UCL Management Science and Innovation

Simcha Jong

Assistant Professor (Lecturer)
Faculty Chair Healthcare Management Initiative
Phone number
(0)20 7679 3693
(internal 33693)
Office location
Engineering Front Building
Rm 4.05
Elsewhere

Biography

Simcha’s research group studies innovation processes in science-based industries, and the changing dynamics governing academic work. Simcha received funding from TSB, ESRC, NESTA, and BIS for projects examining business development strategies for science-based firms, and the commercialisation of disruptive cell therapy and personalised medicine technologies. 

Simcha joined UCL in 2006 from the European University Institute in Florence Italy, where he obtained a PhD in Social and Political Sciences. He has an MPhil in Management Studies from the University of Cambridge (first class honours with distinction level), and a BA in Social Science from Utrecht University’s University College (cum laude). In addition, he was a visiting scholar at the Department of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. 

Simcha’s research has been published in leading international scientific and management journals, including Nature Biotechnology, Research Policy, and Industrial and Corporate Change. Simcha was elected Honorary Cambridge University European Trust Scholar, was awarded the first prize in the PRIME Early Career Competition, a DIME WP European Framework Grant for qualitative research on university entrepreneurship, a Georgia Tech Science and Technology policy conference early career prize, and an Academy of Management OB Most Innovative Student paper award.
PhD and Postdoctoral researchers from Simcha’s group moved on to academic positions in management and science policy, at Warwick Business School, Georgia Tech, National Taiwan University, SPRU, Middlesex University, and UCL.

Finally, Simcha taught modules in strategy for technology ventures for UCL postgraduates and London Business School MBA students. He currently leads the department’s undergraduate dissertation module.

Research

Simcha’s research builds on theory in the sociology, technology management, and entrepreneurship literature to advance our understanding of the changing organisational dynamics of knowledge-intensive work. Specifically, Simcha’s projects examine challenges involved in building successful science-based ventures, in implementing disruptive technological innovations in healthcare settings, and in organising scientific work in an academic landscape that is increasingly internationally interconnected and tied into industrial R&D.

Simcha’s work provides templates of business models for science-based ventures and insights into trade-offs managers of such ventures face in the development of R&D strategies. Also, Simcha’s group developed new valuation tools for science-based R&D projects in the context of a £1.2 Million TSB-funded British Regen Industry Tool Set project on the cell therapy sector. Simcha’s research in this field relies on collaborations with and funding support from companies and other stakeholders in science-based industries. Seminars Simcha organised around his research in this area have attracted CEO’s, R&D Directors, and other senior managers from organisations such as MRC Technology, Reneuron, Astex Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Cell Therapy Catapult, and the UK Departments of Health, and Business, Innovation, and Skills.  

Challenges healthcare organisations face in the adoption of organisationally disruptive innovations in the field of personalised medicine constitute another scholarly focus. With support from industry and a £255k TSB Stratified Medicines program grant, Simcha teamed up with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, UCL Partners, UCLH, and the Royal Free Hospital to develop organisational frameworks for the implementation of novel point of care diagnostics services, and valuation methods to assess the various patient stratification strategies such novel diagnostics services make possible. 

Finally, Simcha has made important contributions to the study of changing organisational dynamics in science as academic work has become more international, and closely interlinked with industrial R&D. Simcha published articles that examine institutional models governing academic work in the life sciences at Silicon Valley universities Berkeley, Stanford, and UCSF that are central nodes in biomedical innovation networks. Currently, Simcha is working on projects that examine the organisation and politics of international scientific consortia, as well as changes in European systems of higher learning. Simcha has a strong track record in engaging those involved in science and higher education policy as well as senior academics within this research stream. 

Initiatives

Healthcare Management

The UCL healthcare management initiative is a hub for research, teaching, and knowledge exchange across UCL dedicated to supporting innovation and leadership in healthcare.

Research projects

Drivers of organisational learning and adaptation

How organisations learn and adapt to significant changes in their environment

Managing R&D in science-based industries

Corporate R&D organizations and their relationships with academic laboratories

Cell therapy

Decision support tools for cell therapy commercialisation and business development

Personalised medicine

Assessing and implementing new diagnostics strategies for stratifying patients

Universities as engines of technological change

An examination of academic organisations at the forefront of the biotechnology revolution
Selected publications
Jong, S., & Slavova, K. (2014). When publications lead to products: The open science conundrum in new product development. Research Policy, 43 (4), 645-654. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2013.12.009
JONG, S. (2011). Commercializing a disruptive technology. Nature Biotechnology, 29 (8), 685-688. doi:10.1038/bioe.2011.6
Jong, S. (2009). When times get tough. Nature Biotechnology, 27 (3). doi:10.1038/bioe.2009.1
Jong, S. (2008). Academic organizations and new industrial fields; Berkeley and Stanford after the rise of biotechnology. Research Policy, 37 (8), 1267-1282. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2008.05.001