The SIUConference series aims to bring together leaders in a selected field to discuss their experience transforming that field. The events will be launched every academic term and topics selected will be of great importance to the scientific and entrepreneurial community .

GUEST SPEAKERS: Professor Carlos Velasco, Max Scott-Slade, Logan Graham

Magdalen College Auditorium, Magdalen College, Oxford - (5 PM - 8 PM)

Professor Carlos Velasco is an expert on multisensory marketing and a founding member of Neurosketch and Flying Fish Research

Max Scott-Slade co-founded the game studio GLITCHERS with the intention of creating products that have real purpose and make some kind of creative or technological leap.

Logan Graham will present his experience as the co-founder of RAIL, a student action lab that applies AI to large social challenges.



SIUConference Oxford session 1 (23/11/2017): Innovation Leaders in Neurotechnology and Applied Neuroscience

We are very excited to bring you our first SIU conference event of the academic year! 

For Michaelmas the topic is Neurotechnology & Applied Neuroscience.

In this event we will have the opportunity to hear from three innovation leaders in this field. All three speakers have co-founded organisations that apply concepts of Applied Neuroscience directly to the consumer, whether that be for marketing, problem-solving, or therapeutic purposes. This will be a fantastic opportunity for examining the intersections of these applications in Neurotechnology.

As always, the event is free and open to the public. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend what promises to be a very enlightening event!

There will be a networking & drinks reception after the event!




The SIU 2017 educational programme aims to guide participants through many of the key practical skills required to take an idea from laboratory research and published work to a fully formed and translatable business idea. The talks will cover subjects such as; combining roles in academia and biotech; analysing, fine tuning and executing your plan for a biotech business; patenting your research to add value and defensibility to your business; and insights into how to attract the big science funders.


Session 1 (21/02/17): Intellectual property; protecting your ideas and why your IP strategy matters.


The world of intellectual property can seem daunting and complicated, but getting to grips with what IP is protectable in your start-ups arsenal can be essential to success. We are delighted to welcome Dr Philip Webber to Oxford and the SIU to shed some light on the subject. 

GUEST SPEAKER: dr philip webber


NEW BIOCHEMISTRY building, South parks rd, OX1 3QU - (6.30PM TO 8PM)

Dr. Philip Webber has a degree in natural sciences (genetics) from University of Cambridge, and a PhD from University of Warwick, where he conducted research on the regulation of brain specific genes. He now is a qualified chartered patent attorney, a European patent attorney, and a partner at the highly reputable international Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, Dehns.

Dr. Webber handles patent work in the pharmaceutical, biotechnological and biological fields, has been described as “Bright, highly knowledgeable and on the ball” by Legal 500 and has been nominated as one of the world’s leading patent practitioners in Who’s Who Legal: Patents 2016.


GUEST SPEAKERs: dr alasdair taylor & dr katy gearing

NEW BIOCHEMISTRY BUILDING, SOUTH PARKS RD, OX1 3QU - (6PM to 7.30PM, focus group 5pm-5.55pm)

Dr Alasdair Taylor is Industry Programme Manager at the Royal Society. He has a research background in green chemistry, and has worked on collaborative projects between businesses and academics in the areas of energy storage, sustainable chemical engineering and food science. At the Royal Society, Alasdair is leading work focused on translation and developing an entrepreneurial mindset among scientists.  He is also Chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Early Career Network.

Twitter: @AWTaylor8

Dr Katy Gearing studied biochemistry at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, graduating with a PhD in 1989. She has since worked extensively in industry in the fields of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. She joined the Royal Society in 2016 as Head of Industry Engagement and is leading on growing the Society’s links with industry.





We are very happy and excited to welcome Dr Katy Gearing and Dr Alasdair Taylor of the Royal Society to Oxford and the SIU. Katy and Alasdair are doing great work in the area of science innovation and entrepreneurship, and will be running a focus group with a small group of students (see below for details) and giving a talk that is open for all SIU members to attend.

The Royal Society’s Science, Industry and Translation programme aims to reinvigorate the links between the Society and industry, and promote the importance of translating research into new products, processes and companies with societal and economic impacts. In this talk, Katy and Alasdair will describe some of the Society’s current work and the insights it has given them into technology transfer, entrepreneurship, emerging technologies and science careers in industry and academia. Looking back at their own experiences, they will also share with us the opportunities and challenges around university-business collaboration and technology transfer. 


Focus group

A message from Alasdair and Katy:

The Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology (CST) has recommended that the Royal Society, along with the three other National Academies, provide “coordinated guidance to universities on entrepreneurship education” for STEM undergraduates. Entrepreneurship education is seen as an important tool for encouraging scientists to form successful and innovative new companies that drive economic growth and create jobs, while providing important skills and knowledge such as critical thinking, communication and team-work. However, research by the Department of Business, Energy and Industry Strategy suggests only 4% of STEM undergraduates receive formal entrepreneurship education during their studies (falling to as low as 2% among biological and physical science students). 


As part of our evidence gathering, we would be interested in speaking to members of the SIU, or students affiliated with them, on their experiences of formal and informal modes of entrepreneurship education they may have received during their undergraduate or postgraduate studies. We would like to know more about:

·       The types (content and pedagogy) of entrepreneurship education they have received, or would like to.

·       The quality and effectiveness of current entrepreneurship education in UK universities

·       A non-UK perspective on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education (if there are non-UK members of the SIU who can attend).

·       How more scientists can be encouraged to be entrepreneurial?

·       Whether they are supported by their PhD supervisors?


We are looking for a small group of 5-8 students to participate in the focus group, which will take place from 17:00 on the 1st of March, directly preceding the talk. If you think you might be suitable and would like to be involved please contact the Oxford education lead directly (, outlining very briefly how you think you can contribute to answering the points above.  

Information provided will be used as part of our evidence gathering and all information will be anonymised. 


OXFORD SESSION 3 (13/03/17): insight into entrepreneurship



Leah Thompson is the curator and manager of Enterprising Oxford.

Anne Miller is the Enterprise Programme Manager for Division of Maths, Physical and Life Sciences at University of Oxford, developing a programme of courses, events and activities that foster enterprising and entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills among researchers.

Leah Thompson is the curator of Enterprising Oxford, which aims to signpost you to everything Oxford offers in supporting students and staff to become more entrepreneurial. Leah will explore and highlight some of the opportunities for engaging at any point along your journey to be an entrepreneur. Anne Miller will share her experiences in running the MPLS Enterprise programme, which provides all sorts of training and networking activities that increase researchers enterprise skills. They will be joined by successful entrepreneurs who have benefitted from engaging in these programmes.  Come and help us to understand what else would help to create a really vibrant and thriving Entrepreneurial culture here throughout Oxford.


GUEST SPEAKERs: riham satti, ekaterina damer and John Stuart


Riham Satti CEO of MeVitae, an AI decision-making platform in the human capital sector, is amongst the top disruptive game changers in Thames Valley and top tech business leaders. She works with some of the most innovative tech companies around the world.

Ekaterina Damer is the CEO and co-founder of Prolific Academic Ltd. In Ekaterina's words: "Prolific is the most fun, fair and efficient participant recruitment platform for scientists and startups. We've bootstrapped our startup to £1 million in sales with zero marketing spend and without having raised investment (yet)."

John Stuart is the founder and CEO of Bounts Limited. Bounts is a digital health platform that aims to motivate people to keep committed to a healthy life. After 6 years and £1.5 million investment, John has been through all the highs, lows and mistakes of creating a company from scratch.


Come join this exciting session to meet four Oxford alumni and early career researchers who turned their brilliant concepts into reality. These three entrepreneurs will each share their stories about how they developed their ideas and turned them into successful businesses. After a series of short flash presentations from each CEO, the session will move on to a panel discussion, where you can ask your own specific questions to the panellists. Come and find out how to progress your career from a student to CEO.

OXford session 5 (13/11/17): Labstep: Building a start-up to help the research community

GUEST SPEAKER: jake schofield, ceo, labstep

lecture theatre, pharmacology building, mansfield RD, oxford, OX1 3qt - (1:00 PM to 2.00PM)






In this talk, CEO of Labstep Jake Schofield will detail his entrepreneurial journey and how he expanded his platform to where it is today. This will be a great opportunity to learn how to formulate and actualize an idea that meets a need that is currently unsatisfied in the target demographic’s space. Jake will also speak to company fundraising and how he built his team using the resources available within Oxford.

Labstep Ltd is an online tool used by more than 350 universities worldwide that lets you create a personal or shared timeline with your lab group to track your experimental progress in the lab. You can write updates of your experiments and attach results to keep an accurate record of your work. Labstep allows you to create a library of your experimental methods onto a protocol playlist. You can easily run any of your protocols and make edits to them whenever you make a slight modification to increase reproducibility.

As always, this event is free and everyone is welcome!

GUEST SPEAKERs: Prof Chas bountra, dr mark richards, dr melissa brereton

epa seminar room, sir william dunn school of pathology, SOUTH PARKS RD, OX1 3RE - (6:00 PM to 9.00PM)

Chas Bountra is a Professor of Translational Medicine at Oxford University. He was voted "one of the top innovators in the industry".

Dr Mark Richards is a Senior Lecturer at the Physics Department of Imperial College, London, and a Co-Founder of Duvas Technologies. 

Dr Melissa Brereton is a medical writer at NextGenCommunications.

OXFORD SESSION 6 (16/11/17): Academia and Industry: Advancing Science and Your Career

In this event, we will hear from three professionals who work at the crossroads of academia and industry. Speakers will demonstrate to the audience how individuals can bridge the gap between these two seemingly disparate entities and how doing so can be beneficial both for the advancement of science, and their own professional goals as well. Topics covered will be from the fields and perspectives of bioscience, physics, and business.

As always, this event is free and everyone is welcome!

SIUconversations 2016


Session 1 (18/10/2016): Opportunity recognition and construction.


For those individuals at the start of their entrepreneurial career, one of the most difficult challenges is to learn how to spot opportunities that are worth chasing. Is there a demand? Is the proposed solution appropriate and economically viable? Is the timing right? Is the technology protectable from an IP point of view? This list of questions, which is far from exhaustive, are all questions which clearly need to be addressed, however the answers are not always obvious. Attendees will acquire knowledge and skills which will aid them in their assessment of opportunities and allow them to make better decisions when considering which ideas represent realistic and compelling opportunities.


GUEST SPEAKER: Prof. Chas Bountra


Said Business School - (7.00PM TO 9.00 PM)

Chas Bountra is Professor of Translational Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine and Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. He is also a Visiting Professor in Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College, London. He is an invited expert on several government and charitable research funding bodies, and an advisor for many academic, biotech and pharma drug discovery programmes.

Prior to coming back to Oxford, Chas Bountra was Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline. He was involved in the identification of more than 40 clinical candidates for many gastro-intestinal, inflammatory and neuro-psychiatric diseases


GUEST SPEAKERs: Professor Jonathan Seville, Adrian Griffiths and Kevin Marks


Said Business School - (7.00PM TO 9.00 PM)

Professor Seville is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Surrey. He holds degrees in Chemical Engineering from the university of Cambridge and the University of Surrey and is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Professor Seville has an impressive record in the application of his science in the manufacturing of products in numerous industries, working with an extensive list of some of the largest companies in science, including Astra Zeneca, BP, Siemens and Unilever to name just a few. He also co-founded the successful spin-out company Recycling Technologies, of which he now sits on the advisory panel.

Adrian Griffiths is the current managing director of Recycling Technologies Ltd, and has extensive commercial and technical experience in many manufacturing sectors. Adrian holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Imperial college London.

Kevin Marks is the Chief Operating Officer of Warwick Ventures, Warwick universities commercialisation technology transfer office. Kevin hold a Bachelor degree in Engineering Science and an MBA from Warwick University, as well as an MPhil in electrical engineering from the University of Birmingham.

Session 2 (01/11/2016) : Company sturcture, what is your role?.


For many researchers, starting a company can be an exciting and immersive experience, however it is also one with heavy time and resource demands. As the majority of translational academic scientists will already have full time positions (either as staff of students), how can one run a company and maintain the high standard of work and dedication expected of their permanent position? Start-ups must be very dynamic and adaptable enterprises, and consequently the role of the founding scientist clearly changes dramatically over the time course of a company. Here we will look at the structure of a start-up and how this structure changes over time through the course of developing a start up from the early stages of just an idea, to an organisation gathering investment with a dedicated managerial team all the way to a profit making private or public company.


GUEST SPEAKEr: Steven Zimmer

Said Business School - (7.00PM TO 9.00 PM)

Trained as a Biochemist and Molecular Biologist, Steven has had a long career as an analyst, investment banker and portfolio manager on Wall Street and in the City of London. He was a co-founder, Protein Sciences Inc., Steribottle Ltd and Tissuomics and has been an investor and advisor to many ventures and companies over the past 30 years. His latest position was as an advisor on Business and Strategic Development at e-Therapeutics plc, an AIM-listed network pharmacology-based drug discovery company based in Newcastle, UK.



Session 3 (15/11/2016): Quelling fears; runways, risks and expectations.


Translational scientists at the very beginning of their careers face a choice, do they elect to stay in academia and to some extent minimize their involvement in the running of their start-up, or if presented with the opportunity, should they take on the start-up as a full time occupation. The prospect of translating research into commercially useful products has its risks, indeed the statistics on success rates of start-ups are superficially quite alarming, but is taking on a postdoctoral position really much less risky? After all the proportion of PhD students that end up in a permanent academic position is also very low. Here we will explore the different areas of risk along the trajectory of a new start-up, from securing protected IP, to gathering funding, developing a technology to choosing the right people. If a young scientist decides to take on an idea and decides to develop the start up as their full time position how does one set appropriate targets by which to judge progress and succes. If the project ultimately ends in failure from a business point of view, where does that leave the founder? What’s next? What are the benefits of being fully involved in your start up, whether it succeeds or fails, from both a learning, enjoyment and scientific point of view?

Session 4 (29/11/2016): Fates of successfully translated technologies


In the final session of the series we explore the fates of successful start-ups and technologies. When is licencing your technology to an already established company in your sector a better route forward and when is the time right to float. Why does there seem to be a tendency for British firms in particular to be acquired by larger foreign organisations? When can this be the best outcome? We evaluate which are the most appropriate way to get your technology into the hands of those who would use it, and look at case studies of successful start-ups who have chosen each of these routes

GUEST SPEAKEr: Brian Graves

Said Business School - (7.00PM TO 9.00 PM)

Brian joined Imperial Innovations in 2001 as head of the Engineering Technology Transfer team having previously gained over 20 years' experience in business development, product development and marketing in the engineering industry with John Crane Limited, a division of Smiths Group plc