Press release

Tech transfer leader Dr Alison Campbell OBE appointed as CEO of government’s new technology transfer unit

The Government Office for Tech Transfer (GOTT) will support the way government manages and commercialises its estimated £104 billion worth of knowledge assets.

  • UK government hires Dr Alison Campbell OBE, former Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), as CEO of the Government Office for Tech Transfer (GOTT)
  • GOTT will support the way government manages and commercialises its estimated £104 billion worth of knowledge assets
  • Dr Campbell will oversee later stages of GOTT’s development ahead of formal launch later this year

Dr Alison Campbell OBE has been appointed as CEO of the newly formed Government Office for Tech Transfer (GOTT), the government announced today (25 April 2022).

Technology transfer is the broad term applied to the transfer of assets, such as intellectual property rights, technology or new knowledge, from one organisation to another, with the objective of stimulating the development and adoption of new products, processes and services that benefit society.

An experienced leader from within the Knowledge Transfer industry, Dr Campbell joins GOTT from a previous position as Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), Ireland’s national office helping businesses to benefit from access to public sector research expertise and technology.

The new government unit will sit within the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and is being developed to ensure that the public sector is maximising the value of its knowledge and innovation assets estimated to be worth £104 billion - including intellectual property, software, processes and data – leading in the long term to new productivity-driving innovations that will serve business and public services, and result in benefits to the economy.

She brings over 20 years of experience to the role, having started her career in the biotech industry, holding positions including interim CEO of the Medical Research Council’s technology transfer company (MRCT), and leading technology transfer and research support at King’s College London. Dr Campbell was also Chair of the Board at AUTM (the US based international association for technology transfer).

She was awarded an OBE in 2010 in recognition of her contribution to Knowledge Transfer.

Incoming GOTT CEO Dr Alison Campbell OBE said:

I am delighted to take up this new role, helping to support the management of knowledge assets from across the public sector to deliver societal and economic impact.

Here in the Government Office for Tech Transfer we will have a strong platform to build from thanks to the significant work and delivery from the existing Knowledge Assets Team and the engagement and support from key public sector stakeholders.

Science Minister George Freeman said:

Home to some of the greatest institutions and scientists in the world, the UK is an exceptional research, knowledge, and innovation base.

For too long however, we have let British discoveries slip through our fingers and be brought to market elsewhere: often commercialised in the US, taking the expertise and financial benefits from UK research to foreign shores.

This is why I am so pleased that Dr Alison Campbell, a formidable leader in the field of Knowledge Transfer, is joining us to lead our excellent new Government Office for Technology Transfer, a body that will be critical to maximising UK government’s outstanding home-grown knowledge assets to benefit the country’s economy, society, and position as a global science superpower.

The unit will launch later this year, providing specialist skills to support the way government manages its knowledge assets. Alongside this are 2 public sector funding schemes:

  • a grant fund, investing in pre-commercial proposals
  • a managed fund focused on providing pre-seed and seed capital to public sector knowledge assets

The Grant Fund has already awarded one round of funding, via which GOTT is funding several exciting scientific projects, including technology for earlier and more effective diagnosis of breast cancer.

Further details on the government’s strategy for knowledge and innovation assets in the public sector can be found in the Mackintosh Report, in which the plan to develop GOTT was set out.

Published 25 April 2022