Entrepreneurship is the motivation, attitude and skill to realise new opportunities and create economic and societal impact from them.

The I-Corps@SFI Academy provides introductory training for researchers in evidence-based entrepreneurship, and provides training for research translation professionals (e.g. Technology Transfer Office staff) based at Irish Research Bodies that enables them to support researchers in the application of this evidence-based methodology.

The I-Corps@SFI Academy is a cohort-based programme that is delivered virtually over a number of weeks to train researchers in evidence-based entrepreneurship using the NSF I-Corps methodology. The Academy is delivered in partnership with I-Corps South and Georgia Tech Venture Lab.

Instructor Team

Training in the Academy is led by a team of experienced instructors from I-Corps South/Georgia Tech Venture Labs. This team is supported locally in Ireland by a dedicated team of national instructor trainees and mentors. Instructor trainees and mentors are drawn from Research Bodies across Ireland and each have significant experience in research translation and commercialisation.

Interested in becoming an instructor trainee/mentor? See How To Apply

The Academy provides researchers with training in innovation and entrepreneurship, and provides access to mentoring that enables exploration of impact opportunities for their research. As part of this training experience, researchers can expect to undertake real-world interviews with potential beneficiaries and end-users of their research. This training also prepares researchers to apply to the SFI/NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme and other funding programmes.

In addition, the Academy provides training to non-academic staff members in Research Bodies so that they can mentor and train researchers in evidence-based entrepreneurship. This training is specifically focused on Technology Transfer Office staff or others whose role involves the translation of research.

Under a programme cohort there can be up to two application streams:

  • Research Teams (Researcher Stream)

Applications can be submitted by teams comprising two researchers (at any career stage), working on a technical innovation based on STEM research or AHSS discipline, with the ambition to translate their work for impact. Both researchers must be based at an eligible Research Body. However, both researchers do not need to be based at the same Research Body, nor do both researchers need to be at the same career stage. Both researchers must work on the same problem during training.

  • Non-academic Research Body Staff (Instructor Trainee Stream)

Non-academic Research Body staff members responsible for translation or commercialisation of research (e.g. a member of Technology Transfer Office staff) can apply to participate as instructor trainees. To apply, non-academic Research Body staff must recruit a research team (see above) to work with throughout the training programme.

A limited number of observers may be permitted to attend a cohort. Attendance by observers is discretionary and intended to provide an opportunity to learn about the programme and promote applications to it at a later stage. Observers may only attend the Researcher Stream component of a cohort. For further information, please contact i-corps@sfi.ie.

Application involves completion of a short form submitted online. The form requests details on the applicants and a brief description of the problem you are trying to solve. Submissions under the Researcher Stream must be endorsed by the host institution Technology Transfer Office (TTO).

If you would like to know more about how you can apply, please download the call notification or contact i-corps@sfi.ie.

Cohorts and Timelines

Cohort 1 (Stream(s): Instructor Trainees and Researchers) – Closed: April – June, 2021

Cohort 2 (Stream(s): Instructor Trainees and Researchers) – Closed: September – November, 2021

Cohort 3 (Stream(s): Researchers) – Closed: March - April, 2022

Cohort 4 (Stream(s) – Instructor Trainees and Researchers) – Closed: April, 2024

Cohort 5 (Stream(s) – TBA) – Application Deadline: Q4 2024. More details to follow.

Further Information

Please contact i-corps@sfi.ie for further information on the I-Corps@SFI Academy.