Academia and Industry Working Together: More Than a Letter of Support

Brought to you by The Academic & Industry Group

In the past the traditional approach to academic-industrial partnerships was for the academic to ask a company to write a letter supporting a grant proposal and then for both to quietly forget about each other until it was time to write the next grant proposal.

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About the event

In 2003 Henry Chesbrough published the classic book “Open innovation: the new imperative for creating and profiting from technology” which described successful industrial-academic partnerships and set out a vision for greater collaboration. ‘Academia and Industry Working Together’ will describe best practice for collaboration between industry and academia and how to increase the benefits to all partners, giving perspectives from different players within the open innovation environment, including academics, large industry, small companies, technology transfer offices and funding bodies. We look forward to a lively discussion!

With the traditional letter-of-support method into academic-industrial partnerships proving to be less than efficient, many other approaches to building and maintaining these pairings have emerged over the last decade to secure their success. So what works, what doesn’t and how can it be improved?

Join this insightful half-day event set in esteemed Cambridge surroundings to discuss how these approaches have evolved and what this means for future partnerships. As well as the day’s hot topics, there will be ample networking opportunities and lunch shall be provided from 1pm. We look forward to a lively discussion!

Confirmed speakers:

With additional panellist:


The Academic and Industry SIG is championed by Marc Bailey of Nokia Research Centre, Alex Butler from Microsoft Research, Claudio Marinelli of Applied Graphene Materials, David Roberts of Ogma Solutions, and Dr Ian Wassell of the University of Cambridge. We are also extremely grateful to ICT KTN for supporting this event.

Please note that delegates attending this event are welcomed to join the Founder Dinner pre-dinner drinks reception, taking place on site at Newnham College, Cambridge, courtesy of ICT KTN.

Join us for this FREE joint event organised by Cambridge Wireless and ICT KTN. To be able to attend this event for free you'll automatically be registered as an ICT KTN member. Please note membership of ICT KTN is free. To join Cambridge Wireless as a member and attend future events for free, please visit:

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWAI.

Lunch Sponsored by Electro Rent

Electro Rent are test equipment specialists with over 50 years of experience providing access to the latest test and measurement technology.

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Supported by KTN

The KTN is the UK'S innovation network. Connecting for Positive Change

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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration & Networking Lunch


Welcome and Introduction from Academic and Industry SIG Champion, Marc Bailey of Nokia Research Centre


Welcome and Introduction from Academic and Industry SIG Champion, Marc Bailey of Nokia Research Centre


Welcome from joint lunch sponsor, Graham Newton, UK Sales Manager¸ Agilent


Industrial-academic Collaborations in Nanotechnology Research; Dr. Tapani Ryhänen, Head of Laboratory, Nokia Research Centre

This talk will discuss collaborations with University’s from Nokia’s perspective and a discussion of the
issues faced and the solutions developed to allow the EU Graphene Flagship project to win funding and
start work.




Collaboration - The Many Flavours of Technology Transfer; Julian Peck, Technology Associate, Cambridge Enterprise

There is no "one size fits all". Drawing on several examples, Julian Peck will describe and discuss how businesses can access University technology and expertise in a range of cost-effective ways.




A Perspective on Innovation; Prof. Andy Hopper, Professor of Computer Technology and Head of Department, Computer Lab – University of Cambridge

Innovation is an important topic being discussed by companies and governments in their quest for
economic growth. After giving an assessment of the global context, examples of innovating companies
based on personal experience will be highlighted. This will be followed by suggestions encompassing
government, universities, and businesses large and small aimed at further improving the chances of
winning gold medals for wealth creation.




Refreshment Break


The Role of CDE Catapult in Academic/Industry Collaborations; Maurizio Pilu, Director – Connected Digital Economy Catapult

The CDE Catapult is part of a new network of R&D&I centres set up by Government with a £200m investment. In this brief talk Maurizio will first give an overview of the CDE Catapult, our specific role in supporting digital innovation in the UK and our engagement approach. Maurizio will also discuss how academic, the catapult and industry can work together for the benefit the wider innovator’s community, including some examples of projects.




A Research Council Perspective on Strategic Business Relationships; Matthew Ball, Head of Business Relationships, EPSRC

The EPSRC has a long history of working closely with key industrial stakeholders to ensure it maintains
a portfolio of excellent research and training that delivers against national need. Here Matthew will describe the different ways in which EPSRC works in partnership with universities and industry and highlight some success stories.




Open Forum with all speakers chaired by SIG Champion, Marc Bailey of Nokia Research Centre

With additional panellists, Prof. Daping Chu, Chair of the Centre of Advanced Photonics & Electronics (CAPE) and Prof. Tim O’Farrell, Chair of Wireless Communication, University of Sheffield


Closing remarks from SIG Champion, Marc Bailey of Nokia Research Centre Please fill in your evaluation forms


Andy Hopper

Maurizio Pilu - Managing Director, Safetytech Accelerator Limited

SIG Champions

Antonio Di Buono - Research Technologist, National Nuclear Laboratory

Antonio is a Research Technologist in the Instrumentation and In-situ Analysis team. He is working on several aspects of instrumentation development, focusing on wireless communications for nuclear decommissioning environments and the use of digital technologies. During his PhD project on Wireless Communications in Nuclear Decommissioning Environments he gained essential digital skills for the deployment of wireless technologies in nuclear environments. He focused on the radio frequency propagation and data transmission through reinforced concrete wall structures and the radiation tolerance of electronic components. Antonio joined NNL after completing his PhD project at the Centre for Innovative Nuclear Decommissioning (CINDe) in 2020. His research involved the design, prototyping and experimental evaluation of wireless sensing systems to support decommissioning activities and to provide remote sensing capability in nuclear material storage facilities. Antonio is an active member of the Nuclear Institute and European Nuclear Society Young Generation Network (ENS-YGN). He is a member of the European Nuclear Society - High Scientific Council and University Liaison for the North West Branch - Nuclear Institute.

John Haine - Visiting Professor, University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group)

John Haine has spent his career in the electronics and communications industry, working for large corporations and with four Cambridge start-ups. His technical background includes R&D in radio circuitry and microwave circuit theory; and the design of novel radio systems for cordless telephony, mobile data, fixed wireless access and IoT communications. He has led standardisation activities in mobile data and FWA in ETSI, and contributed to WiMax in IEEE. At various times he has been involved in and led fund-raising and M&A activities. In 1999 he joined TTP Communications working on research, technology strategy and M&A; and after the company’s acquisition by Motorola became Director of Technology Strategy in Motorola Mobile Devices. After leaving Motorola he was CTO Enterprise Systems with ip.access, a manufacturer of GSM picocells and 3G femtocells. In early 2010 he joined Cognovo, which was acquired by u-blox AG in 2012. He led u-blox' involvement in 3GPP NB-IoT standardisation and the company's initial development of the first modules for trials and demonstrations. Now retired from u-blox he is an Honorary Professor in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Bristol University, where he chairs the SWAN Prosperity Partnership Project external advisory board . He was founder chair and is Board Member Emeritus of the IoT Security Foundation. He served on the CW Board chaired the Editorial Board of the CW Journal.  John has a first degree from Birmingham (1971) and a PhD from Leeds (1977) universities, and is a Life Member of the IEEE.

Kevin Morris - Professor of Radio Frequency Engineering, University of Leeds, Head of School, University of Leeds - School of Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Kevin Morris received the B.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in electronics and communications engineering from the University of Bristol, Bristol, U.K., in 1995 and 2000, respectively. He is currently a Professor of Radio Frequency engineering and Head of the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds. He has authored or co-authored over 130 academic papers, and he holds five patents. His research principally concerns looking at methods of reducing power consumption in communications systems with specific interest in the design of efficient frequency flexible transceivers. He is currently involved with several industrial and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) research projects. He was the Head of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Bristol from 2014 to 2018.

Ian Wassell - Associate Professor, Digital Technology Group, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge

Dr Ian Wassell joined the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory as a Senior Lecturer in January 2006. Prior to this, he was with the Department of Engineering for six years. He received the PhD degree from the University of Southampton in 1990 and the BSc., BEng. (Honours) Degrees (First Class) from the University of Loughborough in 1983. He has in excess of 25 years experience in radio communication systems gained via positions in industry and academia and has published more than 200 papers. His research interests include broadband wireless networks, wireless sensor networks, radio propagation, coding, communication signal processing, compressive sampling, and image processing and classification.

Event Location

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Location info

Jane Harrison Room, Newnham College, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DF

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