The University of Southampton

ORC Deputy Director faces ‘Dragons’ at Pioneers Conference

Published: 9 March 2009

Professor Nikolay Zheludev, Deputy Director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, Southampton, faced a panel of venture capitalists at a Dragons Den style seminar at the recent Pioneers 09 Conference.

The seminar entitled “Ideas need investment” was based around the concept of the BBC programme Dragons Den. Three leading researchers presented their work on future technologies hoping to stimulate investment in the emerging technologies.

Jack Boyer, Chairman, Ilika Technologies Ltd headed the panel with fellow ‘Dragons’ Dr Alison Fielding, Chief Technology Officer, IP Group, and Dr David Kelly, CEO H20 Venture Partners.

Professor Zheludev presented his work on ‘Photonic meta-materials; the next photonic revolution’ before being grilled by the dragons and the audience. His work on meta-materials has already seen the creation of new artificial structures offering functionalities that are not available in natural media. He said: “Nature creates solids by assembling molecules.

For the first time in the history of mankind, using nano-fabrication, we can “manufacture” molecules and create artificial materials with new properties. We call them “metamaterials”, material beyond imaginable”

The other speakers were Professor John Rarity, University of Bristol, and Professor John Fisher, University of Leeds who presented ‘Quantum security for consumers’ and ‘Biological scaffolds for tissue regeneration’ respectively.

Pioneers 09 is a showcase event connecting leading university research with UK business and Industry. This year’s conference - jointly organised by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was held at the London Olympia Conference Centre.


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