Spotlight on... Krista Macmillan

This week we meet Krista Macmillan, Head of Knowledge Exchange Policy and Projects at UCL Innovation and Enterprise. Here, she chats to us about her work supporting innovation and enterprise activities at UCL - plus shares her favourite place, a scenic gem in Denmark.

What is your role and what does it involve? 

As Head of Knowledge Exchange Policy and Projects for UCL Innovation & Enterprise, I lead key strategic projects and am responsible for implementing the supporting systems, processes and resources. I manage a number of teams covering key support functions including policy, project management and data management. As part of the UCL Innovation & Enterprise leadership team, I contribute to the department’s strategic development and planning. It’s a very varied role that provides me with plenty of challenges and brings me into contact with lots of interesting people across the university.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I joined UCL in 2005. I have always worked in the innovation and enterprise space through its many evolutions and in a variety of different roles.

Prior to UCL, I worked for Scottish Enterprise and the University of California, Berkeley in roles related to information systems.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

We have made very significant progress developing and implementing policy to support innovation and enterprise activities at UCL. This includes approval of the revised intellectual property (IP) policy and the new Disclosure of Conflicts and Declaration of Interests policy. Implementation of these policies has been supported by the launch of mandatory training for understanding and protecting IP at UCL and disclosing and managing interests , including fully accessible versions which are now available. We have also developed a new module that sits alongside MyHR for the declaration of interests and the disclosure and management of conflicts. This has been a real team endeavour and is the culmination of a great deal of expertise, time and effort.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

Universities UK and Research England have introduced the Knowledge Exchange Concordat (KEC) to sit alongside the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). This year is the development year for the KEC and UCL are submitting a self-evaluation against the eight principles of the Concordat to demonstrate our commitment as a university to Knowledge Exchange. Producing the evaluation and three to five-year action plan is a priority right now and we are working with a wide range of people across UCL to develop this for submission in May 2021.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Favourite album: If You’re Feeling Sinister, Belle and Sebastian.
Favourite film: The Godfather: Part II. 
Favourite book is anything by Georgette Heyer. Her historical novels, largely set in the Regency period, are my go-to comfort read.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

My therapist says I have an obsession with vengeance. We’ll see about that.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Cary Grant for his charm and wit, Sylvia Plath, who was my first literary inspiration, Greg Davies, just because he’s funny and Nicola Sturgeon as someone I genuinely admire.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t lose your sense of self.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I have had a few wildlife related near misses involving a Black Mamba in a tent in Ethiopia, a crocodile in Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe and a charging bull elephant in South Africa. 

What is your favourite place?

Sjaellands Odde in Denmark where my grandparents had a summerhouse as I have so many wonderful memories of ’hyggeligt’ time spent with family and friends there.


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