Labour Shadow Business Secretary and Shadow Science Minister visit Imperial | Imperial News

Professor Rodriguez y Baena explains his medical robotics research to the VIP guests at the Hamlyn Centre




Key Labour MPs Jonathan Reynolds and Chi Onwurah visited Imperial this week to see research on medical innovation and student entrepreneurship.

Hosted by Professor Mary Ryan, Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise), Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Science, Research and Innovation heard about Imperial’s world-class teaching and research and the positive impact this has across local communities and across the UK. Professor Ryan also highlighted the significance of the UK’s association to Horizon Europe through its prestige, value, and expertise, and the need for parliamentarians to continue to press for association.

Professor Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena showed Mr Reynolds and Ms Onwurah around the Hamlyn Centre, which develops effective and accessible healthcare technologies. He explained how the Centre is at the forefront in research in imaging, sensing and robotics technologies for addressing healthcare challenges. Mr Reynolds and Ms Onwurah also met with PhD and postdoc students who showcased their research, including flexible, smart implants to restore hearing and micro and nano robotics for targeted drug delivery for hard-to-reach organs.

People in lab laughing
Research students explain their work in the Hamlyn Centre.

Mr Reynolds and Ms Onwurah then visited the Enterprise Lab to learn more about how Imperial is inspiring the next generation of student innovators and entrepreneurs. Ben Mumby-Croft, Director of the Enterprise Lab, explained how the Lab supports students through competitions, speaker events, hackathons, skills seminars and access to expert mentors.

Dr Michael Simpson, former Imperial PhD student and founder of the Nottingham-based green energy storage start-up, Cheesecake Energy gave an overview of the company. The company is developing the world’s greenest energy storage technology, lowering the cost of medium to long-duration energy storage, and turning renewable energy sources like wind and solar into reliable, on-demand power. The company works with customers across the UK to help reduce energy costs and achieve decarbonisation targets. Dr Simpson also explained how he benefitted from the Enterprise Lab’s support, taking part in the Lab’s pre-accelerator programme, Venture Catalyst Challenge and the Imperial Venture Mentoring Scheme. The company then went on to successfully secure substantial investment from the Imperial College Innovation Fund.

Man presenting to three people
Enterprise Lab Director Ben Mumby-Croft explains the College’s support for student entrepreneurship.

Jonathan Reynolds MP said, “It was a pleasure to visit Imperial’s South Kensington Campus and learn about how the College is leading in innovation and entrepreneurship through the Enterprise Lab and White City campus. It was also great to see how Imperial supports student’s and nurtures their entrepreneurial spirit from idea to implementation.”

Speaking after the visit, Chi Onwurah MP said, “I was delighted to see first-hand the innovative technologies being developed by Imperial’s world class research teams to address global healthcare challenges, and hear of the support given to students and staff alike to develop cutting edge technology startups.”


Nazza Ahmed

Nazza Ahmed

Office of the President

Lisa Bungeroth

Lisa Bungeroth

Office of the President


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