Top idea, few riches

January 27, 2006

I am listed in "Wealthy sultans of spin-off cash in on their ideas" (January 20) as one of the 100 top science entrepreneurs who have earned the most money from exploiting their academic work. However, while my research has indeed been very successfully exploited by the company that I cofounded in 1992, Cambridge Display Technology Ltd, and while this company did float on the Nasdaq in 2004 for £122 million, I am sadly not as a consequence a "super-rich academic".

There have been other rewards in the form of peer recognition and prizes, but sometimes being a trailblazer means that you don't get the same financial rewards as others who follow.

What money I did earn from selling my shares when the company was sold privately in 1999 subsidised the cost of a move in 2000 from Sheffield University to Imperial College London. While I am happy to be considered a top science entrepreneur, the family's R-reg Renault may have to keep running for some time to come.

Donal Bradley Imperial College London

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