Pioneers in Cambridge

Until now participants of TOP 500 Innovators program were improving their knowledge in US at the Staford University and University of Berkeley. This time 40 new innovators arrived to UK to learn from the best innovative institutions in Europe, University of Cambridge and Oxford. Here they are:

    Institution contact
Magdalena Antosiak-Iwańska

Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering, Polish Academy of Sciences


Maciej Balawejder

Rzeszów University, Faculty of Biology and Agriculture
Janusz Będkowski

Institute of Mathematical Machines, Polish Academy of Sciences
Maciej Brzozowski

Białystok University of Technology, Faculty of Computer Science

Marzena Ciechomska

Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Science
Piotr Czyżewski

UTP University of Science and Technology in Bydgoszcz
Zbigniew Dokurno

Wrocław University of Economics
Dorota Dworakowska

Medical University of Gdańsk

Magdalena Garlińska

Military Academy of Technology, Institute of Optoelectronics
Barbara Jachimska

Jerzy Haber Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences
Mateusz Jarus

Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center

Michał Kaza

Instytut Farmaceutyczny w Warszawie
Dagmara Kociuba

Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublinie
Dorota Kołbuk

Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Academy of Sciences


Franciszek Kornobis

Institute of Plant Protection in Poznaniu, Polish Academy of Sciences,2
Marcin Kurek

Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW
Monika A. Kusiak

Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences

Damian Kuźniewski

Gdańsk University of Technology, Center for Knowledge and Technology Transfer

Grzegorz Liśkiewicz

Łódź Univertity of Technology, Faculty of Mechanics
Marek Macko

Kazimierz Wielki University
Paweł Maślak

Wrocław University of Technology, Department of Mechanics
Piotr Mrozek

Białystok University of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Marcin Muszyński

Institute of Heavy Chemical Synthesis "Blachownia"
Magdalena Osial

University of Warsaw, Faculty of Chemistry
Karolina Pająk

Medical University at Lublin
Damian Pietrusiak Wrocław University of Technology, Department of Mechanics


Agnieszka Pręgowska

Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Academy of Sciences
Klaudia Proniewska

Jagiellonian University, Medical College

Wojciech Pudło

Silesian University of Technology, Department of Chemistry
Tomasz Ratajczak

Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Science
Katarzyna Sadecka

Institute of Electronic Materials Technology
Stanisław Saganowski

Wrocław University of Technology, Faculty of Computer Science and Management,2.dhtml

Adam Strzęp

Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research, Polish Academy of Sciences
Szymon Szufa

Research and Innovation Centre Pro-Akademia
Elżbieta Świętek

Center for Technology Transfer CITTRU, Jagiellonian University
Katarzyna Trudnowska-Bobeł

Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center
Michał Twardochleb

Faculty of Information Technology and Computer Science, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin
Joanna Willner

Silesian University of Technology, Faculty of Materials Engineering and Metallurgy
Jolanta Zuzda

Białystok University of Technology, Faculty of Management
Łukasz Żołędziewski

Academic Entrepreneurship Incubator, State University of Applied Sciences in Elbląg



Coordinators at Cambridge

Brian Corbett

MBA, Cranfield School of Management

Director at Sayle House Ventures

30 years commercial experience in sales and marketing, rising to senior management positions within the IT sector. Currently providing consulting services to companies undergoing significant growth or change. Previously Founder/CEO of a start-up company addressing the market for enterprise applications of speech technology. Prior to that CEO of a US/UK hi-tech start-up, with full P&L responsibility, successfully managing the business through to a highly lucrative acquisition by Microsoft.
Current objective is to assist other businesses (either hi tech start-ups, or corporates addressing new market opportunities) to define and implement successful growth strategies. Specialties: MBA qualified. Key areas of competence comprise: a) sales management (including active involvement in sales and contract negotiations); b) marketing and business planning; c) staff recruitment, training, management and motivation; and d) raising investment and corporate restructuring.

Jessica Ocampos

PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge,

Co-Founder at Cambridge Knowledge and Technology Transfer Platform for LatAm

PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge. King's College graduate member (2011- to present). Graduated of Engineering in Biotechnology, Engineering School, University of Chile, 1998 - 2004, graduated with highest distinction. Seven years of professional industrial experience in highly multicultural environment (Latin America, Europe and USA). Managerial positions, such as regional project and product development manager and E&T pillar leadership for P&G LatAm; business development manager for corporate R&D (Forschung und Entwicklung) in Air Liquide GmbH Germany and Air Liquide France, responsible for development and launching of new automated filling system for the gas industry, currently sold to more than 15 countries; manufacturing coordinator for 3M Chile; internship in Bayer Corp. Berkeley, USA. Excellent communication skills and experience integrating and leading diverse work teams in different areas. Founder of several initiatives at the University of Cambridge, regarding increasing entrepreneurial skills of Cambridge students in technological and social enterprises and in translating research and scientific knowledge into the society. Leading international platform of tech transfer for supporting research and science development and collaboration between UK and emerging countries (Cambridge Knowledge and Tech Transfer Platform for LatAm, GAP Summit 2014, Cambridge Social Enterprise Incubator, Emerge Cambridge Conference). Leading GoToMarket Cambridge Programme for Tech Startups Acceleration.Teaching experience since 2000. Lecturer and tutor in several core subjects of engineering majors: physics and maths for engineering, Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Chile. Supervisor in Physical Chemistry and Computing at Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Department, University of Cambridge; tutor for biological and chemistry courses for King's College undergraduate students of the University of Cambridge, UK.

Alex Smeets

PhD in Materials Science, University of Cambridge,

CEO, Cambridge Innovation Solutions Ltd

Alex Smeets runs his own innovation consultancy business, providing services to entrepreneurs, small businesses and universities under the brand names of Cambridge Innovation Solutions and Cambridge Funding Solutions. He is a presenter, workshop facilitator and adviser on business R&D grant funding programmes, an evaluator of grant applications for Innovate UK (formerly the UK Technology Strategy Board), the European Commission and the EUREKA Eurostars Secretariat. As an Associate of Cambridge Enterprise Ltd, the commercialisation company of the University of Cambridge, he helps to deliver its International Outreach Programme, under which he delivers consultancy, training and mentoring services and arranges visit programmes for universities and public sector organisations from all over the world that want to learn lessons from the Cambridge Phenomenon experience to apply in the development of their own knowledge economies. He is also an Associate of St John’s Innovation Centre, a world-renowned centre that provides flexible accommodation and a supportive environment to early-stage, knowledge-based businesses, and in this capacity helps to deliver training programmes, consultancy assignments and the UK’s GrowthAccelerator service for high-growth businesses.
Until April 2011 Alex was a Regional Director of Oxford Innovation Ltd, where his responsibilities encompassed delivering innovation and access to finance support in the East of England region; undertaking innovation consultancy; providing incubation and networking support to the CEME Innovation Centre in Rainham, Essex and the Nucleus Business Innovation Centre in Dartford; and developing Oxford Innovation’s business of managing innovation centres. His activities also included undertaking consultancy assignments for Oxford Innovation’s sister company SQW Consulting.
Prior to joining Oxford Innovation, Alex was an Executive Director of St John’s Innovation Centre Ltd. He has a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Cambridge and worked in materials research and development for five years before branching out into the support of innovation, entrepreneurship and the commercialisation of new knowledge. He was actively involved in the European Commission’s Innovation Relay Centre Network (now Enterprise Europe), which brokers technology partnerships across the national borders in Europe, for more than 10 years in the late 1990s and early 2000s. During this time he managed the Netherlands Innovation Relay Centre hosted by Senter in the Netherlands and started and developed the East of England Innovation Relay Centre hosted by St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge (currently the East of England node of the Enterprise Europe Network hosted by Exemplas). During his time in the Netherlands he was also involved in the management of national grant funding programmes for business research and development.
At St John’s Innovation Centre, Alex was part of the management team, involved in consultancy and service delivery and responsible for the centre’s IT and telecommunications strategy. He was a Director of START, a Joint Venture between St John’s Innovation Centre and Start International set up to design, build and operate innovation centres throughout the UK. He also worked closely with the East of England Investment Agency (now East of England International) to establish the China-UK Innovation Park. He received many international visitors to St John’s Innovation Centre and in response to this international interest in the Cambridge Phenomenon developed the annual Cambridge Summer Forum and Cambridge Winter Forum, jointly with the Cambridge Network, the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Science Park, the Great Eastern Investment Forum and ERBI.
During this time, he also carried out a number of consultancy assignments on the development of innovation support initiatives and access to innovation finance, and managed several innovation support service contracts for public bodies. He undertook the original study for what later became the Gateway2Innovate service in the East of England, provided advisory services to businesses on obtaining European and national R&D grant funding, and created a partner-search system to help businesses and universities across Europe to find partners for European funded R&D projects. He also provided consultancy and gave presentations on the development of the Cambridge Cluster for public authorities in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland. For several years at St John’s Innovation Centre he was Technology Liaison Manager for the i10 network in the East of England, and assisted i10’s member universities with the development of their ability to commercialise their knowledge.


Website authors

Magdalena Osial

PhD in Chemistry

- blog author

- writing, pictures and translation


Franciszek Kornobis

- writing and translation


Magdalena Antosiak-Iwańska

- translation



Magdalena Garlińska

- translation



Agnieszka Pręgowska

- translation


This website would not have been possible without the engage, support and help of other participants of TOP 500 Innovators Program at Cambridge.

Thanks for particular texts to Grzegorz Liśkiewicz, Marzena Ciechomska, Monika Kusiak, Marcin Kurek and Zbigniew Dokurno