IfM ECS workshop brings academia and industry together to define bulk superconductivity research strategy

A roadmapping workshop facilitated by IfM Education and Consultancy Services (IfM ECS) brought academics and industrialists together to develop an industrially-relevant strategy for bulk superconductivity research.


The Bulk Superconductivity Group, part of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering, researches superconducting bulk materials which have the potential to replace conventional permanent magnets in things like motors and generators, with an improved performance. Representatives from the Group and from companies including Siemens, Boeing and CAN Superconductors worked together to scope potential future developments of the field and align research activities with the needs of industry. Dr John Durrell, University Lecturer and Group member, coordinated the project. The final report can be found here


Professor David Cardwell, Bulk Superconductivity Group Leader and Head of the Department of Engineering, said: “I was very impressed with how the workshop was conducted. In just one day, it managed to achieve consensus between the industrial and academic participants in a very democratic way, leading to a practical plan for the short, medium, and long term. The final report is useful to the whole bulk superconductivity community, as it effortlessly aligns fundamental academic research with industrial needs and highlights the most important areas for both worlds. Every academic group which wants its work to have societal impact should take advantage of the expertise offered by IfM ECS in facilitating academia-industry collaboration.”


Dr Nicky Athanassoupolou, Senior Industrial Fellow at IfM ECS, commented: “Our workshops offer an efficient way to bring industry on board and liaise with academics, from which both will benefit – academics will gain focus and direction for their research, while industry will get a chance to accelerate research and development for real application in line with their current needs.”


Supporting the commercialisation of research

IfM ECS specialises in helping universities understand which of their research streams have both academic and industrial relevance. Using business tools and processes developed at IfM, such as roadmapping techniques, IfM ECS has designed three types of workshops which help universities and industry develop fruitful collaborations and support the successful commercialisation of research.


The one-day workshops have been designed to bring experts together to share their knowledge and insights and build consensus around a plan of action. These are aimed at:

  • helping universities understand which of their research streams have both academic and industrial relevance;
  • helping a company solve a particular industrial problem with the help of academics;
  • identifying commercial applications for a particular technology.

For more information contact Dr Nicky Athanassoupolou:
T: +44 (0) 1223 760376

Date published

19 July 2016

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