Centre for Synthetic Biology gains an Entrepreneur in Residence

A new Entrepreneur in Residence is joining Imperial’s Centre for Synthetic Biology to help it commercialise its research.

The Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence scheme aims to help universities commercialise world-leading research by fostering an entrepreneurial culture and developing curricula that produce industry-ready graduates.

I’m excited to be returning to Imperial as Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence and working with colleagues who share a deep commitment to delivering innovation to improve people’s lives. Dr Stephen Chambers

Dr Stephen Chambers, Director of Subsero Ltd, will spend 20 percent of his time at Imperial over two years, sharing his experiences in industry and helping mentor and support students and academics in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology.

Dr Chambers will help faculty and students identify and explore the commercial potential of their research as well as providing mentoring on how to start and scale new ventures. He will also provide advice on business models, fundraising, pitching ideas and how to address the business challenges unique to each innovation.

Dr Chambers is the former CEO of SynbiCITE, the UK’s national industrial translation centre for synthetic biology, based at Imperial. He said: “I’m excited to be returning to Imperial as Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence and working with colleagues who share a deep commitment to delivering innovation to improve people’s lives.”

Commercialising ideas

Dr Geoff Baldwin, Co-Director of the Centre for Synthetic Biology, said: “Imperial’s entrepreneurial success has come from being able to translate its scientific research into public use and benefit. However, academics are highly focused on their specialised area of research and often lack business experience and access to the industry players and decision-makers needed to commercialise their ideas.

“Venture capital firms have long employed entrepreneurs in residence to assist with business development. In the same way, the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology can benefit from the expert guidance and mentorship an Entrepreneur in Residence can provide to both faculty and students at all levels helping them explore the commercial potential of their innovations and research.”

The Entrepreneur in Residence will also play an essential role in the associated Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Biodesign Engineering, which provides doctoral students with skills in both research and industry.

Dr Baldwin added: “The CDT has translation and impact of research as a key feature of its mission. We hope to foster an entrepreneurial mindset alongside our emphasis on agile experiential learning, which teaches how rapid prototyping and experimentation can be employed to build a deep understanding of complex commercial opportunities.”

/Public Release. View in full here.