Ahead of ESOF 2014, we talk to three leading figures in science, technology and academia who through frustrations of not having the effective tools necessary to do their work, decided to build their own.
In this three-part series in the run-up to Europe’s largest, general science meeting held every two years, this year in Copenhagen (June 21-26), we look at the increasing number of start-up companies that are “spinning out” of academic institutions worldwide.
From a tool to share research in a citable way, to a system that tracks and reports on academic’s grants and publications, many researchers are building their own tools and are not from traditional tech-transfer offices.
Founded by two neuroscientists Henry and Kamila Markram from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in 2007, Frontiers was formed out of the collective frustration and desire to empower researchers to change the way science is created, evaluated and communicated, through open access publication and open science tools.
Similarly, Figshare was born out of the frustration of founder Mark Hahnel, who believed academics were not getting the credit they deserved for research. He set up the company, part of Digital Science, to allow researchers to publish all their data in a citable and shareable manner.
Dave Copps created Brainspace from frustrations to keep scientists and researchers connected to the abundance of critical information on the web using a self-organising platform. The tool semantically connects the enterprise and persistently links up people with their interests.
Over the course of the three blogs, each will define their motives, their successes and the lessons learned from creating their respective businesses. Today, we look at Mark and Dave’s respective stories with Kamila’s to follow on Monday.
- Mark Hahnel: On making the leap from academia to business and why he thinks open science is revolutionising the research community.
- Dave Copps: On how social platforms are changing the way in which scientists work and how technology is being used to advance open research.
- Kamila Markram: On the growing numbers of academics starting companies as a result of frustrations and advances in open science.
The three interviewees will be talking at an ESOF 2014 panel session called “I owe my business to my frustration as a scientist” on Monday, 23 June from 3pm-4.15pm (CET) at the Malting Hall. The session will be a more in-depth exploration of the three case studies in the sphere of science communication. It will focus on the genesis of these ideas, and what it took to turn them into a successful, viable business.
If you can’t make the ESOF panel in person, then we will be tweeting using the hashtag #ESOFmyscibus