The Commercialisation of Science

Invention, Innovation and Change


The Commercialisation of Science


Professor Graham Richards CBE

Oxford University


6.30 pm, Thursday, 2 December 2010,

Faraday Lecture Theatre, Swansea University


Universities are for teaching and research. But the commercialisation of science technology is of growing importance. This can be achieved without distorting activities and most successful examples have been derived from pure science. Some cases will be examined and the relative advantages of spin-out companies and licensing considered. In particular, the way in which the Oxford Chemistry Department has contributed over £80 million to the central University will be described.


Graham Richards was educated first in Tregynon and Newtown and then in Birkenhead before spending a career at Oxford, where he headed the Chemistry Department. His research is in the area of computer-aided drug discovery. He was one of the founders of the technology transfer company, Isis Innovation and in 1989 set up the first of the modern spin-out companies where the University held equity, Oxford Molecular Plc. He is now senior non-executive director of IP Group Plc which has set up some 75 companies of which 15 have become public companies. He is the author of over 380 papers and 17 books and amongst other awards received the Mullard Award from The Royal Society and the Lloyd of Kilgarran Prize from the Foundation for Science and Technology for the benefit of society. He was recently named in The Times list of the 100 most influential scientists in Britain.


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