Last week, Warwick Ventures played host to the first Midlands ICURe (Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research) bootcamp, welcoming 12 entrepreneurial teams from eight universities to Warwick Conferences to develop their commercially-promising ideas.
ICURe is a collaboration of the SETsquared Partnership, Innovate UK and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which aims to support the commercialisation of university innovation and ideas. The SETsquared pilot of the past three years has supported 160 university teams with their projects, leading to 50 new spinouts, including six from Warwick.
In May, it was announced that Warwick Ventures would be the lead delivery partner for the Midlands branch of ICURe in Innovate UK’s £8 million expansion, working in partnership with the SETsquared Partnership and Queen’s University Belfast to grow the programme across the UK. 20 teams applied for the first Midlands ICURe Cohort and 12 successful teams were enrolled on to the initial bootcamp, from Aberystwyth University and Birmingham City University and the Universities of Birmingham, Loughborough, Manchester, Nottingham, Oxford and Warwick.
The ICURe bootcamp took place over three days at Warwick, during which the entrepreneurial teams developed hypothetical business models for the commercialisation of their universities’ research, including a budget and action plan for the next stage of the programme, Market Validation.
The Warwick team (selected from 20 applications across Warwick) is led by James Amor (Entrepreneurial Lead) from the School of Engineering with PI Professor Christopher James and supported by Brendan Spillane from Warwick Ventures. Their commercial idea is based on the development of a telecare system and machine learning model that can be used to predict changes in behaviour that indicate ill-health, enabling proactive systems for patient and social care planning and management.
Following the bootcamp, the teams’ Entrepreneurial Leads, the early career researchers, will now start three months of testing their business commercialisation models by each having at least 100 conversations with companies in their target markets around the world. When they return for the next phase of Midlands ICURe, they will present to a panel of business leaders and investors who will feedback on the potential options for commercial development.
Applications for the next round of Midlands ICURe, Cohort B, are now open. Applications from interested Warwick researchers must be received by 25 August: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/ventures/midlandsicure/