Thinking Beyond the Academic Bubble

escaping the academic bubble

Recent elections and a certain referendum highlighted the dangers of living in a bubble or an echo chamber. This can include surrounding yourself with people who always agree, creating a safe space on social media by filtering out anything that may contradict your world view, imposing a tyrannical Steve Jobs / Kim Jong-Un style culture by firing or executing anyone …

Graphene Membranes at The Global Water Summit

G2O’s graphene membrane technology had its first encounter with the global water industry this week at the Global Water Summit 2017, and its first real test. Fortunately the recent work at the University of Manchester using the same material, graphene oxide, had generated a huge amount of publicity while also demonstrating that G2O’s approach works. The key difference is of …

Google: Giving Wearables a Bad Name 

After three years of promises, Levi’s Commuter Trucker jacket embedded with Google’s ‘Jacquard’ technology aims to bring practical purpose to wearables seems to be slouching towards production.  The promise of Project Jacquard is that “everyday objects such as clothes and furniture can be transformed into interactive surfaces.” Given the huge range of smart and conducting textiles available we were expecting big …

Innovation is not a Magic Sausage Machine

The UK’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published its report on Managing Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer this week, something that grew out of the initial inquiry about the commercialisation (or lack of it) around graphene. Focussing on graphene was an excellent starting point, but it soon became apparent that the UK has a problem with linking its …

Reflections in the Northern Powerhouse

This week I spend two days at the Northern powerhouse Conference in Manchester trying to understand what it actually is, and how the kinds of hard technology (also called deep technology or really anything that requires more than IT to develop) would fit in. After attending every session and listening to the panel discussions I came away with a slight …

Henry Bessemer and the Northern Powerhouse

northern powerhouse

The Northern Powerhouse is a hot topic at the moment following the launch of the First Report of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and the upcoming Northern Powerhouse International Conference in Manchester. Even the Chinese are getting in on the act. The North Needs More Than Infrastructure While it’s important to focus on infrastructure – from where I live near Skipton …

Delivering A Northern Technology Powerhouse

I posted recently on the N8 Universities and their lack of entrepreneurial spin out activity. This reiterated by todays Northern Powerhouse Partnership First Report which point out that “The North also currently loses around 30,000 people with graduate level skills every year as students choose to leave the city in which they have studied after their course finishes.” The report also calls for …

The Science Behind Fake News and Fake Nanotech Products

graphene lightbulb moment

As a UK parliamentary enquiry into fake news gets underway, members of parliament could take a few lessons from the history of nanotechnology. It isn’t just democracy under threat from made up stuff, it’s science too. Even more discomforting is the realization that scientists have been doing this for decades, and nobody really cares. Despite the off high profile case …

Technology Commercialisation – More Light than Heat?

graphene lightbulb moment

An interesting snapshot on the commercialisation of graphene emerges from some recent evidence submitted to the UK’s Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee. Policy makers and academics have much in common, especially the ability to make extravagant promises and then conveniently forget them when it comes to delivery. In short the University of Manchester has been signing NDA’s and furiously patenting graphene …