|Department of Engineering|
|University of Cambridge > Engineering Department > News & Features|
29 August 2007
The five CIKC sponsored attendees at the Ignite course
pictured with CIKC Administrator Maggie Tanner and
the Director of CfEL Shai Vyakarnam.
The Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre (CIKC) recently sponsored five students to attend the Ignite programme which took place between 8th and 14th July. The course, run by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) at Judge Business School, is an intensive, one week training programme for aspiring entrepreneurs and corporate innovators to trial and prepare business ideas for the commercial environment. Now in its tenth year, Ignite attracted over 50 delegates from a wide range of business disciplines spanning many countries.
"This collaboration with CIKC is a great opportunity for us to foster innovation at the University", stated CfEL Programme Manager, Yupar Myint. "CIKC's objective to enable and accelerate the commercialisation of technology through building appropriate business skills is a perfect fit with Ignite. The CIKC support is a significant bonus for the programme ensuring a high quality of delegates and technology ideas."
CIKC received a large number of applications for the course when the sponsorship was advertised and three of the five successful applicants were from the Department of Engineering. Zhihan Wang, currently completing his PhD under Dr Patrick Palmer's supervision in the Power & Energy Conversion Group, found the course instructive and beneficial particularly because during the course he was introduced "to a very supportive network of seasoned entrepreneurs, venture angels, business mentors and MBA students". Zhihan is now discussing the feedback from the course with his colleagues and supervisor and the next stage will be to utilise the Cambridge Venture Programme to explore market research opportunities and to approach Cambridge Enterprise about commercialising their idea.
Another PhD student from Electrical Engineering, Hang Zhou, felt that the course gave him the confidence to consider starting his own business in the future. Hang learned about important aspects of marketing as well as the kind of business model that would be best suited to exploit his product commercially. Hang was judged an ideal candidate for the course, since he arrived with a "business idea that seems to be a viable piece of technology and made a good economic case for its potential and opportunity".
The third delegate also from Electrical Engineering was Chi Hang Kwok, currently completing his PhD under the supervision of Professor Ian White, Head of the Photonic Communication Group. Chihang applied for one of the CIKC funded places already armed with a well prepared business plan and was keen to attend the course, not only to subject his business ideas to expert scrutiny, but to "increase contacts and to improve my networking skills". He commented that "the practical content of the course improved my business proposition and presentation skills which are invaluable for taking my business plan forward in the future".
The course has been a great success and the CIKC are planning to repeat their sponsorship next summer.
The CIKC has been set up with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop advanced manufacturing technologies based on new macromolecular materials systems, for example polymer electronics or advanced liquid crystals, and to create valid commercial exploitation models for these innovations.
CIKC brings together research activities in in molecular and macromolecular materials in the Electrical Engineering Division (in particular, the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics) and in the Cavendish Laboratory.
It also draws on the expertise of the Judge Business School, the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) and the Centre for Business Research (CBR), to create innovative knowledge exchange activities spanning business research, training and specific exploitation.
Combining world-class research with a strong partnership with business, CIKC engage with industrial partners to shape and prioritise the work programme, allow the secondment of researchers from industry and from other universities for knowledge exchange, and enable the provision of pilot manufacturing lines for prototyping.
The mission of the centre is to provide the business and technical expertise and infrastructure to enable those with exploitable concepts to achieve commercial success.
For further information please contact Maggie Tanner firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the CIKC in the University of Cambridge research magazine Research Horizons - issue 3 - Summer 2007 edition.
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