Today’s guest, Sean Fielding, was formally educated in languages, which may seem incongruous for someone who is the Director of Innovation, Impact and Business at the University of Exeter. However, Sean’s educational background has in fact been a huge asset in the technology transfer space; his 25 years of enormous success in the sector being more than enough proof!
When Sean was brought to Exeter to establish the University’s Technology Transfer office, there were no commercial relationships worth mentioning and his team consisted of himself and his secretary. Today, his team is 175 people strong, and they have completely changed the entrepreneurial landscape in the region!
Sean’s main goal is to support the University in activities which lead to innovation in the community, and in today’s episode you’ll hear about the engagement strategy they are using to achieve this, how they deal with the challenges that come with being a peripheral city, why Sean doesn’t put huge stock in commercialisation metrics as a measure of success, and what the bigger picture looks like going forward!
In This Episode:
- [00:51] An overview of Sean Fielding’s background in technology transfer.
- [03:00] How Sean’s language-focused education has been an asset in the technology transfer space.
- [04:16] The job that drew Sean to the University of Exeter, and how his team has grown over the years he has been there.
- [05:50] Sean explains broadly what his office of Innovation, Impact and Business does, and the kinds of businesses that they work with.
- [07:30] The education provision component of Sean’s work.
- [09:42] Goals of the engagement strategy that Sean and his team began implementing in 2017, and what they have achieved since then.
- [13:16] Hopes that Sean has for the future of Innovation, Impact and Business at the University of Exeter.
- [14:51] Examples of some of the regionally focused projects that Sean and his team have established.
- [19:00] How the policy environment in the UK has changed over the past few years, and how this has impacted the work being done by Sean and his team.
- [21:25] Challenges of securing funding in peripheral locations and how Sean’s office works around these.
- [25:27] Sean’s opinion on using commercialisation metrics as a measure of success.
- [28:47] The critical factor that determines the success (or not) of innovation projects.
- [31:05] Some of the key industry partnerships that Exeter has, and why these are important.
- [35:10] Sean shares some of his favorite spin-out success stories to come out of the University of Exeter.
- [40:15] What Sean sees as the two main challenges facing the technology transfer field at the moment.
- [43:45] Programs at the University of Exeter which are focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.
- [46:56] Organizations that Sean’s team is involved with,
- [48:11] Why Sean strongly believes in the importance of credentialing.
- [50:08] Three visions that Sean has for the future of technology transfer.
Leave a Reply