07/04/2014 - Trieste
ICTP has once again opened doors to physicists and engineers looking to hone their entrepreneurial skills. Organisers of the "5th Workshop on Entrepreneurship for Physicists and Engineers from Developing Countries", held from 31 March - 4 April 2014, are hoping participants learn how to build bridges between ideas, innovations and marketable products and help train others in their home countries to do the same.
Forty participants from 25 countries attended the workshop, which was sponsored by ICTP, the American Physical Society (APS), Institute of Physics (IOP) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). Workshop directors Dipali Bhatt-Chauhan (IOP) and Surya Raghu (APS) say that over the years ICTP has been a perfect venue for the workshop because of the reach it has in developing countries.
"What we are doing with these workshops is trying to create awareness about entrepreneurial culture in developing countries," says Chauhan. "It is not just about training the 30 or 40 participants who attend the workshop," says Raghu. "We have seen that past workshop participants have not only gone on to become successful entrepreneurs themselves but they have influenced their circles, institutes, or universities to develop programmes that encourage entrepreneurship." Chauhan agrees and adds, "We are sowing seeds here and the participants become ambassadors."
Raghu says the main aim of the workshop is to help scientists and engineers become job-creators rather than job-seekers. "Since our focus is on people from developing countries, we hope this can prevent brain drain," he says. "Knowledge is powerful, and we are trying teach how it could be a tangible property, and how the power of knowledge can be used for economic development." "Its about connecting science with people, society and economic development," Chauhan sums up.