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Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics


The CAPE model for industrial/academic collaboration is specialised and unique, differing in many ways from existing arrangements between industry and other universities, e.g., programmes available in the USA at MIT, Stanford and UC Berkley. CAPE resembles a joint development agreement more closely than any university research club does.

Key Features

  1. CAPE is a partnership between the University and a small group of international photonics and electronics companies whose market orientation places them in a non-competitive supply-chain or value-chain relationship with respect to each other. CAPE relies on the CAPE Partners  being able to accommodate each other’s business interests to allow this collaboration.
  2. The executive body in CAPE is
    the Steering Committee, which commissions all CAPE research. Members are from both academic and industrial partners, with equal voting rights between the academic and industrial interests, i.e., sharing the governance of all CAPE research within the University with the industrial partners.

  3. All financial contributions to CAPE are spent on jointly commissioned research that is directly for the benefit of the CAPE Partners, apart from a small percentage that is set aside for CAPE operations. Each CAPE Partner will invest a minimum contribution per year in CAPE (some of which may be in-kind). Apart from the small percentage set aside for  CAPE operations, all this resource will be available for jointly- commissioned research over which CAPE Partner has direct control  through their representation on  the CAPE Steering Committee.

  4. CAPE offers wide access to engineers, scientists and postgraduate students within the Electrical Engineering Division, the Engineering Department and other areas of the University and in the other CAPE Partners.

  5. CAPE seeks to engage with business development processes in CAPE Partners. Exchange of scientists and engineers between the industrial and academic partners, including the possibility of the placement of an embedded researcher within the Electrical Engineering Division, is a rule rather than an exception.

Other benefits afforded by the CAPE Partnership:

In terms of devices and materials developed, patents granted, licenses agreed and engagement with business development processes in our Partner companies, we have an excellent record.

Because CAPE is sited within the Electrical Engineering Division, there are excellent opportunities to expand CAPE Projects by leveraging the industrial funds invested through CAPE via external bodies such as the UK government.

Membership of CAPE can also provide networking benefits from existing links between Cambridge University and other academic centres, both in the UK and elsewhere.