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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Developing the entrepreneurial potential of Post Graduate and Early Career Researchers  Event

10:00 - 16:00
24 June 2015
University of Southampton Science Park 2 Venture Road, Chilworth, Southampton, Hampshire SO16 7NP, UK

For more information regarding this event, please email Kate Beresford at .

Event details

Delegates who attend this event will have the opportunity to: Learn from and exchange best practice with colleagues from across the UK Share ideas about introducing new approaches in their region or institution Begin collaborations through new connections, as part of a national network


In March 2013, the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry ‘Bridging the Valley of Death: Improving the Commercialisation of Research’ drew on a broad range of evidence relating to problems encountered in the commercialisation of UK academic research and support for early stage businesses. The Committee concluded that opportunities for the commercialisation of academic research are being lost because of a number of system failures.

  • Research funding tends to stop before an idea is commercially validated
  • Many researchers do not wish to be entrepreneurs and will move on to the next research project without checking the commercial potential of their work.
  • Some universities discourage their senior researchers from pursuing opportunities for commercialisation, as this can interrupt or damage their research career and hence the academic status (and research budgets) of the institution.
  • Even where researchers do wish to progress the commercial potential, they often lack the skills and support to do so.
  • Where ideas do spin out of a university, they are often seen as very high risk and can struggle to raise the financial and other support necessary to develop the idea. This can be either because the technical concept and potential market have not been sufficiently well proven or the designated team is perceived to lack the skill set required to take the business forward.” March 2013

While existing programmes for undergraduates along with taught post graduate programmes provide a range of ways for the learners to enhance their understanding of the importance of innovation to the wider community, there is little that offers the research community the opportunity to test their IP or expertise with industries or commerce, let alone develop the key skills of commercial idea identification, development and ultimately exploitation. These skills are essential regardless of whether the researcher progresses into academia or into the wider community.

This one day event will provide examples of existing programmes that aim to address the challenges above.

Speakers and facilitators include:

Ben McClure, SETsquared

Veronica Ferguson, Heriot Watt University

Shima Barakat, Cambridge Judge Business School

Cost to attend:

Staff from EEUK members – Free of Charge, all others - £125 (non-refundable).

This event has been organised by SETsquared and Enterprise Educators UK. The event is subsidised by the ICURe programme; funded by HEFCE and InnovateUK

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