Media and links

Listen below …

… to some of the statements by high profile participants at the second FET2020 Conference (Pisa, January 2014)

All videos and statements from the first conference in London are still available here.


Listen below to some of our participants’ views on science and communication, citizens engagement and correlations with art.

To access the full speeches given at the conference, click here.

Rhonda Smith – Minerva on the VIP principle (visual, interactive, personal)

Future and Emerging Technologies: future systems for home security

How will the home of the future? Yesterday we echoed a study conducted by the consulting firm Accenture, “Connecting to the Digital Consumer in the new connected world” , in which 24,000 people participated, from 24 countries, including Spain.

The study analyzed how new technologies interact with the consumer user . To this was observed how technology has been evolving in recent years, which is very interesting to see the point of view of consumers on this aspect.

The home of the future: bet for home technology over the next five years

33% of respondents suggested that it is the “usability” the most important in deciding which product to purchase technological criteria, while 29% highlighted the “features and functions” of the apparatus as important requirements and seeks to buy 22% products with “ trustmark “.

Among the categories with greater intent to purchase in the next five years include video surveillance and home security systems with free (41%), smart thermostats (39%), entertainment systems in motor vehicles (37%), 3D printers domestic (35%) and glasses “wearable” (35%).

And in a matter of protecting the home developed positively in the security industry and has also occurred as we mentioned, an increase in the evolution of technology, which has led to the convergence of two trends. Thus, a high quality service and projection for the future have emerged.  Today there are simple solutions that can be hired to maintain the safety and security of the house. For example, video burglar alarms  are very easy to install and use, thanks to the professionals offering the latest technology with the highest level of personalized attention can be calm trusting the safety of home and ours.

Allyson Reed – Innovation by proxy: mediating the research-industry connection

The role of go-between as a match maker between academic scientists and industry to foster innovation should not be underestimated

Innovation is viewed as one of the most important factors in the economic growth of a nation. Allyson Reed, one of the founding directors of the UK’s innovation agency, called the Technology Strategy Board, is also director of corporate relations at the University of Warwick, UK. She talks about her vision to foster more innovation between universities and the private sector.

allyson reed

In Europe, should the scientific community play a more active role in contributing to innovation?

Scientists should be involved, but I think innovation is a field where all partners need be involved. First, business and scientists should not underestimate the role of intermediary organisations who can speak both to industry and to researchers. Second, you have to really work at building relationships before you look at particular projects.

What can such intermediary organisations do?

Very entrepreneurial universities, who tend to have a lot of engagement with business, can play this role as an intermediary. For example, the University of Warwick is running a Polymer Club, promoting conversation between scientists and companies. There are sixty companies involved, so they can first understand each other. Then, they can go and look for research projects on which they can collaborate.

Do scientists at your university also receive business training?

We put entrepreneurship and business training in many of ourcourses.There are entrepreneurial modules in undergraduate courses, but also in post-doctoral programmes. We have doctoral training centres, which is something the UK has pushed forward. Scientists get exposure to the sorts of skills they need to engage with business. And they also hear about entrepreneurship.

For many young scientists, especially on the Continent, the obstacles to starting a company seem daunting.

It is more about having the confidence. Many of the universities—I can only speak for the UK—have put a lot of support structures in place. Some of this support is start-up money. But actually it is often more than that. It is having mentors, it is having access to a space where you can try something out and itis also knowing what to do about protecting intellectual property. Often scientists may need a business person to work with them and incubator or accelerator spaces.

Alexander Hellemans