Europe's Graphene Flagship lays out a science and technology roadmap, targeting research areas designed to take graphene and related two-dimensional materials from academic laboratories into society.
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.
The European alternative finance market - which includes crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and invoice trading - reached €3 billion last year and could top €7 billion in 2015, as businesses increasingly seek more efficient ways to raise funding.
Alzheimer’s Research UK, the world’s largest dedicated dementia research charity, has announced a £30 million Drug Discovery Alliance, launching three flagship Drug Discovery Institutes at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and UCL (University College London). The Drug Discovery Institutes will see 90 new research scientists employed in state-of-the-art facilities to fast-track the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Eve, an artificially-intelligent ‘robot scientist’ could make drug discovery faster and much cheaper, say researchers writing in the Royal Society journal Interface. The team has demonstrated the success of the approach as Eve discovered that a compound shown to have anti-cancer properties might also be used in the fight against malaria.
A new responsive material ‘glued’ together with short strands of DNA, and capable of translating thermal and chemical signals into visible physical changes, could underpin a new class of biosensors or drug delivery systems.