On the evening of 27 November 2017 CUSPIE hosted an event bridging the gap between academia and industry. With support from the EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (NanoDTC) as well as from Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems (IPES CDT) and the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability the event took place in the Maxwell Centre Cambridge to successfully host an audience of more than 40 people. The event was inaugurated by evening’s academic host, Winton Advanced Research Fellow Dr. Felix Deschler, chairman of Physical Chemistry of Semiconductor Materials and Interfaces in the 2018 SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering conference. Dr. Deschler energetically described the benefits of joining and becoming an active member of the SPIE community.
The first talk on the topic of entrepreneurship in academia was presented by Prof. Daping Chu. Prof. Chu is the head of the Photonics & Sensors group, director of the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) in Cambridge, and CTO of ROADMap Systems. By relating know-how from fundamental research and combining it with an entrepreneurial spirit, Prof Chu delivered unique insights in transforming research ideas into businesses. In his talk Prof. Chu outlined the many start-ups that have spun out of his research group.
The second venture capital themed talk was given by Dr. Darran Milne CEO and co-founder of VividQ, a company that develops highly realistic holographic display technology for the augmented and virtual reality market. Dr. Milne explained how challenging but also fulfilling the road from an original research idea to an actual product can be, including a cross-over from science courses to entrepreneurship.
The evening concluded with food and drinks allowing the fascinated audience to network and learn more about the speakers’ background and carrier in a more informal environment.