BBSRC ICURe Lean Launch Guidance

BBSRC LLP trains, funds, and supports research teams to determine whether there is a market for products or services that utilise their bioscience-based ideas, research, science, and technologies. Up to £3,700 of funding is available to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate commercially promising ideas in the marketplace

Over a 10 week period, the training and support activities are currently carried out online, providing accessibility to a wide range of applicants.  It is hoped that, in line with government guidelines and individual University policies, the mid-term review day can be held face to face.

How does it work?

BBSRC LLP takes the scientific method (hypothesise, test, evaluate) and applies it to commercialisation. You will learn how to use this approach to test what your potential customers think about your idea, product, or service. In addition, you will receive training and interview practice, carrying out over 100 40 interviews and acquiring transferrable business and social skills. Past participants say that having ICURe support, training, and funding to spend on customer discovery has dramatically changed their perspective on their innovation.

What does it include?

  • Funding support up to £2,500 for market discovery activities and £1,200 for business advisor support.
  • Selected teams will have the opportunity to access further support and apply for various follow-on funding pathways from UKRI, including application to the 4 month ICURe programme.
  • Access to experts in bringing research to market
  • Access to our team of experts and proactive connections to our network of entrepreneurs, investors, and funders.
  • Game changing online delivery
  • 2 day online intensive bootcamp where you will learn how to talk about your technology to customers, develop a hypothetical business model and identify your customers’ pain points. You will also create a detailed plan of your customer discovery journey
  • 10 weeks of market validation against the customer discovery plan for your research using online software platforms, video conferencing and marketing tools and face-to-face where safe and possible. This will involve targeting direct engagements with over 100 40 business leaders. You will receive weekly 1-hour coaching clinics from experts in taking research ideas to market
  • 1-day online pitch training to teach you how to pitch your research to potential customers and investors

Culminate with the opportunity to pitch to an experienced panel of funders, stakeholders, mentors, and investors to help accelerate the impact from your research. The panel will give feedback on commercialisation pathways which can include carrying out further public or private sponsored research and exploring licensing opportunities 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 eligible?

BBSRC ICURe is open to research teams in all UK universities, BBSRC-funded institutes and approved public sector research enterprises (PSREs). BBSRC ICURe teams are composed of four individuals:

  • Entrepreneurial Lead: Any research staff or technical research staff member that receives their salary or stipend from an eligible university, PSRE or institute (including, but not limited to, PhD, technician, PDRA, fellowship and group leader positions). This individual MUST be able to commit a minimum of one day per week for the duration of the programme starting the week of the bootcamp 
  • Associated Science advisor: A researcher who can provide intellectual support to the entrepreneurial lead throughout the course of the programme, for example an interdisciplinary project may require input from outside the research group. 
  • Technology Transfer representative/professional An individual from the team, either from, or contracted to, the RO leading on the commercialisation of the intellectual asset with appropriate technology transfer expertise. This individual Officer (TTO) MUST be able to attend essential online bootcamp sessions as well as the options roundabout. In addition, provide support for the Entrepreneurial Lead and team during the LLP programme and continued support for further commercialisation activity following the programmes conclusion.
  • Business Adviser – A motivated individual from a relevant industrial sector to offer expert guidance and support. Teams are strongly encouraged to name an adviser in their application. Please contact the ICURe administration team if identifying a suitable advisor is a barrier. 
  • The research underpinning the products or services being carried forward by the research team MUST be building on a previous BBSRC or other UKRI grant that is taking forward a bioscience innovation to address a market opportunity.

We are committed to improving diversity across our programmes and are actively seeking applications from under-represented groups and non-Russell Group Universities. The spread across different target market sectors will also be considered when selecting applications to ensure broad portfolio coverage.

We do not accept applications based upon a commercialisation project that has previously been supported through InnovateUK ICURe programmes. 

How do I apply?

The application form may be accessed from the links on this website. All applications will go through a competitive selection process and the Entrepreneurial lead will be required to participate in a scheduled video interview as part of that process. Your application must have been agreed with your organisation and funder prior to applying, including that you can commit to the programme.