CIKC was formed in January 2007 with £6.65m funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to create a centre of excellence for low temperature, thin-film processing using molecular materials (such as polymers, liquid crystals and nanostructures) for applications in photonics and electronics. CIKC brought together research activities in Cambridge University’s Electrical Engineering Division and the Cavendish Laboratory, with the commercialisation expertise of the Judge Business School, the Institute for Manufacturing and the Centre for Business Research to accelerate the commercial exploitation of emerging science and technology in partnership with industry.
During the EPSRC funding period, CIKC has invested in a portfolio of 6 device technology platforms from which 42 commercially focussed projects were developed in cooperation with 81 industry partners, leveraging a further £19m of research income. This has facilitated the formation of 4 start-up companies and generated 23 patent applications and several licensing agreements. CIKC has supported 237 young researchers with training in entrepreneurship skills. CIKC has also played a pivotal role in policy initiatives, such as the formation of Catapult Centres, aimed at ensuring the UK effectively exploits its world-leading research.
Following the completion of our EPSRC grant, CIKC continues to facilitate the commercial exploitation of its device technology portfolio and of new research at Cambridge University in its technology field. As part of the European COLAE network, CIKC supports the commercialisation of organic and large-area electronics through provision of appropriate technical and entrepreneurial training and CIKC leads the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics, which commenced on 1st October 2013 and brings together the CIKC with academic centres of excellence in organic materials (Organic Materials Innovation Centre at the University of Manchester), printed electronics (Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating at Swansea University) and plastic electronics (Centre for Plastic Electronics at Imperial College, London) to tackle manufacturing research challenges of critical importance to the emergent industry in the UK.
We have compiled a report for EPSRC on the impact of the CIKC grant funding, summarising the achievements of the Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre (CIKC) during its first 6 years. Copies of the report can be downloaded here.
Interview with Chris Rider
Podcast interview with CIKC director, Chris Rider, providing a general introduction to CIKC, its aims and objectives.