Posted on: 04/08/2021

Introducing our Enterprise and Innovation Theme: Dates for your diary in 2021-22

Our Enterprise and Innovation programme will support people who would like to dip their toe in the world of enterprise to those of you who are ready to take their ideas to the next level. Enterprise, commercialisation and translation are means to an end. Engaging with industry is often seen as a path to spinout research, but it is much more about a process that can lead to a variety of outcomes and create impact across all sectors. It is also about mobility across sectors. Does a successful researcher need to work in academia? Do successful entrepreneurs work within academia? Our programme will also help navigate the blurred boundaries between the two.

Many of your host institutions will have support for commercialisation and all things associated with it, such as contract, intellectual property, patenting, and other forms of idea protection. This programme is not here to replicate that, but to add to it and help you explore whether the world of industry-funded research, spinouts, or commercialisation of your research might be of interest to you. We also hope that by bringing you together to explore these topics, you’ll meet colleagues in the Network and potentially might spark some new ideas and collaborations. The potential is here to build multiple networks to learn from others, road test ideas with and potentially build collaborations with:

  • people who are engaged in the sector you would like to work with
  • academics who are enterprising
  • Future Leaders Fellows who work in different sectors
  • finding people who could be collaborators

Imagine what you could do if you put your heads together!

These sessions are some you will see advertised in the coming months. We will be adding to them in response to what you need, so do let us know if there’s something you would like to see.

For those of you who want to learn from experts in the field, we have a series of concise Insight Sessions:

  • BOOKING NOW for September 2021: Insight Series: Commercialising Research. A brief, 45-minute Insight Session with Jen Bromley, Head of Plant Research and Development at Vertical Futures, focusing on how she has been able to commercialise her research.
  • December 2021: Insight Session with Jason Mellad, CEO and Co-founder of Start Codon, focusing on the tips and tricks to creating a viable start up.

For those of you who want to take the first step into engaging with industry and innovation:

  • BOOKING NOW for October 2021: Helix Innovations Lean Start Foundation, delivered by Helix Hub. Our delivery partners, HelixHub, will be hosting a Lean Start Foundation session. This will focus on introducing many of the most basic business and entrepreneurship concepts so that all participants get to grips with the language and mindsets of the business world. The approach centres on a friendly and supportive environment, with peer learning and hands-on training.
    – We will also be opening spots for this training in April 2022.
  • January 2022: Entrepreneurial Mind-set Course, delivered by the Postdocs 2 Innovators (p2i) Network. Developing an innovator mindset and capabilities enables early career researchers to spot opportunities and have the capacity to act on these with confidence, whether that’s in relation to gaining independence and pursuing an academic career, a commercial opportunity, policy intervention or other means of bringing their research out into the wider world to have an impact.

For those of you who might be exploring ideas around networking and would like to chat to colleagues:

  • November 2021: A casual drop-in Coffee Morning themed around networking (and getting a foot in the door) with Professor Lisa Collins.

For those of you who might be ready to engage with commercialisation and want to stand out from the crowd:

  • February 2022: A surgery looking at how to differentiate and highlight your research to potential investors and partners

For those of you who are considering the implications (and barriers to) protecting your intellectual property and navigating the world of patenting:

  • March 2022: Special guests Jen Bromley and Fiona Nicholson will discuss and give advice on ‘How to… protect arising intellectual property (the patenting process)’

This is just the first tranche of events and more will come next year. Bookings will open three months before each date. Please let us know what else you would like to see, and we will do our best to include it in the next round of events.

Other offerings

Of course, don’t forget that there are other related offerings via the FLF Development Network:

  • PLUS funds: if you want to organise something yourself (or with other FLFs), then you may have an idea which is eligible for PLUS funding of up to £25k
  • Mentoring: you will soon be invited to complete a matching form to enable us to find mentor for you
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