Firm sets up hi-tech summer school

August 10, 2001

A summer school on high technology has attracted so many applications from researchers worldwide that less than half can be accommodated.

Of the 200 applicants, only 85 will be able to attend the first week-long course on fibre optics in Copenhagen in August. The summer school has been arranged by one of Denmark's largest industrial groups, NKT Holding A/S, which said it had used research and cutting-edge technologies as tools for its own business development for more than a century. It started as a maker of wire and copper cables for telecommunications.

"The NKT Advanced Photonics Summer School will have international guest lecturers from universities and industry," Ove Poulsen, the executive director of NKT Holding's NKT Research unit, said. "The students will have the chance to see what we're working with. Perhaps we'll make them an offer to stay and study here, possibly an unrefusable offer of employment."

NKT expects that up to 30 per cent of those attending the summer school will show interest in the industry - and in the company - afterwards. In collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark, Aarhus University and Copenhagen University, NKT Research is also setting up a researcher school, the NKT Academy.

"When it is fully built," Mr Poulsen said, "the NKT Academy will have 30 to 40 PhD students in the fields of photonics and optical communications and micro and nanotechnologies. We'll finance our own professor to lead it."

He said: "We're not doing this to become a university without students. We mustn't become a university and the universities shouldn't be business people. But the universities should have a share in the profits."

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