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Biofilms ICURe Sprint

An accelerated programme of support for teams from the partner universities of the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) with commercially promising biofilm innovations.

Applications are currently closed.

Validate the market for products or services that utilise your research

Apply for funding of up to £20k for market validation


Sector specific support programme

Access to an ecosystem of research institutes, investors and businesses from the sector

Expert feedback and guidance at the end of your Sprint journey

NBIC ICURE and BBSRC logo block

About the programme

Funded by the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) and delivered by SETsquared, the Biofilms ICURe Sprint is an accelerated version of the Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) programme, dedicated solely to research teams developing biofilm innovations.

The programme will support teams led by university Early Career Researchers/Entrepreneurial Lead/post-doctoral researcher or PhD researcher to determine whether there is an international biofilms market for products or services that utilise their research, science, or technology. Up to £20k of funding is available to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate these commercially promising ideas in the marketplace.

It will leverage an ecosystem of businesses, investors, corporates, and translational research centres to deliver this intensive market discovery programme in approximately two months.

Discover the current projects taking part in Biofilms ICURe Sprint.

Innovate UK, Research England & BEIS logos

How does it work?

The Biofilms ICURe Sprint offers research teams with commercially promising ideas the opportunity to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate their ideas in the marketplace.

It supports the research team’s Early Career Researcher (ECR)/Entrepreneurial Lead/post-doctoral researcher or PhD researcher to undertake approximately two months of full-time, intensive market assessment to validate the commercial potential of the team’s innovation.

ICURe Sprint accelerates the market discovery stage by enhancing the involvement of significant players in the relevant sectors to provide mentoring and contacts, industry representatives to outline the challenges they face, and key applied research centres from the NBIC partner universities.

The programme utilises lean start-up methodology and Strategyzer’s business model canvas tools to develop a customer discovery journey and test what potential customers want in relation to the benefits the research could bring.

In addition, the ECR’s++ will receive training and interview practice, carrying out over 100 interviews and acquiring transferrable business and social skills.

Read our key dates and expectations to find out more.

Options Roundabout

At the end of the market validation activity, you will present your findings and identified opportunities to an ‘options roundabout’ panel that will offer the team feedback and guidance on development pathways.

The suggested options for commercialisation pathways can include carrying out further public or private sponsored research, exploring licensing opportunities and/or seeking public or private funding for spin-out (for those projects that have demonstrated strong market potential by the end of the market validation).

Who is the Biofilms ICURe Sprint for?

The programme is specifically open to research teams from NBIC’s 63 partner universities.

Ideas should seek to address biofilm challenges in sectors including, but not limited to:

  • Food and Agriculture
  • Health
  • Hygiene
  • Marine
  • Personal Care
  • Waste and Water

Who should apply?

There are no restrictions upon which discipline can apply, as long as your research addresses a biofilm challenge, but your team should consist of the following individuals:

  • Early Career Researcher/Entrepreneurial Lead with hands-on knowledge of the technology and research results.
  • Senior Researcher (Principal Investigator) who is leading the research activity.
  • Technology Transfer Officer with responsibility for commercialising the research activity.
  • Business Adviser who is familiar with the research activity and has experience in the commercial marketplace. If, however, you don’t already have a Business Advisor in place, we can work with you to identify a suitable advisor.

For the full team descriptions and requirements, as well as eligible expenditures and expectations, please read the Guidance for Applicants.

Before applying, we advise you to take a look at the application template to understand what information is required.

Applications are now closed.

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