Ric Allott, Business Development Manager, Central Laser Facility

My name is Ric Allot. I’m working within the Business Innovations
Directorate and I’m the Business Development Manager for the Central
Laser Facility So I was always into physics, I always
wanted to know how things worked what they were doing? why they were doing it.
But the laser to me was absolutley phenomenal and all its done is continued to grow, so
you can have an application where you’re scanning a barcode in the supermarket or
you’re drilling a hole in a 14 inch piece of steel and it’s the same
technology. That to me is absolutely fascinating. So the science has always
driven me but behind all of that science with this sort of urge to do
something a little bit more commercial and actually to make something of it and
have those applications that come through and then benefit everybody. We
have five main facilities in the laser facility. They cover a really broad
spectrum of technologies and industry space. So we go from bioscience where
were able to image single molecules in living cells and we go all the way
through to the big high-power lasers where we can generate all sorts of
particles, X-rays, electrons, neutrons and you can use those for imaging
applications and non-destructive testing for automotive or aerospace, so the whole
spectrum. Companies and industry are interested in engaging with us because
we have the leading edge for searches we are we are really at the forefront of
this technology and they want to get that competitive advantage but most
importantly we have the people and the people are are absolutely key asset, and
also the ecosystem that we develop here so things like the campus development bringing on companies who have similar
ideas but being able to mix those ideas together. So to engage with industry
partners it’s all about networking and and in my opinion networking is a
contact sport, you’ve gotta get out there and you have to talk people and you’ve got a walk the boards so,
I do that through conferences and workshops, I do from my existing contacts
I do referrals from colleagues. I’m currently vice president of the Association of
Industrial Laser Users – Photonics 21 which is a European activity the photonics
leadership group so you’re getting yourself involved with people who are
making the decisions at the top of their game top of their companies and organizations
and you get yourself in there, you get these technologies known by those who do it.
Business development for me is all about maximizing impact so that could be
economic or it could be society or both hopefully so using our science and
technology developed at STFC for the benefit of society The main driver in STFC is science and excellence in science, but we always have to demonstrate impact of that science and that’s obvious and should be the
case because we are using UK taxpayers money to do that. You have to have a strategy
which allows you to go out and engage with industry but you must always have
an eye on the science and ensure that you don’t stop that pipeline really cool ideas coming
from the scientists.