Nanotechnology is creating new opportunities for fighting disease – from delivering drugs in smart packaging to nanobots powered by the world’s tiniest engines.
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 stirrings of a revolution are starting to ripple through hundreds of laboratories. It’s a revolution that aims to result in new medicines – faster and with fewer failures – and it’s being led by three UK universities and three global pharmaceutical companies.
Cambridge-based start-up company Bicycle Therapeutics has recently raised £40 million from a range of investors to bring its cancer drug candidates to clinical trials.
Is the knowledge and scholarship that universities produce relevant to the problems the world faces? In a new essay co-authored with an international group of researchers, Dr Bhaskar Vira of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI) and the Department of Geography argues that in order for science to best serve society and the planet, universities and researchers need to adjust their focus and take responsibility for institutional innovation in five key areas.
Are strict IP policies harming the development of sustainable technologies? In this article for The Conversation, Frank Tietze from the Institute for Manufacturing investigates how the open source approach taken by companies such as Tesla may help the economy and the planet.