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Innovation through collaboration

  • Professor Maziar Nekovee

    "The Industry Fellowship helped me to create an ecosystem around myself containing collaborators from across industry and academia. This space between engineering and fundamental science is where lots of exciting things can happen."

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  • Professor Julie Macpherson

    "Having developed my collaboration with Element Six for several years, the Industry Fellowship was a natural progression - it has allowed me to properly explore a space that I thought had significant potential."

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  • Professor Stuart Reid

    "There is no doubt that my Industry Fellowship has played a massive role in my career progression. It really protected my time which allowed me to help make the project a success."

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  • Professor Alison McMillan

    "I do think the Royal Society fits a niche that other funders don't really fill - a recognition that it's the people that are important."

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  • Professor Cathie Rae

    "The biggest outcome from my Industry Fellowship, aside from the research itself, was that it improved my confidence and my view of myself as a scientist."

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  • Professor Nick Smith

    "My Industry Fellowship has allowed me to do something quite unique at NNL - establish a brand new research area and a brand new collaboration with a university from scratch."

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  • Professor Ursula Gompels

    "When you spend time in industry you realise just how collaborative it is, and how important your networks are in business."

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  • Dr Dale Elgar

    "My Industry Fellowship was instrumental in where I am today."

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  • Professor Karen Wilson

    "Being associated with the Royal Society gave other people confidence in my abilities and showed them that I had a track record. It ultimately gave me the credibility of a prestigious fellowship."

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  • Professor Xiang Zhang

    "The title 'Industry Fellow' is very helpful for me, as it shows the people I work with and the companies I serve that although I am associated with the Royal Society, I also care about industry, not just academia."

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The impact of these Industry Fellows clearly shows the potential for scientists to collaborate across sector boundaries, reaping benefits for society and the economy whilst still maintaining research excellence as the core driver of their work.

Professor Joe Sweeney, Chair of the Industry Fellows College

The Royal Society Industry Fellowship scheme enhances knowledge exchange between industry and academia in the UK by providing opportunities for individual scientists to work on collaborative projects. It has been instrumental in helping leading scientists form successful, long-term collaborations between universities and businesses, providing them the time and support to work in both sectors.

These case studies describe the experiences of ten Industry Fellows, the benefits the fellowship has had on their career and their research, and also on the universities and companies they have worked for. We hope their stories will encourage others to apply for the scheme and follow a similar path to achieve innovation through collaboration.

More information about our schemes can be found on our website at

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