Becoming an entrepreneur introduced Slowa Solovyov to a new way of thinking about science – a mindset incorporating business and marketing factors that went beyond straight research and development.
For Solovyov, who had spent the previous 20 years pursuing superconductor research at Brookhaven National Laboratory, it was a challenge. And it would answer the question: What happens when a scientist wants to become an entrepreneur?
Solovyov – also chief scientist at R&D company Brookhaven Technology Group, based at Stony Brook University’s Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center – focuses on superconductors and their role in creating a source of clean, sustainable energy, primarily for businesses and industries.
And he was ready to go pro.
“Fundamentally, I wanted to see some tangible results for my research,” Solovyov said. “Not just scientific papers, which of course are important, too. It’s trying to apply my scientific skills, so to speak.”
The researcher teamed up with Brookhaven Technology Group co-founder and President Paul Farrell to start NextSwitch in 2015. Part of SBU’s Clean Energy Business Incubator Program, the startup works in partnership with Massachusetts-based energy-tech company American Superconductor on what Solovyov described as twofold goals.
“We’re developing a new concept for superconducting cables that make them better suited for high-magnetic-field magnets,” he said. “But we’re also looking at this new generation of fusion reactors, which hopefully will deliver clean energy – which is pretty much unlimited and pollution-free.”....