David Woolley is excited to see the results of academic research being used for greater benefit in society and the economy. He serves as a Technology Transfer Manager for the University, offering professional management and advice to researchers and students contemplating the commercialisation of their work.
He is embedded in Research and Innovation Services (RIS), a central point for the University’s enterprise activities which assists in facilitating academic collaborations, industrial interactions and knowledge transfer. He is a supporting member of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering’s creative research teams and regularly gives specialist advice for projects with complex requirements. “If things don’t appear straightforward, come and talk to me,” he says. “There are a whole host of people in RIS that can join the team effort and give you your answer.”
David was born in Burton upon Trent and trained as a mechanical engineer. He completed a Master of Business Administration degree at a leading UK business school before entering the commercial sector with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The broadcaster placed him in a corporate strategy and later a technical strategy role before he started out-licensing technologies from the internal R&D department.
David has been commuting to London and Southampton for many years from the village of Harwell in Oxfordshire. He arrived in the University of Southampton’s Intellectual Property (IP) licensing group in 2006. He has licensed a broad range of software, electronic technologies and engineering inventions to companies in various industry sectors over the years and advised on several completed spinout companies.
“The University’s view of impact has been really good for the past few years,” he says. “I really enjoy meeting people and seeing the diversity of projects at different stages of development.”
David points to Electronics and Computer Science spinout company Arkivum as a prime example of the University’s enterprise activities. A partner group invested in the digital data archiving collaboration project in 2011 to create the new business which is now based in Chippenham.
Students can seek advice from David if they are interested in working with the University on an entrepreneurial idea. He spends several hours per week talking aspiring innovators through their options as well as guiding them through the established framework of support within the University. Researchers can also contact David for expert guidance using the contact form on this page.
“If someone is showing interest in your technology and you think there are commercial prospects, then come to me and we’ll try to put our finger on exactly what opportunity might be available,” he says. “I can show you the options here in Southampton for taking an idea forward with you at the centre of a team which could become a spinout company.”