The HIgh Density Avalanche Chamber (HIDAC) is a development of the Multiwire Proportional Chamber in which the cathodes consist of thick, laminated, perforated, lead plates for imaging non-ionising radiation to a high spatial precision in two dimensions. It was invented by Alan Jeavons at CERN in 1973 and subsequently used at Geneva University and Cantonal Hospital for positron imaging. In 1985, Alan Jeavons left CERN and founded Oxford Positron Systems to realise HIDAC's scientific and commercial potential. The first product was the InstantImager' for digital autoradiography and, under licence to Packard Bioscience,
over 400 units have now been sold in 25 countries. Currently, a camera for 3D Positron Emission Tomography is undergoing trials and will be marketed next year.
This story will be told with particular reference to the personal trials and tribulations of achieving the technology transfer and establishing an independent high-tech company.