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Finding that sweet spot

By integrating research and enterprise, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) can innovate to produce the most value for society, says its chief executive, Eugene Fitzgerald.

RESEARCH and commercialisation are often seen as separate processes, with scientists handing their findings off to business people. Yet integrating the two is what Eugene Fitzgerald seeks to do, not least in his role as chief executive officer and director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART).

The idea is to introduce commercial concerns early in the research process, while still focusing on long-term research rather than on immediate profit, he says.

"It's easier to go very, very short-term where business metrics are very clear, or to go very, very long-term where academic metrics are clear." But the sweet spot, where you can innovate to produce the most value for...

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