Open Innovation Challenge

What is it?

Are you a PhD student or Postdoc who would like to explore entrepreneurship and make a bigger impact with your work? If so, the University of Edinburgh’s Open Innovation Challenge is for you. Delivered by Edinburgh Innovations - the enterprise service for students at the University of Edinburgh - this programme is designed for University of Edinburgh PhD students and Postdocs from any background looking to engage in deep-tech entrepreneurial activities, and early career researchers across the UK whose work applies to the field of cancer.

The Open Innovation Challenge is for those at the start of their entrepreneurial journey. It gives budding entrepreneurs the chance to develop ideas, explore commercialisation opportunities for research, expand their business know-how and take their ideas to the next level, so they can make a real-world impact.

What does the OIC include?

The Open Innovation Challenge (OIC) consists of an opening seminar, three sprints, four masterclasses and the Open Innovation Cup. It is your chance to use your skills and expertise as a PhD or Postdoc working in a spin-out, to work with real intellectual property patented by the University, to test your ability to solve real-world problems, and directly impact people’s lives.

To start your journey, take part in one of our Open Innovation Sprints where you can ideate, create, form a team and tap into the expertise of the University’s business advisers. There will also be a series of masterclass workshops to prepare you to pitch at the Open Innovation Cup and be in with the chance to win a share of £5000. You don’t need to attend all the events to participate in the cup.

If your idea is cancer-related, you will also be competing for a space in the industry-leading Venture Builder Incubator, which includes a £2000 stipend, 14 weeks of business skills training and support to help translate and commercialise your idea, as well as the opportunity to win a £5000 prize.

Who can take part in the OIC activities?

This programme of activities is designed for:

- University of Edinburgh PhD students and Postdocs from any discipline

- Early career researchers across the UK whose work applies to the field of cancer

However, master’s students, alumni, staff and undergraduates from the University of Edinburgh with ideas in any sector are also welcome to join.

Why should I take part?

There are a host of reasons to take part in the Open Innovation Challenge! If your idea is related to cancer, you could win a space on the Venture Builder Incubator. Otherwise, you could have a chance to grab a share of the £5K prize money.

Other benefits of competing in the Open Innovation Challenge include:

- Fully funded sprints and workshops led by the University of Edinburgh’s experts

- Support and expertise from Edinburgh Innovations’ business advisers

- Skills development - entrepreneurial, business and employability

- An insight into how to commercialise your research and build a team

- The chance to build an idea out into a successful business venture

- Cash prizes

- Access to the DDE programme, and its other amazing opportunities and communities of like-minded entrepreneurs

Success Stories

Apply now?

All activities will take place online. Applications are closed for this cohort.

For more information please email below:

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Our Partners / Supported By

Cancer Research UK

We are the world's leading independent cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research, influence and information.

Find out more about Cancer Research UK

Nile HQ

Nile is a multi-talented strategic design consultancy, HQ'd in Scotland, distributed worldwide. We solve problems worth solving.

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