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Success stories

The successful translation of world-class research from academia to industry is essential to realise the potential of innovative ideas to drive economic growth and transform people’s lives.

The leading scientists and entrepreneurs featured describe their different journeys from “lab to market”, the economic impact of their discoveries and offer advice for aspiring scientific innovators.



Explore the case studies

  • The next DNA revolution begins here

    Professors Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman’s  research into DNA sequencing means that now an entire human DNA make-up can be sequenced for $1000 and in a matter of days.

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  • Tiny molecules key to finding new therapies

    He could have been a jazz musician, or a politician, but Professor Sir Tom Blundell’s love of basic science has led to an innovative therapeutics company developing cancer drugs.

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  • Sparking the plastic electronics revolution

    Technology good enough for James Bond – how Cambridge scientists’ creation of polymer-light emitting diodes has led to the plastic electronics revolution.

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  • Transforming lives by a new class of cancer drugs

    Professor Steve Jackson founded KuDOS Pharmaceuticals in 1997 on the back of a serendipitous observation, paving the way for a novel opportunity for cancer drugs.

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  • Success flows with green chemistry

    The clean synthesis of pharmaceutical products - Professor Steven Ley and his co-workers have pioneered techniques in green chemistry.

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  • Smart software to ‘understand’ the world

    From fingerprints to online shopping, how Dr Mike Lynch has used machine learning to solve high value commercial problems.

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  • Quantum dots herald next generation TV

    How Professor Paul O’Brien’s research into safely mass-producing “quantum dot” nanocrystals could lead to better, sharper and cheaper TVs.

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  • Green adsorbent nano-tubes to cut carbon emissions

    Dr Semali Perera and co-workers developed fibres that use adsorbent crystals to filter air and gases, leading to the company nano-porous solutions limited.

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  • Fifty billion chips and counting…

    Co-developer Sophie Wilson tells the story of the ARM microprocessor, now found in most of the world’s smartphones, tablets, computers and WiFi devices. 

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  • Blockbuster drugs: from fantasy to reality

    Sir Gregory Winter’s research has led to a new class of drugs using antibodies to neutralise rogue human cells and molecules that cause diseases such as cancer.

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