JournalTOCs – Gaining ground as one of the most talked about ‘Freebies’ on the net

Helping keep researchers up-to-date with information that matters to them, JournalTOCs – the largest free and searchable collection of academic journal Tables of Contents (TOCs) in the world – is now available for license from Heriot-Watt University.

JournalTOCs Table of Contents Searching Engine for Journals

JournalTOCs Table of Contents Searching Engine for Journals

Academics, researchers and companies face increasing difficulties keeping up to date with cutting edge research; JournalTOCs pulls together a database of TOCs from academic journals and provides a convenient ‘one stop shop’ interface to their content allowing subscribers to access the latest research in their fields in a convenient and personalised current awareness service.

JournalTOCs was developed at Heriot-Watt University’s Institute for Computer Based Learning (ICBL) in 2009 with funding from the JISC Rapid Innovation Grants but is now an independent service which, this year alone, has agreed license deals with 8 companies worldwide.

Gary Price, Co-Founder & Editor, Library Journal’s said ‘….JournalTOCS is a powerful alerting tool for use by just about every online researcher. It’s also an excellent example of the work info pros are doing to help organize the web and make it more accessible and useful to everyone. What’s also wonderful is that using JournalTOCS is free’.

Free registration allows users to build a tailored collection of journal titles and receive email alerts when new journal issues are published. Customized versions for institutions allow for more functionality and are available at very economic license rates. This service is especially suitable for research, commercial and institutional libraries, and resource centers worldwide1.

To see how JournalTOCs could help you, please visit

or follow JournalTOCs on Twitter @JournalTOCs

For more information on what Heriot Watt’s Technology Transfer Office can offer, please visit:


Funding for Heriot-Watt to support further industry collaboration

Heriot-Watt has received £1.18m funding allocated to the University to help to build on the University’s already strong links with business and industry.

The funding, which has been provided by EPSRC under their Impact Acceleration Account programme, is part of a £60m funding package announced made by Business Secretary Vince Cable and designed to help support universities’ best scientists and engineers to deliver greater collaboration with industry, bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace, and help them become better entrepreneurs.

Impact Acceleration is designed to support the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition, the ‘Valley of death’ between a research idea and developing it to a stage where a company or venture capitalist might be interested. It will also allow universities to fund secondments for scientists and engineers to spend time in a business environment: improving their knowledge and skills and returning to the lab with a better understanding of the way companies operate and the challenges they face.

Alan Miller, Deputy Principal (Research & Knowledge Transfer) at Heriot-Watt, said, “We are delighted to have received this funding which will be used to help support those trying to increase the Impact of their research.

“The funding will be allocated on a competitive basis to tie in with the University’s key strategic aims and builds on our £6.5m working with industry project which has, over the last three years, transfered knowledge and expertise to Scottish businesses, benefited the wider economy and fostered partnerships as well as creating 300 private sector jobs and supporting the development of 17 new companies through the Converge Challenge competition, run by the University.”

Launching the fund, which will provide a total of £60m to 31 universities across the UK, the Business Secretary said, “The UK’s scientists are some of the most innovative and creative people in the world, but they need support to take their best ideas through to market. This could be by establishing a successful, technology-driven SME like Space Syntax which I visited today.

“This investment I’m announcing today will help our leading universities become centres of innovation and entrepreneurship, generating commercial success to fuel growth.”

This investment will help Heriot-Watt to continue to work with industry and develop new technologies, some of which, as in the video below, has a direct impact on on people’s lives.

Heriot-Watt at SPIE Security & Defence Conference

Representatives from Heriot-Watt University are attending the SPIE Security & Defence Conference in Edinburgh this week.

This leading defence and security event, where fellow researchers come together to bridge the divide between fundamental optical science and applied technologies in advanced security and defence systems, is a premier event in the field’s annual calendar, and is proving to be a hotpot of ideas and technologies.

The event is on until the 27th September – click here for an update on how things have gone so far.

ESD exhibition

Photograph shows (l-r) Robert Goodfellow, Heriot-Watt’s Technology Transfer Manager, Prof. Andy Harvey of Glasgow University, and Iain McEwan, Business Development Executive at Heriot-Watt University.

Click here to download a PDF of SPIE 2012 Security and Defence – Heriot-Watt speakers.

Engineers at Heriot-Watt Spinout Alba Photonics make developments in Micro-Optics

Engineers at Heriot-Watt University Spinout company, Alba Photonics, have developed a stack-and-draw process for fabricating nanostructured micro-optics.

In conjunction with researchers at the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology in Poland, these developments point the way to the low-cost manufacture of microlenses and other small optical elements.

To find out more, please visit:

The start of the end for drug resistant bacteria?

A story on the BBC news website today heralds what may be the start of the end for drug resistant bacteria – and it comes from a Heriot-Watt spin-out company.

Founded in 2000, Aquapharm started life with the PhD research of Andrew Mearns-Spragg, who is the company’s Chief Technology Officer.

Andrew has gone on from Heriot-Watt to achieve significant success, including raising over £10m in equity and grant finance, and winning the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year 2008 in Health Care (Scotland) prize.

To quote from the article:

Aquapharm’s chief scientific officer, Dr Tim Morley, said: “From an initial screening of a small portion of our natural product library we have identified 16 novel compounds belonging to totally novel and diverse chemical classes.

“The most advanced compound AQP-182 has a promising pharmacological and pharmacokinetic profile which is extremely relevant for the treatment of hard to treat resistant bacterial infections.”

Heriot-Watt Spin-Out Companies

Heriot-Watt has spun out a broad range of companies, in a range of fields including engineering, food & drink, marine and manufacturing. You can find a list of our spin-outs here. And if you’re interested in starting your own successful company, like Andrew – why not check out our sister blog which talks about this, at Converge Challenge?

Working with Industry – Pharmaceuticals

We are pleased to be able to announce another fantastic licensing deal struck between Heriot-Watt unviersity and our Industry partners. Innovative technology which could vastly increase manufacturing processes and production in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries has been licensed from Heriot-Watt University.

Crystallisation technology

High tech continuous reactor company, NiTech Solutions Ltd. has signed a new deal with Heriot-Watt allowing it to commercialise revolutionary crystallisation technology. In the global fine chemicals and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, the control of particle shape and size is a critical manufacturing step. This patent-pending innovation has been developed within Professor Xiong-Wei Ni’s research group at Heriot-Watt, and is complementary with NiTech’s existing IP portfolio and its current range of laboratory and pilot scale products – NiTech™ Reactor, NiTech™ Crystalliser and NiTech™ Evaluator.

NiTech Finance Director Neil Todd with Robert Goodfellow, of Heriot-Watt University's Research & Enterprise Services.

NiTech Finance Director Neil Todd with Robert Goodfellow, of Heriot-Watt University’s Research & Enterprise Services.

Continued output from Heriot-Watt

This latest agreement, Heriot-Watt’s 14th with Scottish SME companies in 2012, is the first with NiTech Solutions since spinning-out from Heriot-Watt’s Chemical Engineering labs in 2003 to commercialise the “Oscillating Baffled Reactor (OBR)” technology, and is testament to Heriot-Watt’s relations with the Scottish SME community and the on-going success of technology transfer activity within the University.

Heriot-Watt University is continuously researching exciting technologies that are available for license to companies. You can take a look at what opportunities are available here.

Commercialising research – our recent “How To” guide for international academics

For a Knowledge Transfer blog, whilst it’s good to understand what knowledge Heriot-Watt has, it’s probably also a good idea to understand how we transfer it.

It can take many forms, which will be discussed as the blog develops, but the easiest and most obvious way is simply talking – and we have many staff members who are good at that!

For the second successive year, RES has played host a group of Academics and Researchers from the Czech Republic.  In June, two groups of academics and researchers from Charles University in Prague and Biologicke Centrum AV in Ceske arrived at Heriot-Watt for a development programme focused on ‘Best Practice in Research Commercialisation’.  The visitors came from a variety of academic fields that included Medicine, Biological Sciences and Engineering.

The content of lessons brought to the Czech team plenty of inspiration and helps us to create new ideas which we want to realize soon as possible.” Jiri M. Fuchs, Director of Centre for Knowledge and Technology Transfer, Charles University in Prague.

The programme was developed in 2011 when Robert Goodfellow (Technology Transfer Manager, RES) beat fierce competition from other institutions, including the Universities of Cambridge and Warwick, to win tenders for a two year contract with the ‘Study Stays Abroad’ Programme.

The development programme was made up of case studies presented by Heriot Watt staff, including Dr Olga Kozlova and Robert himself, talks from spinouts and start-up companies and selected external partners including Interface – The Knowledge Connection for Business, Bio-Consultant – Dr Patrick McCarthy (CPG Ltd) and Entrepreneur, Shahida Imani, of Imani Financial Solutions.

This study visit has been very informative and beneficial for all the participants and very likely has opened a longer-term about how to set up the structures to support technology transfer processes at several research and academic institutions in the Czech Republic.” Hana Kosova, Project Manager at Innovation Leadership Agency, Prague.

Guests were also encouraged to soak up the culture and sights of Edinburgh, and meet Heriot-Watt staff members in a relaxed and informal way.


More information on Heriot-Watt’s technology licensing can be found here.

Technology Transfer in Scotland

Heriot-Watt’s Technology Transfer Manager, Robert Goodfellow, works to take the research of the university and apply it to solutions in the real world. We work with to offer access to more than 200 current technologies for a variety of applications.

Robert was interviewd for an article in Europhotonics, and was published today – you can read it this link: Tech Transfer Keeps Light Moving.

There are many unique and innovative technologies in existence that are only waiting to be commercialised. Sometimes, companies will come looking for research into building a new product, only to realise that the science has already been done, and somebody, somewhere, has already invented their idea. they are just waiting for a company to need it. This can save businesses millions of pounds in research and development.

We have also been mentioned in the Scotland on Sunday as we are at the forefront of Easy Access IP – that is, offering the licensing of new technology to industry for free. Read more about it here.

If you want to know more, get in touch with Robert. The technology you need may already exist.

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