The University of Southampton

University of Southampton promotes innovation and knowledge transfer at workshop in China.

Published: 26 November 2008

University research groups play an important role in the discovery, invention and development of the technologies that we use in our everyday life. The realisation of this by industry and governments around the world, is driving efforts to promote the commercialization of ideas and technologies from universities.

In light of this, key academics at the University of Southampton, a partner of Innovation China UK (ICUK, organised a workshop entitled ‘Commercialization of Photonics Technologies from Universities’ at the recent Asia Optical Fiber Communication & Optoelectronic Exposition & Conference in Shanghai, China, bringing together the best minds from industry, governments and universities in an exchange of ideas, knowledge and experiences.

ICUK is the first UK-China collaboration programme to promote joint innovation and knowledge transfer. Connecting five UK universities and over twenty Chinese partner institutions, ICUK funds collaborative partnerships for scientific projects with strong potential for commercialization. ICUK organises workshops and other events in priority technology areas such as photonics with a view to enhancing knowledge exchange, and facilitating technology transfer, commercialization and new collaborative opportunities.

At the workshop, six speakers from the UK, China and Canada covered topics with direct relevance to commercialization, including building links between industry and the university sector, the incubation of newly-formed companies, and exploring funding sources.

Director of the University’s Optoelectronics Research Centre, Professor David Payne, spoke of his experience of establishing and running a successful cluster of spin out photonics companies to delegates including more than 20 invited guests from Chinese universities and research establishments. With a cluster of 10 spin-out companies, academics at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton have been successfully commercializing their ideas for many years, providing an excellent example of collaboration between industry and university research.

ICUK project manager at the University of Southampton, Mark Cranshaw, said: “This workshop has provided us with a first-class opportunity to engage with Chinese researchers on key issues relating to bi-lateral technology transfer between China and the UK. We hope that the contacts that have been established here will prove to be the source of fruitful collaborations in the future.”

 

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