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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Laura James

Dr Laura James

Working at ideaSpace on "innovationlabs"

Co - Founder and Director at "Makespace"

Office Phone: 01223 766141


Dr Laura James is currently consulting on a variety of distributed energy and innovation activities. Most recently, Laura was CEO of Open Knowledge, a civil society organisation dedicated to opening up knowledge to empower people. Laura is also co-founder and Director of Makespace Cambridge, a non-profit community inventing shed and hackspace.

Laura has worked in technology and leadership roles in a wide variety of organisations. After R&D work at AT&T Labs in both Menlo Park and Cambridge, Laura developed high-speed optical networks with Intel Research for her PhD. She was the first employee and VP Engineering at, developing an easy to use innovative connected home platform and security system. At True Knowledge, Laura was part of the senior management team leading the company through a pivot, to apply their unique semantic technology to next generation search, creating Evi, a revolutionary conversational search app. Laura has also worked as Chief Operating Officer at CARET, a dynamic innovation department of the University of Cambridge, developing open source systems to support teaching and research. Laura is an advisor to Open Knowledge, Product Health, Good Night Lamp, and the ContentMine.   Currently Laura is helping ideaSpace develop a new programme, the innovationLabs, which uses cross-disciplinary applied research to tackle systemic societal challenges and create new ventures to address them. ideaSpace was founded to create the best possible environment for ideas and people coming out of the university to get started on new high impact ventures. ideaSpace is home to over 100 members who range from new graduates to repeat entrepreneurs who have raised venture capital and taken companies public. 

Laura holds Masters and PhD degrees in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, received the Royal Academy of Engineering Leadership Award and a NESTA Crucible Fellowship, and is a Chartered Engineer.

Departments and Institutes

Institute for Manufacturing:

Research Interests

Dr Laura James is currently consulting on a variety of distributed energy and innovation activities.

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