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 After the gold came
   farming, then
             computer chips,
                the PC,
                         topless shoeshines,
                            chocolate zucchini cake,
                                the church of Scientology, and
                                    much else besides.

                         The Economist on California May 2004

Figure 1 - application opportunities
Application opportunities for carbon nanotube networks

The potential of discovering something useful – and not “only” beautiful - is one of the driving forces of the research conducted by the group. Several trends lie behind this, rather fundamental, change in University research. First, there are increased expectations from the “public” should it be funding agencies, donors and, increasingly Venture Capital arms of large companies. A University that is useful to society will certainly receive more support – maybe even in California eventually. Second, there is a gradual shift form the role of the University as an organization that “uses money to create knowledge” to the role of “using knowledge to create money” – with the expectation, of course that the money does not end up in the same place than where it came from, the basic rule of economics. Third, the role of the university is not simply disseminate knowledge, but disseminate USEFUL knowledge, this including training students in areas useful for they next employment. And this will, overwhelmingly come for the industry and not from academia.

The group is trying to balance the concepts of “publish or perish” against “apply or die”, pursue invention and innovation, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, both the known unknown and the unknown unknown.Pic from current research projects
Emerging technologies and markets driven by nanonet achitectures.

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