Rid science of secrecy culture 2

April 11, 2003

Technology transfer as described in the profile of Susan Searle ("Imperial mint maker", THES, March 28) forms only a part of the spectrum of valuable and dynamic activities that occur at the academic-industrial interface.

Forward-thinking individuals at Cambridge University recognised the value of links with technology-based industry in the late 1960s. In 1970, Trinity College established the Cambridge Science Park and the university set up Wolfson Cambridge Industrial Unit. In 1987, St John's College opened its Innovation Centre and the industrial unit was made responsible for providing support to academics wishing to exploit their intellectual property. In 2000, it became part of the larger and better resourced Research Services Division.

Prior to 2000, the university had major collaborative agreements with Hitachi, Toshiba, Glaxo, Rolls-Royce, Unilever and Microsoft, had spun off some 30 companies and had generated about £1 million a year in income from licensing and sales of software.

Richard Jennings
Research Services Division
University of Cambridge

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