Innovation, what I wish I could have been told about it before I tried!


Innovation, what I wish I could have been told about it before I tried!

Wed, 19/04/2017 - 11:30 to 12:30


Professor Peter Dobson
The Queens College, Oxford and Warwick Manufacturing Group

Innovation is a word that is being used everywhere to describe something magical and appealing. It is thoroughly embedded in the vocabulary of politicians, policy makers, Research Councils and journalism. It is seldom defined and many people think it is synonymous with “invention”, which it is not! I am going to give my definition of the word and use it to describe the events that go on between an invention and its commercialisation or acceptance in everyday use. I rather stumbled into the innovation field when I set up some companies, and I used the experiences, both good and bad, to create a Science Park for Oxford University. This led me to realise that in the Universities we should be attempting to teach innovation and train students in the commercialisation process and I put this to practice in several CDT courses in different universities. I have realised that there is a demand for this sort of activity, it is fun, useful and potentially lucrative. In this talk I will try to distil some of the important messages to get across in training for entrepreneurship and innovation.


Professor Peter J Dobson OBE, BSc, MA (Oxon), PhD, C Phys, F Inst P, Member of the ACS, FRCS. (The Queen’s College, Oxford)

Peter has had a broad career covering a wide range of disciplines from physics and chemistry to materials science and engineering. He has also worked in industry (Philips) as well as academia (Imperial College and Oxford) and was responsible for creating and building The Begbroke Science Park for Oxford University. He has published over 180 papers and 30 patents. He has founded 3 companies and advised on the formation of 8 more. He was (2009-2013) the Strategic Advisor on Nanotechnology to the Research Councils in the UK and sits on several EPSRC panels and committees. Peter sits on the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Board on Quantum Technology. He was awarded the OBE in 2013 in recognition of his contributions to science and engineering. He is currently a Principal Fellow at Warwick Manufacturing Group, Visiting Professor at King’s College London and also has part-time positions at UCL and Bristol University. Peter delivers courses at Graduate level in the areas of biosensors, nanotechnology, innovation, entrepreneurship and related topics and advises on innovation.