Barclays and UCL launch deep tech programme

Written by Hannah McGrath
27/02/19

Barclays and University College London (UCL) are launching a joint programme to support early stage ‘deep tech’ startups.

Announcing the launch of the Conception X venture builder project this morning, Barclays said its £1.2 million investment would enable PhD students and UCL’s faculty of engineering to work with potential investors and future clients to develop startups in areas including artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and blockchain.

The idea behind the programme is to enable 27 teams in the launch cohort to transform their dissertation projects into so-called deep tech startups to explore how new technologies can be applied to field including financial services and health.

The launch of Conception X will mark the first time the incubator programme will be available to candidates from outside of UCL. Students engaged in the programme are also able to retain all intellectual property (IP) rights associated with their project.

Over a nine-month period the teams will work on transforming their research into a business idea in a bid to create a viable startup.

The launch follows the creation in April last year of a new business unit at Barclays called Barclays UK (BUK) Ventures, tasked with delivering new customer experiences at pace and scale – ultimately driving growth for communities, business and Barclays.

BUK Ventures is responsible for overseeing the Conception X venture builder with UCL.

Steven Roberts, managing director of Barclays UK Ventures, said: “Deep tech has the potential to transform communities, business and society, but only if talented individuals are given the opportunity to explore the art of the possible.

"We strongly believe that everyone should have that chance, which is why we’re partnering with UCL to launch Conception X, this will create the perfect space for the best and brightest students to experiment in fields that will shape the future.”