When we see distinguished scientists being awarded Nobel Prizes on stage, we often think of their hard work and collaboration with their colleagues. However, if there is no money to support them, how can they purchase the chemicals needed for the Haber process to happen?
Although many science projects in Oxford are funded by the UK and EU governments and many donors to the University, it is more always more financially sustainable when some of the technologies developed can be commercialised worldwide, especially to developing countries in Asia with a huge market potential.
Therefore, to interact more with commercial partners, provide consulting expertise and market products in various Asian countries like Japan, China and Korea, ISIS Enterpise, Asia, was set up in Hong Kong in 2009 because of being a convenient international city, as well as its legal framework similar to UK cities, as explained by Dr David Baghurst, Head of Isis Enterprise, Asia.
Baghurst explained the office in Hong Kong helps these projects in Oxford in general by taking advantage of the proximity of Hong Kong and other Asian countries by enabling them to meet people, develop relationships and develop an understanding of the concerns that those charities and organisations may have when dealing with people from overseas, and vice versa. “There will be differences in the experience that the business experiences that people working in two different territories,” he said, before explaining that the office would try and understand these differences.
But why should researchers in Oxford seek opportunities in Asia? Baghurst recalled his experience of being a researcher himself. “I started as a chemist, but I was very involved in electrical engineering. And I think it is very stimulating when you’re working in one area and collaborating with people in another area working on these divisions between subjects [and] disciplinary.”
“And if you take that and mix it with international diversity, working with people from different disciplines and different territories with different ideas, then it’s just intellectually very stimulating – you become aware of lots and lots of ideas, lots of challenges.”
“When you are working in research, you want to be collaborating with other people. When you collaborate with them, it drives your enthusiasm for the subject.”
For more information about ISIS Innovation (Asia), visit the website at http://www.isis-innovation.com/enterprise/IsisAsia.html.