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A Lab with 29 Nobel Prizes

“Many current studies are just theoretical.” “Innovation is not just about new ideas or new thoughts. It should be industrialized and marketized, as well as make contributions to and have impact on the society.” In the morning of October 13th, on the “Translational Medicine and Precision Medicine” Session, Zhang Xiangcheng, the Industry Fellow of Royal Society, United Kingdom gave a speech with the topic of “Science Serving for Industry and Collaborative Innovation”.

ZHANG Xiangcheng, Industry Fellow, Royal Society, United Kingdom

"Innovation in Science and Collaboration: the Past, Present, and Future"

The Cavendish Laboratory has been called “the incubator of Nobel Science Prize”. It was founded in 1871 at the University of Cambridge. 29 Nobel Prizes winners were working here at different times. What kind of “magic” does this laboratory have?

Before the lab was established, many scholars at the University of Cambridge usually did their research on their own. However, since the very beginning, the Cavendish Laboratory proposed that scholars from different schools should do experiments for innovation together. In this way, everyone’s initiative will be stimulated, especially in the aspect of collaborative innovation, since everyone’s wisdom and strength will be gathered.

“Airbus, a company that creates 100 million euros as the daily revenue for 23 consecutive years, how could it do it? Collaborative innovation is also the answer.” Zhang Xiangcheng showed another example. This is extremely difficult because it requires to unite different countries to do one thing. How to organize, how to manage are key questions. However, collaborative efforts have brought different countries to innovate together for 23 consecutive years. They worked a global miracle and they cover up to 50% of the market.

Zhang Xiangcheng emphasized that the science should serve the industry instead of staying at the theoretical level. It is also true in the health care field. Zhang Xiangcheng has researched and developed a new cardiovascular stent together with 15 institutions, which only took 2 years and 3 months. “From design to completion, we united designers, manufacturers, and engineers. It didn’t cost much. Many people complain about the limited research fund and they could work more collaboratively.”

If we only rely on a single power, it would probably take 5 or even 10 years to create a product. “But in our laboratory, we could industrialize some products with less time.” said Zhang Xiangcheng.

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