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Physics with Industry: 1 Week, 50 Scientists, 5 Problems
1. Workshop description and aim
The main aim of this annual workshop is to obtain creative solutions for challenging industrial problems and to bring physicists in contact with industrial R&D. During the workshop a group of about fifty junior and senior scientists (mainly physicists and some participants from other (applied) sciences) come together to tackle industrial problems. After a thorough presentation of the five problems by the companies, the scientists devote the entire week at dissecting, modelling, analysing and discussing their problem of choice within their group and with the industrial representatives. Several groups perform experiments in the laboratories of Leiden University. By Friday the groups present their solution to the companies. This year’s cases were provided by: Océ Technologies, PamGene International, RGS Development, Oranjewoud and Tata Steel.
At present negotiations are taking place with respectively Tata Steel and Antea Group (formerly Oranjewoud) and the Technology Transfer Offices of several Universities to enable patenting of workshop results from both cases.
The SME company RGS Development describes the impact of the workshop as follows: “Analyzing the results after a couple of months “back at work”, we realize that this week had a great impact on our development strategy and that the outcome of the Physics with Industry workshop became the basis for our line of thinking today.”
3. Scientific breakthrough
RGS Development now provides funding for a student doing research in Amarante Bottgers group to test the composites advised by the PwI-group.
4. “Aha moments”
Tata Steel and RGS Development realized that they can help each other. Tata Steel will be a launching customer for RGS Development, helping the latter to further develop their product.
5. Format of the workshop
The general format of the workshop is now well settled and proved. This year we added three things. The company visits in advance of the workshop (for 2 cases) were very successful and we will certainly promote to do this again next year. These visits make the problem more tangible for the participants and promote group interaction from the start. On Monday we tried a game with photographs to introduce people to each other. This was fun and also a good manner to get the wine and cheese party going from the start. We will do something similar again and would recommend it to others. The dinner and tour at the Boerhaave museum were also something to keep.
6. Other comments
Ikram thank you for your help & enthusiasm!