Startups, spinouts and springboards

Posted 11 Apr 2013 by Sue Keogh in General news

What's going on behind the scenes at Cambridge Phenomenon? After the success of the conference and then the book, The Cambridge Phenomenon: 50 Years of Innovation and Enterprise, it may seem as if things have gone quiet. Not the case!

One point of focus is the University of Cambridge Spinouts and Startups project, for which we have several researchers beavering away, and which is on target to be completed this summer. More on this soon...

We've been out and about talking about the book, with Charles Cotton taking part in an event at the Cambridge Society for the Application of Research (CSAR). But we're also looking to the next fifty years of the Cambridge Phenomenon, supporting the latest Internet of Things Springboard programme, reviewing the ideas from the individual teams and engaging with some excellent mentors.

The project has also taken us overseas, with trips to Boulder, Colorado and to Toronto, Canada, where Charles joined Alan Barrell to take part in a conference organised by the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

His presentation "Top Down or Bottom Up" was an opportunity to compare and contraste a number of books about various technology clusters and share some Cambridge wisdom. We came away impressed by all the people we met; in particular, the politicians were smart, knowledgeable about the importance of clusters and did not at any time see the need to take a swipe at their political rivals - in stark contrast to the way our politicians behave!

We've also met a group from Canada who had come to the UK to find ideas to help development of Alberta's tech cluster. Unlike Cambridge, Alberta is resource rich and is searching for the formula that will enable them to generate a successful technology cluster.

Coming up in May will be a trip to Astana, Kazakhstan, where we'll be attending an Economic Forum to participate in a panel discussion on the Creation of Innovation Clusters. It's an amazing country - bigger than the whole of Western Europe; a population of only 16 million people and fabulous oil, gas, mineral reserves mixed with extensive agriculture. It should be a fascinating exchange of information.

Picture credit: Springboard