In January 2021, the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy (SCFP) welcomed Professor William (Bill) Kilgallon as the University’s first Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR). In this role, Prof Kilgallon will spend one day per week delivering transformation in the commercialisation of research within SCFP and more broadly across the Agriculture, Food and Health research theme.
The EiR scheme is designed to provide our research community with access to world-leading expertise and advice across multiple industry sectors to:
- expose university staff and students to state-of-the-art industrial research and development, and the scientific challenges faced by industry
- provide support and expert advice aimed at promoting innovation and the translation of research by universities
- grow confidence in and understanding of business and entrepreneurship among staff and students
In his role, Prof Kilgallon will:
- Lead discussion with colleagues across SCFP and broadly across the university, including department seminars to introduce and develop engagement with the scheme
- Work with our community to develop a greater understanding of how to recognise and manage potential commercial research opportunities.
- Support entrepreneurial and commercial upskilling of students, academics and professional services staff.
- Create a model business development system that better defines and accelerates the routes to market for emerging commercial research initiatives, this will have initial impact in SCFP, but working closely with colleagues in Knowledge Transfer Centre the impact will be University-wide.
- Enable access to his personal network of contacts to better develop collaboration and partnering opportunities with wider stakeholders and institutions.
- Work with senior leaders and key stakeholders to identify opportunities to enhance Reading’s translational research portfolio
- Increase the visibility of the UoR within the business world and foster engagement with local industries in the context of business growth and regeneration.
Early in his career Prof Kilgallon completed a post-doc at UCLA where he worked at the interface between the University and local medical diagnostics companies, this led to a 30-year career which has encompassed biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies. He has a breadth of practical experience of product development, market launches and economic business planning. This has included the development and commercialisation of routine diagnostic tests, global drug development following the purchase of technology from a small UK biotech company and more recently, business turnaround of a £5M company leading to an exit strategy valued at £80M. Prof Kilgallon has an understanding of the academic environment from both his early career and now as he continues to work closely with Donau University, Austria where he lectures and coaches on their MBA Biotechnology.
Professor William Kilgallon PhD MBA FCIM said:
“It’s a real pleasure and a unique challenge to be the new RS EIR for the University of Reading. I’ve already met a some of the talented people at the university and hopefully I can facilitate a radical transformation in the commercialisation of research and accelerate ideas to market.”
If you’re interested in getting involved or would like to see how you can collaborate with the Knowledge Transfer Centre, please get in touch.