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Showing posts from July, 2011

Knowing what we don't know: 'Aha' moments in overcoming the valley of death

(Michelle Xu is a PhD-graduate from the University of Toronto, where she worked to engineer diagnostic hand-held devices using nano-grating surface plasmon sensors and nano-pillar photonics crystal sensors to enable the early detection of cancer. Knowing that her device could identify high-risk individuals and help prevent disease, she was motivated to commercialize her research. To support her efforts, Newport and SPIEsponsored her attendance at the Biomedical Engineering Entrepreneurship Acadamy (BMEA) held at the University of California, Davis earlier this month. Below are her reflections on the experience. Her colleague Chang Won will be writing about his experience at the academy next week!)

The number one lesson I learned at the BMEA was that in academia, we start by solving a problem and then search for needs; in business planning, we start with a need, and then solve the problem. This issue of course raises the question, “Are technologies validated differently in academia and…