Ruth Gall Memorial Lecture 2022: Prof. Cather Simpson; University of Auckland
Thursday, 20 October 4:00pm – 5:00pm
This seminar will be delivered in Chemistry Lecture Theatre 3. It is proposed as an in-person event, subject to any local COVID restrictions. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link and password if you are unable to join in-person.
Please register via Eventbrite.
Speaker: Prof. Cather Simpson; University of Auckland
Host: Prof. Chiara Neto
Title: The Rise of the Academic Entrepreneur
Abstract: What is a University for? 50 years ago, the answer would have been two-fold – to teach the next generation and to create new knowledge through novel, curiosity-driven research. Research commercialisation occurred, but it was not the rule. Today’s universities, governments and government funding bodies often add a third purpose. Universities are increasingly tasked with achieving positive economic impact upon the region, country and world through return on science R&D investment, a concept taken from the business world. One way to create value and economic impact from research funding is to spin technology out of the university lab and into the marketplace. In this talk, I will explore this rise of the academic entrepreneur, with particular emphasis upon what it means for the ivory tower, the technology landscape, and whether this is an activity that universities and their academics should undertake.
Biography: Cather Simpson is a Professor of Physics and Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland. She moved to New Zealand in 2007 from the USA, and founded the Photon Factory, an outwardly facing laser R&D centre in the Faculty of Science. In 2018 she stepped down as Director to serve as Chief Science Officer of Engender Technologies, one of the Photon Factory’s start-ups. In addition to her research in Chemical Physics, she is keenly interested in the interface between academic research and commercialisation. Cather is a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Aparangi where she currently sits on the Academy Executive. She is a Director of SPIE (International Society for Optics & Photonics), Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Orbis Diagnostics. In addition to her University role, she is a Partner at Pacific Channel. Accolades include a New Zealand National Teaching Award, the Kiwinet’s Researcher Entrepreneur and Supreme Awards and Royal Society’s Pickering Medal.