Deep science ventures. Week 4. Valkyrie

5 Feb ’17

On Monday we came up with a Name - Valkyrie project. Valkyries - those female figures who choose the dead during the battle and bring them to Valhalla. Meanwhile I am calling random people and making them speak about things I am interested in. Weird. On Friday we have finally focused on one big topic - Universal Haptics Device. Although it’s very broad, it can be applied for almost any of our applications and we can start with technological prototypes.

Group hours show projects on accelerating antibody discovery, T-cell sensor, process food waste to bioplastics, AI for material optimisation, designer’s AI assistant. Crazy.

New things I learned:

  • Monday: "Commercial de-risking is usually more important than technical"
  • A cool design double-diamond principle. Discover (diverging) -> define (converging) -> develop (diverging) -> deliver (converging to a product). We try to implement this in our project.
  • 3M (a giant chemical company) spends 15% of time for exploration

Together with other colleagues, we have decided to apply for Ministry of Defense grant on transparent biological armour material. Had 48 hours to come up with a concrete idea and write a proposal. Insane. The randomly emerged team consisted from professionals in optics, syn-bio, graphene, mechanical engineering and material science. A good team-building exercise. Meanwhile Kourosh was ill at home, so we paused the project for those two days.

Deep Science dinner on Thursday was on the Cleantech. Main messages:

  1. Lots of investors have lost lots of money on Cleantech.
  2. Green is not enough, it should be economically profitable.
  3. China have installed 43 GW solar power in 2016.
  4. In African market there is nothing to disrupt, no people who work against you.
  5. Saudi will move to solar.
  6. Find the thing that kills you and solve it.
  7. Don’t fall in love with your technology
  8. Don’t build "nice to have", build "must have"