Three Surrey early career researchers pursue innovation and impact in 2022-23
Apply or express your interest
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Let’s learn about what motivated them to pursue innovation and impact:
- Dr Muhammad Ahmad (Research Fellow, ATI)
- Dr Tibor Auer (Research Fellow, Psychology)
- Dr Johanna von Gerichten (Research Fellow, Biosciences and Medicine)
Firstly, a word from our Associate Dean of Research & Innovation for the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences...
Congratulations to our new Commercialisation Fellows!
I am delighted to congratulate Tibor and Johanna on their appointments as Commercialisation Fellows. These fellowships, supported by the University’s Innovation Strategy Team are an excellent opportunity for early career researchers to gain additional experience, skills and networks alongside their research. They are part of a wider variety of opportunities in this area, including upcoming training with Skillfluence, designed to make innovation an accessible, mainstream activity for us enhancing our impactProfessor Daniel Horton, Associate Dean Research and Innovation (FHMS), Professor of Veterinary Virology
Tell us about yourself, and why you applied for this fellowship
I want to take this opportunity to understand better the feasibility of the solutions and the considerations (theoretical, practical, and ethical) when applying AI in healthcare. I want to learn about the key stakeholders and how to approach them, capture their needs, and assess the solutions they provide, with particular attention to how to bridge the knowledge-practice gap in healthcareDr Tibor Auer, Lecturer in Biological Psychology
My main motivation is to acquire necessary knowledge and skills to maximise the impact of our laboratory-based research by utilising it in a most fruitful manner and for industrial applicationsDr Muhammad Ahmad, Research Fellow
After 3 years of being a postdoctoral Researcher I want to develop my research and as a result my career. I’ve lately attended multiple seminars and workshops for ECR career management, knowledge exchange and research impact, and feel that I need to strengthen my skill and experience in these fieldsDr Johanna von Gerichten, Postdoctoral Researcher
What experience have you had of research commercialisation and innovation?
[Muhammad] We have a patent [Sembukuttiarachilage Ravi SILVA, Muhammad AHMAD; A method for graphene and carbon nanotube growth. WO2015189575A1], which in my view has potential for further exploitation. Similarly, we have recently accomplished a research project to electrochemically detect Covid-19, and now we are seeking suitable industrial partners for its commercial utilisation
[Tibor] I am the associate champion of the Digital Health and Data Science research theme, and we organise regular seminars where scientist can present their projects and form collaborations. Two such projects particularly interested me due to the topic (healthcare) and the applied methodology (biosensing and AI)
[Johanna] I studied at a University of Applied Sciences in Germany, where the ‘Applied’ means very close and successful work with industry partners
What do you think Surrey does well?
[Muhammad] Helping and guiding researchers in filing patents and related commercialisation opportunities
[Tibor] The University of Surrey has an explicit focus on academic-industrial partnerships and harbours several programs to facilitate these:
- This fellowship
- Institute of Directors
- Employability mentoring
- BusinessBoost 2020 event
- Student Enterprise
[Johanna] I think the UoS correctly identified the need for more innovation education for researchers and is on a very good path of communication and development on the topic
What could Surrey do better?
[Muhammad] Outreach has room for the further improvements
[Tibor] Advertise and describe/demonstrate these opportunities in less ‘industrial’ schools (e.g. School of Psychology)
[Johanna] Innovation needs research, and most academics lack the time to do research to an extent necessary for innovative projects as well as the fact that there is a lack of support for ‘non-academic’ researchers at UoS such as PostDoc’s
What are your research and innovation interests?
[Muhammad] Recently, we conducted a project in collaboration with school of bioscience and veterinary science, which involves electrochemically sensing various microorganisms including covid-19, using functionalised carbon nanotube-based electrodes. At present, we are seeking suitable industrial partners to commercialise this research. I hope that knowledge and skills through this fellowship to accelerate the impact of our research outcomes and its commercial applications
[Tibor] I am especially interested in health and biomedical data analytics. I want to design and build an integrated biomedical platform to support life-long cognitive potential. I want to learn more about AI and Explainable AI, to improve understanding and develop transparent and reliable links between knowledge, data, and intervention. I want to learn how to build trust in highly advanced and innovative solutions to improve impact
[Johanna] The plan is to get my own research funding or a Research Fellowship. I have started promising Breath Test Research and would like to further investigate the commercialisation of it
The cohort will spend the next 6 months working on real projects across Innovation Strategy and the AI Institute. We will continue sharing these types of articles on their experiences to foster a culture of innovation within academia.
Check out the experiences of our previous Commercialisation Fellows 2021-22:
Apply or express your interest (see top).
Dr Andrew RogoyskiDirector of Innovation and Partnerships at the Surrey Institute for People-Centred AI