Some companies have formally worked closely with scientists and researchers on periodic projects, but why does a company need a resident scientist? What are the benefits of science programs for them?
You may be familiar with the term "Artist-in-Residence", but have you ever heard the term "Scientist-in-Residence"? This job title, which is unusual in some ways and may seem relatively new, is the same one that Clare Birch is now taking on in a company. , He designs chemistry simulation methods for quantum computers. Burch followed almost the traditional path to college, but instead he is now the first resident scientist for the Australian Blackbird Ventures venture capital fund. Has invested in technology, including PsiQuantum startups in quantum computing, Gilmour Space in low-cost rocket propulsion systems, Bardee in the field of food, Bardee, a low-power satellite network, and Vexev, which specializes in non-invasive medical imaging, pointed out. Present themselves, create. "Startups that are in their infancy are very similar to research groups," he explains. "The idea of having a hypothesis and providing a quick way to examine whether it is feasible or not, as well as deciding which way to go forward and easily overcome failures, are all things that are common to research teams and startups.">
But he believes they speak completely different languages, operate at completely different time scales, and have completely different financial scales. So much of Birch's job is to translate the terms on both sides, including the research method for his colleagues at Blackboard and the startup process for scientists to carry out effective science and technology projects around the world.
This is just having It is not a scientific insight that makes a resident scientist valuable, but the critical thinking skills inherent in a scientific mindset that ranges from an evidence-based approach to understanding problems to the ability to question beliefs and assumptions.
The need for a scientist in the company
A scientific mindset can help the decision-making process outside the labs and benefit companies as scientists come up with ways to keep up with the changing world. Comprehensive information, complexity, and new technologies have challenged traditional approaches to problem solving.
Although communication technologies such as the Internet have provided new sources of information, they have also forced companies to Think more deeply about what information can be used as a basis for decision making. On the other hand, these efforts to achieve success are constantly affected by new and destructive threats. This is where working with scientists in the company can change approaches.
In Blackbird, for example, it was Michael Tolo, the company's director, who saw the need for a scientific colleague as a need and a responsibility for Birch. Took. Prior to his current position, he spent a year in the United States with the new technology company Playground Global, which enlisted the help of a resident scientist to advise the investment team.
We find that doing so has increased the richness and depth of our analysis. This allows us to understand technologies more deeply, meaning that we can identify effective features that other investors or other market participants have not noticed. "It allowed us to be more prone to technical risk because we felt we had a better understanding of it now." And posed difficult questions to determine how new the ideas were. "If a deep technology, a concept at the edge of technology, or a purely scientific idea comes to our table, as a resident scientist, on the one hand, I can defend the scientist involved in that idea and really try to do something extraordinary," he says. "And uniquely, I'll pull it out, and on the other hand, I can reduce the investment risk for my team a little bit. For example, if the idea is completely ridiculous, we'll find out." It is a long-term and effective scientific project that may not be effective even for a decade or more. "A really great example is quantum space," he says. This technology is really deep and takes time to develop. That's why doing work faster only undermines the quality of work and the wider trust in technology. " , But also more broadly beneficial to our workspace, because it really endorses great long-term efforts.
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But it's not just about being able to ask the right questions, read the right articles, and build the right network of professionals. Being a resident scientist also means offering a completely different perspective to a company. "By definition, as a venture capitalist, you are looking for Perth cases," says Tolu, for example, by identifying areas that will expand in the future. . But you may be too caught up in successful historical models and look away. "But looking at the landscape is essential to looking for opportunities to invest in places you have not previously invested in or in categories that have not yet arisen." And uses data interpretation to assist businesses in making meaningful predictions and informed decisions, as well as identifying emerging areas of work. "I can do in-depth study and map out the situation for the next 10 years, identify the technical risks we want to take, ask big questions about the technological and commercial aspects of the ideas, and the need for investment," says Birch. Let's examine them.
Scientists have skills and methods for doing things that are relevant and transferable to issues outside of science. This issue can be considered even beyond the scope of companies. For example, Sir John Beddington, the British government's Senior Scientific Adviser, said in 2013 that given the wide range of skills and evidence-based culture, "we need to put scientists and engineers at the heart of government. .
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The effect of employing scientists
For a venture capital firm, having an on-site scientist has another advantage. Birch also spends time addressing a well-known problem: the mismatch between research and commercialization. They do not have research on influential startups or other areas of commercialization. Tolu has understood this problem closely. While studying in the United States, he witnessed an uninterrupted transition from college to entrepreneurship in San Francisco and in the American ecosystem in general. A path that has been significantly neglected in other countries.
Increasing the number of science-based companies and startups and start-ups based on science, leading to increased business growth, profitability and employment, more commercialization of research and ideas And the culture is designed for innovation, entrepreneurship and risk-taking.
The current situation, however, has bad effects on students. "We focus on traditional career paths for scientists, even if very few PhD students are on the path to academic research," Burch said. There is no alternative to them that can pursue personal influence and creative science at the highest levels. "They either go to consulting firms or become patent attorneys, or they take another path that enters the industry and easily deviates from its true impact."
He believes that startups are showing an alternative path. But the lack of an entrepreneurial culture means that most students do not even know the options before them. "Investors have lost trust in science units and researchers in the past, but now is the time to restore that trust, and venture capitalists can support potential founders of future startups so that researchers and academics can make the impact they deserve," he said. Perch is particularly keen to support PhD students and believes that they are real professionals and have a great deal of knowledge and insight into what they do. Venture capital companies, however, are not the only places that can benefit from talking to someone with a scientific mindset. Scientists residing in other organizations, from environmental nonprofits to the media and cultural organizations, can be influential. : Sirinarth Mekvorawuth/EyeEm/Getty Images
Sources: Cosmos Magazine, World Economic Forum
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