Debunking the industry–academia barrier myth

Scientist-entrepreneur Javier Garcia Martinez recalls combining an academic role at the University of Alicante, Spain, while getting a catalyst start-up called Rive Technology off the ground.

The experience, he says, taught him that a so-called barrier between academia and other sectors is no more than a state of mind. “To me, it feels all part of the same thing. It’s our own mindset that puts different activities in different silos,” he tells Julie Gould. Martinez adds: “I was studying, discovering better catalysts, you know, in my academic lab, also in my company, and at the same time talking to customers, to investors, to raise money, and to put that into a commercial plan.”

In the third episode of this six-part Working Scientist podcast series about porosity, defined as the movement of people between sectors, Gould also hears from drug-discovery researcher Martin Gosling. He combines an academic post at the University of Sussex, UK, with a role as chief scientific officer at Enterprise Therapeutics, a biotech company that he co-founded in 2015.

She also talks to technology-transfer professional Nessa Carey, biochemist Dario Alessi, who leads the signal-transduction-therapy industry collaboration at the University of Dundee, UK, and Chaya Nayak, head of Facebook’s open research and transparency team.

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