Duncan McFarlane, Professor of Industrial Information Engineering and head of the Distributed Information & Automation Laboratory (DIAL) at the University's Institute of Manufacturing (IfM), and members of his research team have been working with Boeing since 2005, finding intelligent solutions to some challenging industrial problems.
Innovation is about the application of new ideas, discoveries and inventions. The innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the members of the University of Cambridge is enshrined in the University’s mission statement to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. The foundation for innovation is the steady supply of excellent ideas, of which there is an abundance at Cambridge. Ingenuity and creativity, alongside the fundamental research which underpins these ideas and combined with the constant exchange of ideas between academics and companies, governments and NGOs has been the recipe for this success.
Various mechanisms are in place to help our academics nurture future innovation. As well as dedicated departmental support structures, Cambridge Enterprise provides technology transfer, consultancy services and seed fund opportunities, and the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) within the Judge Business School provides networking opportunities with peers. In addition, Cambridge-based initiatives physically embedded within the University such as ideaSpace provide hubs for entrepreneurs to develop ideas.
Today, the Nobel Prize for Physics 2014 has been awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for their invention of a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source – the blue light-emitting diode (LED). University of Cambridge researchers are building on their work to produce more cost-effective gallium nitride LEDs that can have widespread use in homes and offices.
The University invested £2.7 million last year to support the development of Cambridge spin-outs.
A flexible display incorporating graphene in its pixels’ electronics has been successfully demonstrated by the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic, the first time graphene has been used in a transistor-based flexible device.
University of Cambridge spin-out Reduse, which has developed a technology to remove print from paper allowing it to be reused several times before being recycled, has won the Venture Competition, organised by the Climate-KIC UK , the EU’s main climate innovation initiative.