APRIL: a great opportunity for physics in Amsterdam
Do you have an idea that may find application outside your research laboratory, become commercially promising, or be of interest for an external company or society at large?
Would you like to bring your idea to maturity in a laboratory surrounded by peers, entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, and well-connected professionals who can help you set sails in the entrepreneurial or corporate world? Are you an academic professional who wants to contribute to the visibility of Physics in Amsterdam, or maybe a student who simply wants to explore an alternative career opportunity? If yes, we have some really good news for you.
On January 26, 2017, under the patronage of the Municipality of Amsterdam, we will launch a new initiative that is meant to boost the impact of our research activities on the Dutch ecosystem: the Amsterdam Physics Research and Innovation Lab (APRIL).
APRIL provides researchers and students the opportunity to carry out a conceptual or technical feasibility study on their invention, conduct short-term studies for an external company, or establish more continuative collaborations with private research laboratories. To achieve this goal, APRIL has designed three different environments:  the Demonstrator Lab,  the Physics on Demand service, and  the R&D Foothold initiative.
The Demonstrator Lab is a facility for students and researchers where ideas are transformed into tangible customer added value. The best way to achieve this goal is to formulate a set of hypotheses and milestones, and test them with real customers. We will give you space and support to build the equipment, the team, the connections, and the business tools that you need to understand whether your idea can make it. Through the course of about one year, we will be glad to review your progress and advise you whether you should continue with the business model you have developed, pivot, or simply abandon the idea…and maybe move to your next one. The first Demonstrator Lab in Amsterdam will be located at the VU in corridor P2 of the W&N building, close to three startups of VU-physics department (Optics11, Lumicks and OPNT).
Physics on Demand
The Physics on Demand service is aimed at stimulating the acquisition of applied research contracts of short duration (in principle weeks to months) with external enterprises. We believe that our Departments can offer a unique set of tools and expertise for an ample range of applications that can be of interest for private companies. The Physics on Demand service will allow us to streamline the bureaucratic procedure behind this kind of activity and increase the visibility of the Department towards the external world. Researchers will maintain the financial benefits, while setting the base for collaborations that may lead to funding opportunities (e.g., NWO, STW, ZonMW, EU). If you are currently involved in projects that would fall under this category, or if you have ideas on how your tools and expertise could be of interest for an external company, please, contact us, and we will help you accelerate your initiative.
The R&D Foothold initiative provides high-quality scientific expertise and facilities that will allow external enterprises to set part of their research activity in one of the premises available within Physics Amsterdam for long commitment research projects. If you believe that you have the possibility to point a private research laboratory towards the direction indicated above, please, contact us, and we will help you develop your idea further.
IXA valorisation program
APRIL is an initiative of the Amsterdam physics community, consisting of the departments of Physics of VU and UVA, and of NWO institutes Nikhef and AMOLF, and part of the new IXA valorisation program (see http://www.ixa.nl/en/news-agenda/news/news/amsterdam-investeert-in-innovatie-en-ondernemerschap.html) designed by the Innovation Exchange Amsterdam (IXA) to boost valorisation initiatives originating within the Amsterdam knowledge institutes, partly financially supported by the Municipality of Amsterdam.
If you are interested in running a project in the Demonstrator Lab, if you have ideas for Physics on Demand projects or for R&D Foothold initiatives, or if you have questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact Prof. Davide Iannuzzi (firstname.lastname@example.org, Scientific Director APRIL) or dr. Hans Roeland Poolman (email@example.com, Business Developer APRIL).
We are looking forward to kick-start this exciting initiative with you!
Joost van Mameren,
Hans Roeland Poolman