Tesla is a transnational innovation project supporting pilot actions for early-stage technology-based enterprises in North West Europe.
The idea of Transnational Ecosystem Laboratory and Actions reflects two foci:
The Ecosystem – refers to the collaboration between a complete range of the key organisation types – small and large businesses , government and academia – to work towards developments in the Knowledge Economy.
The idea of Laboratory and Actions reflects the intention of the project partners to study (as a ‘laboratory’) the progress of actions, i.e. activities and interventions through inter-disciplinary collaboration in support of the development of high growth start up companies – in order to ensure that the project has the greatest impact.
The significance of the name Tesla
‘Tesla’ refers to the Serbian-American inventor NICOLA TESLA (1856 – 1943) who has given his name to a unit measure for magnetic field strength. The phenomenon of magnetism is a powerful idiom for this project which is seeking to draw together a wide range of expertise and skills spread across a wide geographical area from the west of Ireland to western Germany, and including UK, France, Belgium and Nederland. A magnetic field, although invisible, can act as a powerful attractive force. In the same way Project TESLA will act in ways beyond the obvious on the partners, stakeholders and regions, with a positive effect on high growth start up companies participating in this project.
It is hard to think of a more suitable icon for a north west Europe wide initiative to support high growth start ups for a number of reasons:
Tesla was in at the STARTUP of the Budapest Telephone Exchange (a telegraph company) in 1881, where he made many technical innovations .
He worked with the pioneer inventor Thomas Edison from 1882 to 1885.
Nikola is a model of endurance through success and failure. Tesla was fired from his own START UP company, Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing because of a disagreement with the other investors and was forced to work as a ditch digger for US$2 per day during the winter of 1886/1887 – a time of “terrible headaches and bitter tears”.
In 1887, Tesla started a second company, the Tesla Electric Company, with the backing of New York attorney Charles F. Peck and Alfred S. Brown, the director of Western Union which secured a licence deal with Westinghouse in 1888 for $60,000 in cash plus a share and royalty arrangement.
Tesla is credited with at least 278 patents in 26 countries!
He was able to perform integral calculus in his head whilst attending the Higher Real Academy in Karlovac, Croatia from 1870 – just to make us all feel a little intimidated!