Oxford model recommended for Skolkovo
Tim Cook, a British boogieman has in a 3-hour lecture told students at the Scolkovo School of Management how to make money from science. He explained how scientists and businessmen can achieve a transfer of technology and commercial cooperation. Alexandra Dibizheva provides more details of the business guru’s lecture.
Tim Cook came to Moscow on the invitation of Rosnano Institute of Development, precisely to read a lecture to students at the Skolkovo School of Management. The management of Skolkovo, which cooperates with the institute suggested that he conducted an interactive master class for the students at the business school.
The major topic of the lecture, which lasted for about three hours, was the difference between science and business. Mr. Cook cited the Oxford model, their cooperation and his own experience as examples. He has a thing or two to share. For several years he was in the investment business, later worked as a manager and in 1987, set up the Isis Innovation company which was engaged in the transfer of technology from Oxford University to different companies. Isis is now the most successful University Center for the commercialization of technologies in Britain.
To benefit from scientific inventions, scientists and businessmen should find a common language, Tim Cook believes.
By the “the third side” Tim Cook means the manager of a corporation, which is marketing the inventions of the scientist. The essence of Mr. Cook’s words is that only through a dialogue among all the sides can good results be guaranteed. Mr. Cook gave advice on how to begin a project successfully, saying that the choice of a leader of a project is absolutely vital, and that should be backed up with a starting capital and complemented with intelligent and able specialists, as well as a clearly formulated idea of a project.
The experience of Tim Cook and his company is highly useful to the developing Skolkovo center, in that it can formulate its own culture of innovative activity on that basis. It is highly likely that the management of the center will also invite American experts for an exchange of experiences. However, before choosing foreign specialists, it is advisable to take into account Russia’s peculiarities and mentality, says Natalya Yablonskaya, head of Rosnano’s educational projects section.
"All those who desire to be part of this fast growing area want to find out how things are done in other countries, where there are already specialists. We are just starting. In the next ten years, we will be listening to lectures like that of Mr. Cook to find out exactly how things are done. It is necessary to watch how things are done, learn from mistakes, because mistakes are a common denominator, but each country has its own factor of success. Culturally, Russia is closer to Europeans. The country is more open and sociable."
Rosnano and Skolkovo have been exchanging experiences and briefing each other on their immediate plans. As part of an educational programme, Erick Dreksler and Roland Bergman have delivered lectures at both institutions, and both sides have also established a common medical center Natalya Yablonskaya said.