Tom Flanagan


Tom is the Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation at University College Dublin where he leads the team that supports research collaborations and knowledge transfer with industry, that assists entrepreneurs to launch and scale new high-tech businesses and that supports UCD academics to deliver global consulting services. 

He has responsibility for NovaUCD, the premier start-up incubator in Ireland, NexusUCD, a unique on campus collaboration space for companies engaged in research activities with the University, and ConsultUCD, a new managed consultancy service, which has been established to facilitate access and support the engagement between business, industry and UCD.

He worked in the UK, Canada and the US in various roles in product design, marketing and sales and led a $100 million/year consulting and systems integration business as Vice-President for Canada and Central US at Nortel. 

He returned to Ireland and established a successful management consulting business before joining DIT as Head of Innovation. He created Hothouse, the first Innovation and Knowledge Transfer Centre at DIT. Hothouse has helped entrepreneurs develop over 400 sustainable businesses, raise €195 million in investment and create 1700 jobs. 

He also launched the Dublin Region Innovation Consortium successfully commercialising research for five other institutions; ITTD; ITB; IADT; NCI and DIAS, to deliver over 140 licences and 30 spin-out companies. 

Tom was seconded to Knowledge Transfer Ireland to review the National IP Protocol and contributed to the Irish Government’s 5-year strategy Innovation 2020 through his work on the Government’s Research Prioritisation panel.

He also chaired the Irish Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Group, and served on the boards of Dublin City Enterprise and several high-tech companies.  

He was also recruited onto the H2020 ProgressTT project to mentor Knowledge Transfer Offices across Europe for enhanced performance before joining UCD.

He has also championed one of his patents, ‘SONET Rings’ to worldwide deployment, changing how telecommunications networks were designed. 

Tom graduated with an honours engineering degree from UCD, and an MSc from Aston University and an Executive MBA from Northwestern University, Chicago.