactive projects. Bela provides ultra-low latency, high quality audio, analog and digital I/O in a tiny self-contained package that can be easily embedded into a huge range of applications. Built on the BeagleBone family of open-source embedded computers, Bela combines the processing power of an embedded computer with the timing precision and connectivity of a microcontroller.
Associate Professor in Digital Media, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
First and foremost to get new music and audio technologies into the hands of creators. Even the most wide-ranging research agenda can only reach a fraction of the community that a company can address. Bela aims to change the way we create interactive systems through powerful yet easy-to-use open-source tools.
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurial academics?
Get out there and try something on whatever scale is achievable. You’ll gain enormous practical experience getting your research into the hands of even a handful of users, and you’ll learn a lot of valuable skills along the way. Don’t worry about having the perfect idea or the grandest possible scope from day 1, just look for opportunities that you can reach and see where they take you.
DAACI AI is a platform is designed to exponentially increase the capabilities of established composers to write original music, meeting the ever-growing demands of today and tomorrow.
VacV Biotherapeutics Limited is dedicated to developing proprietary oncolytic virus therapies based on the VacV platform for the treatment of cancers with significant unmet needs.
Professor of Cancer Cell and Gene Therapy, Cancer Research UK Barts Centre
LANDR is the creative platform for musicians: AI-powered music mastering, distribution, plugins, collaboration, promotion and sample packs. LANDR was launched in 2014 and has since helped millions of musicians all around the world.
Professor of Audio Engineering, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
I am passionate about impact from research. For me, its not enough to just write a paper and hope that it gets read and cited. I’m inspired by seeing research make it all the way from proof-of-concept to product, or in some other sense making a difference. Entrepreneurship is a great way to achieve that aim.
Firstly, the goals of entrepreneurship and academic research are not contradictory. One can publish papers, create open source code and share knowledge while still protecting IP. In fact, academic impact can promote the commercial offerings. Secondly, QMUL offers tremendous support to start-ups and the teams behind them. They’ve supported me on the journey at all stages. So, if you’re interested in commercialising research, its really worth contacting Queen Mary Innovation. Finally, it can be a really rewarding experience. Entrepreneurship is challenging and risky, but absolutely wonderful when it succeeds.
Kinomica Limited is a pioneering precision medicine research and diagnostics company specialising in cell signalling with patented, interdisciplinary phosphoproteomics platform, KScan®. By combining LC–MS/MS with advanced proprietary bioinformatics, Kinomica can provide bespoke R&D, diagnostic services and derive unique biological insights from proteomics data.
Professor of Cell Signalling and Proteomics, Cancer Research UK Barts Centre
I started Kinomica because I thought we had the potential to help treat cancer patients with the most appropriate anti-cancer drug out of the several different treatments now available. My research team and I had been developing this technology over the last 15 years, but without further development this was just academic. We needed a vehicle to develop these approaches into tests that can actually bring benefit to patients. Kinomica is now developing these tests in a way that one day, in the not-so-distant future, will enable clinicians to make a more informed decision on the best-suited treatment for a given patient.
My advice to entrepreneurial academics is to keep believing in your ideas despite inevitable setbacks, and keep persevering.
Chatterbox Labs Limited is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that will enable corporations to monitor, manage and improve brand reputation and marketing campaigns by identifying dynamic communities of people who are actively communicating with each other around a product or service related topic. This is achieved using data from social media networks, such as Twitter, where users post tweets containing opinions about brands, products or events.
Professor of Computational Linguistics, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
BioMin Technologies Limited has developed a range of calcium phospho-silicates for use as additives in remineralising toothpastes and professional products for preventing tooth decay and treating dentine hypersensitivity. The primary activity of the company is the supply of BioMin glass as an additive for toothpaste and professional dental product formulations through developing a global licence holder network for BioMin intellectual property. The company also sells toothpastes directly through distribution channels.
Professor of Physical Sciences in relation to Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry – Barts and The London
A major toothpaste manufacturer took an option to license our patent, but even after a number of years they didn’t do anything with it. I wanted to see our research on fluoride bioactive glasses translated into products and setting up a spin-out was the best way to achieve this in the end.
Good science is not enough. Costs and profit margins are critical for business success. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and there will be many setbacks and low points. The highpoints are good though, including prizes, TV appearances and my personal favourite – a picture of myself with the BioMin F Toothpaste on a billboard in China!
Ultima Forma Limited manufactures light-weight, high-strength, multi-functional metallic engineering components using a novel electrodeposition process. Working with a number of advanced technology and engineering businesses, Ultima Forma are developing and manufacturing parts to improve product performance. The business model is to manufacture and supply quality assured parts to industry across a range of sectors and applications.
Professor of Materials Science, School of Engineering and Materials Science
Why did you start a spin-out company?
It is very satisfying to see academic research translate into beneficial technology. It is surely the purpose of academic research in science and engineering to produce technologies of benefit to society. Some may take longer than others to translate, so when the opportunities arise, we should try to exploit them.
You must be able to answer this question – what value does your technology bring to the customer? Who are the customers and how will you get your technology to them? Our company’s moto is ‘making it big by keeping it small’. This not only refers to the underlying science but also to the company strategy; get as far as you can with as few resources as necessary to build value before needing investment. Choose the people involved very carefully, a successful technology is of no use if it does not make a successful business. Academics rarely have both science and business acumen, so finding partners that understand the market for your technology is a key to success.
Nemisindo has developed transformative procedural audio technology that aims to completely remove the reliance on sample libraries for sound generation in multimedia content. The Nemisindo technology generates sounds using physics models and can generate traditional sounds and those that have never been recorded. The intuitive sound models enable sounds to be shaped and crafted at the point of creation, breaking through the limitations of sampled sounds. The online platform provides a browser-based sound effect synthesis framework, offering many synthesis models with selected post-processing tools to create your own sounds from scratch. Each of these models can generate sound in real-time, which can be shaped by manipulating various parameters. Nemisondo also offers sound module plugins to the main game engine platforms enabling sounds to be generated in real time in a game environment.
Warblr Limited is an app that automatically identifies birds by their song by matching audio recordings with its database of bird species.
Senior Research Fellow (former), School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science
I started Warblr because my research found that machine learning had reached the right readiness level to help people identify bird sounds. With my co-founder Florence Wilkinson we see the Warblr app as a digital way to engage people with nature and the sounds all around them!
hVIVO is an industry leading services provider in viral challenge studies and laboratory services supporting product development for customers developing antivirals, vaccines and respiratory therapeutics. hVIVO was established in 1989 and in 2020 became part of Open Orphan plc, the niche CRO pharmaceutical services company.
Professor of Virology, Blizard Institute
Retroscreen, now hVIVO, was one of the first medical school companies, which I cofounded with an external business-oriented scientist. The idea was to help formalise collaborations with pharmaceutical companies when we first started screening for anti-HIV drugs. The company has since expanded into clinical trials, hence the name change.
I would advise interested academics to consider bringing in commercial expertise early on. We benefitted greatly from the appointment of two well-experienced advisors who helped raise finance. I enjoyed my time as Scientific Director, but a company has a life of its own and is a lot different from running research grants!
Researcher in Skin Biology, School of Engineering and Materials Science
I started Keratify because there were limitations with human skin testing and I knew I had a good concept that could resolve the key issues globally. Publishing on its own would not achieve that level of outreach. As a researcher, I’ve always been naturally drawn to translational and industry-funded research. I wanted to run my own business, thought there was a strong commercial opportunity, and the timing was right both personally and in terms of support to kick-start the business.
What advice would you give to aspiring academic entrepreneurs?
Work out how you can generate revenue as quickly as possible. There is a huge focus on achieving investment rounds or winning grant funding with university spin-outs; this is great initially but it doesn’t form a sustainable business on its own. Be prepared to work fast and iterate as you go – perfection is not the key, desirable and good enough will provide the platform to reach perfection.