Close close


Enter your search term below:



ICURe Cohort 35 (SETsquared) – Will be open for applications in June 2021

Our delivery partners NXNW and Midlands ICURe are both currently open
for applications for earlier cohorts

For research teams from UK universities with commercially-promising ideas


Derive more IMPACT from your research activities


Validate the market for products or services that utilise your research


Apply for funding of up to £30k for market validation


Engage with at least 100 prospective customers, competitors, regulators and stakeholders

Receive expert feedback and guidance at the end of your ICURe journey

About the programme

The Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) Programme is a collaboration between SETsquared, NorthbyNorthwest Partnership, Midlands Partnership, Innovate UK, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is designed to move ideas and innovation out of labs and into the marketplace where they will have the greatest impact.

The ICURe Programme has helped create over 100 new companies and 500+ new jobs – find out more about the positive impact that ICURe has created so far. View the headline figures here

ICURe is responding to the extraordinary circumstances that the Covid19 global pandemic is producing.  The whole world is being impacted, with the UK and most other countries experiencing lockdown and social distancing.  We all hope that we are now seeing control of and the beginning of the defeat of the pandemic, but we are likely to be in a continually changing environment for a lengthy period.  Fortunately, university innovation and entrepreneurial thinking is continuing apace and perhaps even accelerating through the lockdown and as lockdown eases.  The need for market validation as we commercialise research outputs is as strong as ever and ICURe is evolving to ensure a better fit to the new circumstances.  With these continuously changing circumstances, the ICURe Programme will dynamically evolve and change in response to the UK and global situations.  ICURe is an innovation and entrepreneurial programme, and entrepreneurs deal with and take advantage of constant change, so come to the programme to embrace and be part of the change.

ICURe partner organisations


How does it work?

Our ICURe Programme offers research teams with commercially-promising ideas up to £30k to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate their ideas in the marketplace.

ICURe supports the research team’s Entrepreneurial Lead (ECR) to undertake 3 to 4 months of full-time, intensive market assessment, having meaningful engagements with at least 100 prospective customers, regulators, suppliers, partners, competitors and other stakeholders in the global marketplace to validate the commercial potential of the team’s innovation.

Key dates for Cohort 35 – coming soon

Options Roundabout

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

The options for commercialisation pathways can include carrying out further public or private sponsored research, exploring licensing opportunities, 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 should apply?

The programme is open to research teams from all UK universities and now some PSRE (Public Sector Research Enterprises) with commercially-promising ideas. There are no restrictions upon which discipline can apply, 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

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

NextGen Invest 2021

NextGen Invest gave graduates of our ICURe  Programme, a platform to pitch for investment for their pre spin out, commercial ventures.

Sixteen innovative teams from fourteen different UK universities pitched their ventures online to an audience of 120+ investors on each day. From software for rapidly constructing and deploying digital twins for engineering to the next generation of heart valves – an impressive array of innovations set to be the growth companies of the future were unveiled.

Read all about it


Related Case Studies

The ICURe Programme was definitely key to establishing Biosystems Technology. It fast-tracked the commercial translation of our academic research into a viable business proposition. I learnt a huge amount of commercial knowledge and expertise in a short period of time.

Dr Olivia Champion, Biosystems Technology

Application schedule will be available soon

For more information, contact or call: Thea Glasspool on 07557 179144.


SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey