The University Commercialisation and Innovation (UCI) Policy Evidence Unit supports governments and university leaders in delivering a step change in the contributions universities make to innovation and economic prosperity – nationally and locally – through their commercialisation and other innovation-focused activities and partnerships.


As government departments, funding agencies, and university leaders look to develop new approaches to supporting university commercialisation and innovation, it is important that their decisions are based on a rigorous evidence base. Evidence must draw on the latest insights from both academic research and policy practice, as well as learning from experiences in the UK and internationally.


The UCI Policy Evidence Unit creates much needed expert capacity in the UK that is responsive to the evidence needs of these key stakeholders.




Core activities


To support rigorous and effective decision-making, the Unit will undertake the following types of activities:

  • Targeted studies to fill key evidence gaps hampering the development of effective UCI public policies and university practices
  • Policy-focused reviews of the state-of-the-art academic research and the latest developments internationally in UCI policy/practice to improve understanding of key UCI-relevant concepts, issues and international trends
  • Data development projects to improve the quality and robustness of data and metrics available on university commercialisation and innovation
  • Active support for policy-makers and analysts in using the emerging evidence, concepts and tools in their decision-making activities



The UCI Policy Evidence Unit is based at the University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) within the Department of Engineering. It is being developed in partnership with the IfM’s policy research Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (CSTI) and the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB).


It is led by Tomas Ulrichsen, a leading expert in the UK on university commercialisation and R&D/innovation partnerships with a long track record of delivering practical and impactful evidence and frameworks to support the development of effective public policy, funding programmes, and university-practice.






The UCI Policy Evidence Unit was established through a generous grant from the Research England Development Fund and gratefully acknowledges the support provided from the University of Cambridge, CSTI and NCUB.


Research England 




For further information please contact:

Tomas Ulrichsen

T: +44 (0) 1223 339741


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