" /> EI in global push for post-Covid entrepreneurial ecosystems - Edinburgh Innovations

Edinburgh Innovations and nine other leading international universities’ commercialisation services will join transatlantic policymakers to help develop entrepreneurial ecosystems for the post-Covid economic recovery.

Dr George Baxter, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations, will join a panel to discuss targeted initiatives and policies that can work in ecosystem-building.

They will draw on comparisons between New York’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and an emerging project approach in London.

Leading international partners

The discussion on 27 January is hosted by TenU, a transatlantic collaboration of 10 university technology transfer offices. Member universities are Cambridge, Columbia, Edinburgh, Imperial College London, Leuven, Manchester, MIT, Oxford, Stanford, and UCL.

“There has never been a greater need to nurture ecosystems for entrepreneurialism, which turns discoveries from the university sector into maximum impact in the real world.


“The TenU forum enables us to learn from successes, pool expertise and spark innovative solutions to the current challenges facing societies and economies across the world.” 


– Dr George Baxter, CEO, Edinburgh Innovations.

New York and London lessons

Orin Herskowitz, TenU member and Vice-President of Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer at Columbia University, and Euan Robertson, COO of the Simons Foundation and former COO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, will share their experiences of contributing to the development of New York’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Andrew Jones, Professor of Economic Geography and Deputy President of Research & Enterprise at City, University of London, and Alice Hu Wagner, Managing Director of Strategy Economics and Business Development at the British Business Bank, will describe the approach taken in a Research England-funded London ecosystem project they have steered, and discuss the potential of drawing UK-US city comparisons.

UK and US policy

The discussion will be set within wider ecosystem policy developments at national level through the UK’s R&D Roadmap and US’s regional economic development initiatives.

The US national policy context will be addressed by Walter Copan, US Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), providing insight on US initiatives in regional economic development.

Paul Drabwell, Deputy Director, Science Research and Innovation, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will comment on the UK’s R&D Roadmap.

The event will be chaired by Anne Lane, TenU member and CEO of UCL’s technology transfer office UCLB.

“The issue of how to establish and foster successful start-up ecosystems could hardly be more of the moment as we look to rebuild economies post-pandemic and we begin a new chapter on both sides of the Atlantic – the UK outside of the European Union, and the US with the incoming Biden administration.


“TenU has assembled an impressive roster of speakers to unpack this issue and I anticipate a fascinating discussion.”


– Anne Lane, CEO of UCLB and Chair of TenU Hosts: Ecosystems.

Collaboration is key

Herskowitz stressed the importance of collaboration, saying: “Over the past 20 years, NYC has been transformed into a thriving global hub for start-ups and the ‘innovation economy’. Many parties across New York played roles in this growth: the NYC Economic Development Corporation; the NYS Empire State Development Corporation; the Partnership for NYC; and significantly, all of the region’s research and education institutions.

“By working closely together, our individual contributions were no doubt amplified, to everyone’s benefit.”

Edinburgh’s membership of TenU is part of an increasingly international focus for Edinburgh Innovations, which recently appointed two US-based Non-Executive Directors, Dr Gillian Cannon who has more than 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceuticals industry and Dr Karin Immergluck, who leads the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University.

Related links

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Edinburgh among global universities targeting Covid recovery