Almost 30 years on from the discovery of the genetic defect that causes cystic fibrosis, treatment options are still limited and growing antibiotic resistance presents a grave threat. Now, a team of researchers from across Cambridge, in a major new centre supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, hopes to turn fortunes around.
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 Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School enables scientists, post-docs and researchers to translate innovation into reality through a range of practical programmes supporting entrepreneurs from start-up to scale-up.
Five leading universities, including the University of Cambridge, have formed a partnership to develop and commercialise agritech research, in order to improve sustainability, increase productivity and contribute to global food security.
Researchers from the UK and Denmark have developed a new method to predict the physical stability of drug candidates, which could help with the development of new and more effective medicines for patients. The technology has been licensed to Cambridge spin-out company TeraView, who are developing it for use in the pharmaceutical industry in order to make medicines that are more easily released in the body.
Fairness, trust and transparency are qualities we usually associate with organisations or individuals. Today, these attributes might also apply to algorithms. As machine learning systems become more complex and pervasive, Cambridge researchers believe it’s time for new thinking about new technology.
What makes a city as small as Cambridge a hotbed for AI and machine learning start-ups? A critical mass of clever people obviously helps. But there’s more to Cambridge’s success than that.