Keynote: From Science to Product: A Difficult Way

Tuesday, 7 October 2014: 10:00
Expo Center, 1st Floor, Universal 1 (Moon Palace Resort)
M. J. Rost (Leiden University)
Working at the forefront of science, researchers are always interested in having a “toy” that allows unique experiments. In this way they surely can explore new ground and increase the probability for high-impact research and publications. In addition, funding becomes easier, as one has better chances in the competition with the other proposals.

Triggered by the advantage of a video-camera over a photo-camera, everything started 19 years ago with the scientific desire to observe film growth and surface dynamics with significantly higher time resolution. In the meantime we have realized full video-rate STM and we now can observe surface diffusion and phase transitions, live film growth during the deposition, live observation of ion erosion of surfaces, catalytic reactions on an atomic scale in a high-pressure cell at industrial conditions while also monitoring the reaction products, and we have realized a video-rate EC-STM with a bi-potentiostat and a flow cell that allows live observations during e.g. electrodeposition while we can change the potentials and/or (the composition of) the electrolyte. I will present typical examples of the capabilities of the different machines.

Our instruments are also commercially available via Leiden Probe Microcopy, of which I was the main founder in 2005. As I also was the CEO in the first 3.5 years (before I started my research group), I gathered firsthand experience on all crucial aspects that determine the success or the failure of a product that has to be brought from science to business. I will include both the different views of and the interplay between science, the researcher, the institute/university, the company, the market, financial aspects, and IP questions.
We surly have learned surprising lessons, which I will evaluate and, thereby, formulate several 'do's and don'ts of valorization'.