Following on from yesterday’s post about schemes to involve the general public in the daily lives of scientific researchers, Nature Medicine and Nature Biotechnology announce an initiative to connect commercially oriented academics with their local business community (Nat. Med. 15, 1095; 2009). The SciCafé is a series of networking events in Boston and San Francisco that help researchers connect with investors and serial entrepreneurs.
The SciCafé is intended to provide a showcase of the work of investigators publishing cutting-edge work to an invited audience of 30 or so business people. The first SciCafés were in Boston and San Francisco because each area not only produces a prodigious amount of high-quality science, but is also home to a large number of sophisticated, early-stage life science investors/entrepreneurs. Starting next month, the journals are extending the concept to Europe, with a SciCafé in planned in London. Nature Medicine writes:
“Academics are selected on their publication record and on the potential commercial interest of their research. Editorial responsibility for selection rests with the participating journals, which take an ecumenical approach, looking at the whole literature—not just papers published in Nature journals. Those selected are given one-on-one coaching by the editors on how best to present their research to an investor audience. We also invite the technology transfer offices of any selected academics to send a representative to the SciCafé.
In announcing the SciCafé to the broader biomedical community, we would like to also invite applications from investigators in the Boston, San Francisco or London areas who are interested in presenting. Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining in 1,000 words the applicant’s contact details, the three peer-reviewed papers most relevant to their work, a clear but brief description of the commercial potential and any associated intellectual property.
We acknowledge that many in academia have no interest in seeking closer ties with the investor community. But for those who do wish to commercialize their work, we hope SciCafé offers a new opportunity.”