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Our Researcher to Innovator Programme will enable the brightest and best academic researchers from across the SETsquared Partnership universities to transform from leading academic researchers into successful innovators.


Learn how to take an idea to market


Understand the language of industry


Meet industrial partners, entrepreneurs and innovators


Turn your research into impact

About the programme

This five-day programme, made up of residential courses and industry meetings, explores the value of entrepreneurial thinking as a means of advancing your ideas, careers and research into impacts whether that be scientific, economic, social, cultural or environmental.

Using academic and industry best-practice and exemplars drawn from the SETsquared Partnership universities, our world-leading business incubation centres and SMEs within the Scale-Up Programme, we’ll inspire, connect, and equip you for future success.

Participants will leave the programme capable of realising and potentially commercialising their ideas and expertise in the wider world and engage with industry.

The programme is designed and developed by SETsquared alongside the award-winning Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol.

Phase 1 – 3 day introductory residential

Day 1

YOU – what does it mean to be an innovator, an entrepreneur, or a successful researcher? Activities and sessions will be provided to help personal understanding, building successful habits, developing core skills, and understanding how you can create value that others recognise.

Day 2

IDEAS – How to solve problems and spot opportunities. Starting with problems how can you move to viable solutions? We’ll develop compelling Value Propositions, Business Models, and effective strategies for exploring and testing how to take an idea to market. We will also explore how to understand the language of industry and how their needs relate to your research.

Day 3

MAKING IT HAPPEN – Committing to action, partnership building and creating teams to deliver value.  Concluding with “what next” – identifying and selecting projects to work on across the remaining phases of activity.

Phase 2

MEETING INDUSTRY – you’ll get an opportunity to engage with one of the SETsquared Centres and industrial partners to meet the entrepreneurs and innovators and build your network (1 day).

Phase 3 – 1 day final residential

1 day final residential

Keeping the dream alive” – Final event to sustain the learning, share the journeys and insights amongst the group. Hopefully a chance to reflect on and share in success.


Phase 4 – Post programme evaluation and reflection

Post programme evaluation and reflection

Post programme reflection and key learning from the programme – how can we help you keep going? How might you contribute your lessons learned to the next programme?

Who should apply?

• Early career researchers from across the SETsquared Partnership universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.
• From any academic discipline.


Researcher to Innovator was fantastic. It transformed the way I see the whole research ecosystem and the role I can potentially play within it. There are so many roles and possible relationships that I didn’t even think about before this programme.

Dr Michelle Harricharan, Research Associate, University of Bath

Researcher to Innovator is a robust programme which has completely changed the way I approach my research. It gives you the support you need to take the first steps in turning your ideas into a reality. Applying the concepts I’ve learnt on the course has improved the impact of my research, leading to a high impact publication and invitation to present at a high profile conference.

Michail Beliatis, EPSRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey

I would highly recommend the Researcher to Innovator course.  It encompasses everything someone from a research background, transitioning into a more commercial role or seeking to commercialise his or her research, needs to know. We heard from a fantastic range of speakers, covering many different topics including entrepreneurialism and networking through to building a business.

Dr James Mithen, Researcher in Computational Physics, University of Surrey

SETsquared is a partnership between

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