iCURE project: a new approach to rapid commercialisation

iCURE, which stands for ‘Innovation and Commercialisation of University Research’, aims to bridge the ‘valley of death’ identified by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee

The project was inspired by Innovate UK’s review of a similar programme operated by the US National Science Foundation, and is funded by a £2.8 million HEFCE cash injection and £400,000 from Innovate UK.

iCURE will see HEFCE, Innovate UK, and university enterprise partnership SETsquared work together on a pilot to tackle these issues and help accelerate research being successfully commercialised and spin out new high-potential companies.

The SETsquared partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton, and Surrey specialises in growing high tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other acceleration services.

Under the iCURE programme, early-stage researchers at the five SETsquared universities will be given tailored training, mentoring and funds to speed up the commercialisation of their ideas, technologies and products.  

The programme will work as follows:

 

  • Individual universities will put forward key research outputs that may have the potential for commercialisation.
  • These prospects will be filtered to identify which are of sufficient interest to progress.
  • For each successful prospect, an entrepreneurial team will be assembled, comprising the original researcher, an entrepreneurial lead (a recent graduate), and a mentor (supplying skills such as market knowledge, commercialisation expertise).
  • The team will be provided with entrepreneurial training and support for a hypothesis-driven business model discovery process. Funding is provided for time and travel to explore the market opportunities and develop and check ideas.  During this stage the commercial potential of the prospect will be validated.
  • Each prospect will be developed by the entrepreneurial team to a stage where a business proposition can be 
  • delivered in a standard format (such as business model canvas).  The prospects will then be submitted to a competitive review process, and those with the greatest potential will create a new spinout business.
  • Other proposals may be taken forward in different ways (for instance through IP licensing).

 

 

Once completed the pilot will be reviewed and (with further development if necessary) considered for wider implementation across the UK.

Don Spalinger, board member of SETsquared and director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Southampton, said that iCURE could see university research being commercialised faster than ever before, something that is vital for universities.  He added “Particularly in the field of technology, where everything evolves so fast, getting a product to market quickly can make the difference between creating a successful business and falling behind.  The flexibility of this programme and the way it is run will allow researchers to assess their markets much faster, meaning they can potentially seek investment or sell their ideas within just a few months.”

The programme will also benefit teams that do not move to spinout.  Don Spalinger again: “We do not expect that every team going through the programme will result in a spinout opportunity.  The successful output for some teams will be the licensing of the technology or product idea to an existing company which will commercialise it through their existing channels.  Other teams will gain invaluable knowledge of the marketplace, which will be taken back into the research lab to either refine the ideas and technologies, or take the research down another path that they have discovered from their interactions with the marketplace.”

 

 

iCURE will see HEFCE, Innovate UK, and university enterprise partnership SETsquared work together on a pilot to tackle these issues and help accelerate research being successfully commercialised and spin out new high-potential companies.

 

The SETsquared partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton, and Surrey specialises in growing high tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other acceleration services.

 

Under the iCURE programme, early-stage researchers at the five SETsquared universities will be given tailored training, mentoring and funds to speed up the commercialisation of their ideas, technologies and products.  

 

The programme will work as follows:

Individual universities will put forward key research outputs that may have the potential for commercialisation.

These prospects will be filtered to identify which are of sufficient interest to progress.

For each successful prospect, an entrepreneurial team will be assembled, comprising the original researcher, an entrepreneurial lead (a recent graduate), and a mentor (supplying skills such as market knowledge, commercialisation expertise).

The team will be provided with entrepreneurial training and support for a hypothesis-driven business model discovery process. Funding is provided for time and travel to explore the market opportunities and develop and check ideas.  During this stage the commercial potential of the prospect will be validated.

Each prospect will be developed by the entrepreneurial team to a stage where a business proposition can be 

delivered in a standard format (such as business model canvas).  The prospects will then be submitted to a competitive review process, and those with the greatest potential will create a new spinout business.

Other proposals may be taken forward in different ways (for instance through IP licensing).

 

Once completed the pilot will be reviewed and (with further development if necessary) considered for wider implementation across the UK.

 

Don Spalinger, board member of SETsquared and director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Southampton, said that iCURE could see university research being commercialised faster than ever before, something that is vital for universities.  He added “Particularly in the field of technology, where everything evolves so fast, getting a product to 

market quickly can make the difference between creating a 

successful business and falling behind.  The flexibility of this programme and the way it is run will allow researchers to assess their markets much faster, meaning they can potentially seek investment or sell their ideas within just a few months.”

 

The programme will also benefit teams that do not move to spinout.  Don Spalinger again: “We do not expect that every team going through the programme will result in a spinout opportunity.  The successful output for some teams will be the licensing of the technology or product idea to an existing company which will commercialise it through their existing channels.  Other teams will gain invaluable knowledge of the marketplace, which will be taken back into the research lab to either refine the ideas and technologies, or take the research down another path that they have discovered from their interactions with the marketplace.”

 

The project was inspired by Innovate UK’s review of a similar programme operated by the US National Science Foundation, and is funded by a £2.8 million HEFCE cash injection and £400,000 from Innovate UK.

iCURE will see HEFCE, Innovate UK, and university enterprise partnership SETsquared work together on a pilot to tackle these issues and help accelerate research being successfully commercialised and spin out new high-potential companies.
The SETsquared partnership between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton, and Surrey specialises in growing high tech start-ups through its incubation programme and other acceleration services.
Under the iCURE programme, early-stage researchers at the five SETsquared universities will be given tailored training, mentoring and funds to speed up the commercialisation of their ideas, technologies and products.  
The programme will work as follows:
Individual universities will put forward key research outputs that may have the potential for commercialisation.
These prospects will be filtered to identify which are of sufficient interest to progress.
For each successful prospect, an entrepreneurial team will be assembled, comprising the original researcher, an entrepreneurial lead (a recent graduate), and a mentor (supplying skills such as market knowledge, commercialisation expertise).
The team will be provided with entrepreneurial training and support for a hypothesis-driven business model discovery process. Funding is provided for time and travel to explore the market opportunities and develop and check ideas.  During this stage the commercial potential of the prospect will be validated.
Each prospect will be developed by the entrepreneurial team to a stage where a business proposition can be 
delivered in a standard format (such as business model canvas).  The prospects will then be submitted to a competitive review process, and those with the greatest potential will create a new spinout business.
Other proposals may be taken forward in different ways (for instance through IP licensing).
Once completed the pilot will be reviewed and (with further development if necessary) considered for wider implementation across the UK.
Don Spalinger, board member of SETsquared and director of Research and Innovation Services at the University of Southampton, said that iCURE could see university research being commercialised faster than ever before, something that is vital for universities.  He added “Particularly in the field of technology, where everything evolves so fast, getting a product to 
market quickly can make the difference between creating a 
successful business and falling behind.  The flexibility of this programme and the way it is run will allow researchers to assess their markets much faster, meaning they can potentially seek investment or sell their ideas within just a few months.”
The programme will also benefit teams that do not move to spinout.  Don Spalinger again: “We do not expect that every team going through the programme will result in a spinout opportunity.  The successful output for some teams will be the licensing of the technology or product idea to an existing company which will commercialise it through their existing channels.  Other teams will gain invaluable knowledge of the marketplace, which will be taken back into the research lab to either refine the ideas and technologies, or take the research down another path that they have discovered from their interactions with the marketplace.”

Posted on Wednesday, 06 May 2015 under University news

 
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