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Opportunity for entrepreneurial-minded postdocs

07 Jan 2020

Places available on the Researcher to Innovator (R2I) Bootcamp

Places are now available for the Researcher to Innovator (R2I) Bootcamp; a brand new commercialisation programme that was successfully introduced to Early Career Researchers* (ECRs) here at The University of Manchester last year.

Designed and delivered by experts in research and innovation and with just 30 places available, we expect to receive a high volume of interest amongst those wanting to create impact with their research through commercialisation.

Dr Martin Fergie from the School of Health Sciences participated in the first R2I series which launched in February last year. With on-going support from the R2I team, last year he was offered a highly coveted place onto the Innovate UK funded ICURe programme, which gave him access to £35,000 to further understand his target market and validate his assumptions. With continuing support, he is now in the process of applying for an Innovate UK grant, which will help kick-start his business.

“I attended the R2I boot-camp with an interest in exploring my idea to apply automated image analysis methods for use in clinical pathology laboratories. I saw the R2I programme as a valuable opportunity to develop my skills in assessing the commercial viability of my idea, and to further understand the support that is offered through our University for commercialising research,” commented Martin.

He added: “The boot-camp provided us with useful tools such as the business model canvas, and worked on our communication skills. I signed up for the following two workshops which were focussed on applying the skills developed to my own commercial proposal. I was awarded £3,000 funding through R2I to go out and speak to key people who I believed could help shape my idea. This funding allowed me to travel to conferences and trade events, and meet with others working within my area of interest.

“After presenting what I had learnt from the programme, the team encouraged me to apply for the national ICURe programme. R2I proved to be very valuable when writing the application for ICURe as I already had an appreciation for what the process would involve. Knowing how competitive [the ICURe application process] is, I really didn’t expect to be offered a place, so I was thrilled when my acceptance letter came through. I’m really excited for what’s yet to come.”

The R2I programme offers an introduction to commercialisation, and aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial mind-set of the ECR, develop their innovative thinking, as well as enhance their understanding of the commercialisation process.

If you would like to benefit from this bespoke programme of support, please register on Eventbrite by Friday, 31 January 2020.

Please note: this event is exclusive to ECRs at The University of Manchester. 

*UK Research Council definition of ECR: an individual who is within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or an individual who is within six years of their first academic appointment. These durations exclude any period of career break, e.g. for family care or health reasons. The ‘first academic appointment’ is defined as the first paid contract of employment, either full-time or part-time, which lists research and/or teaching as the primary functions. The award of PhD is defined at the point of successful PhD viva.