I-Corps@SFI is a partnership between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-CorpsTM) which seeks to build collaborative activities under the world-renowned NSF I-Corps programme.

Under this partnership, the SFI/NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme (ETP) supports Ireland-based research teams to participate in the NSF I-Corps Teams programme. The NSF I-Corps Teams programme provides researchers with real-world, hands-on, immersive learning about what it takes to successfully transfer knowledge that benefits society. As part of this programme, researchers discover impact opportunities through application of the NSF I-Corps evidence-based entrepreneurship methodology. This assists them to identify significant opportunities for their research, enhance the quality of evidence in assessment of that opportunity and reduce the time and risk associated with translating promising ideas to impact.

To complement the SFI/NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme (ETP), SFI has also created the I-Corps@SFI Academy. 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 RPOs that enables them to support researchers in the application of the methodology. For further information please see here.

The SFI/NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme is intended to support researchers based in eligible Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) to develop entrepreneurial skills that will enable them to realise new opportunities for their research that will, in turn, lead to economic and societal impact. A key overarching objective of the programme is to foster entrepreneurial culture within RPOs by enhancing awareness of entrepreneurship and promoting entrepreneurial thinking and skills amongst researchers at all career stages.

The objectives of the SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme are to:

  • Support researchers to develop skills in evidence-based entrepreneurship.
  • Enable researchers to realise economic and societal impact opportunities from publicly funded research.
  • Enable translation of the outputs of publicly funded research from academic institutions.
  • Support the formation of spin-outs and start-ups.

Applications should be submitted from teams seeking to realise economic and societal impact opportunities from publicly-funded STEM research. Teams must comprise:

i. a Principal Investigator (PI) - The PI should have appropriate technical expertise and currently work in a STEM-related discipline. The PI should be based at an eligible RPO.

ii. an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) - The EL is expected to have the necessary technical expertise relating to the proposed technology along with the motivation to lead the opportunity discovery/validation activities of the team during the programme and progress translation of the technology following completion of the programme. The EL should be based at an eligable RPO.

iii. an Entrepreneurial Mentor (EM) - The EM is expected to bringentrepreneurship, industry or relevant domain expertise to a teamandserveastheprincipalguidetoin determining the technology disposition. In certain cases, itmay be appropriate for the EM to have a business/commercial development role in or associated with an eligible research body or be a member of staff within the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) or Research Office (RO) of an RPO.

Each team member must satisfy several eligibility criteria that will be outlined in the programme call document.

Teams successful at application stage will participate in the NSF I-Corps Teams programme which is an intensive 7-week training programme delivered by the NSF during which teams will receive training in evidence-based entrepreneurship and undertake extensive opportunity (e.g. customer) discovery activities. Through participation in the programme, teams will gain valuable insights on the impact potential of their idea and receive mentoring from highly experienced NSF instructors. Teams will also have the opportunity to learn from other research teams participating in the programme.

Applicants should note that participation represents a significant commitment from a team with each team member expected to contribute to in-depth preparation and attendance at online meetings. It is expected that team members will make a significant time commitment to the programme (at least 15 additional hours per week outside of core contact time).

SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme (ETP) will be relaunched in 2022. Further details to follow.

Timelines

To be announced.

Further Information

Please contact i-corps@sfi.ie for further information on the programmes associated with the I-Corps@SFI partnership.