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Qi3 helps turn great research into great business

The UK Research Councils have appointed Qi3 to deliver the training, coaching and mentoring programme to the Research Councils’ Business Plan Competition.

This national competition encourages academics across the entire research spectrum to consider the potential commercialisation options for their research. The emphasis is deliberately broad and helps all entrants to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Qi3 will support competition entrants with:

  • Two-day business training courses in Edinburgh, York, Warwick, Swindon and London for all entrants who pass the first selection. The programme includes recognising the potential value of academic research, business model selection, investment readiness and preparation of business plans
  • Individual coaching and mentoring support for all entrants who pass the second selection. This will include sales & marketing, finance, production & operations, Intellectual Property, legal and personnel issues.
  • Additional coaching and mentoring support for competition finalists

Commenting on the appointment, Sarah Cooper, Business Plan Competition Project Manager for the Research Councils said “we are delighted to be working with Qi3 on this national competition. The Qi3 team showed an excellent record in engagement with a wide variety of researchers and a hands-on approach to the issues faced by technology spinout companies”.

Nathan Hill, Managing Director of Qi3 said “new technology businesses need strong foundations, and never more so than when they originate in the research environment. We will work with all of the competition entrants to ensure that they gain a realistic appreciation of the challenges and benefits of engagement with industry. We are delighted to have won this bid against over sixty competitors – it’s a tribute to the quality of our team and our demonstrated experience in Technology Commercialisation, Business Development and Knowledge Transfer”.

Details of the competition are at www.rcuk.ac.uk/innovation/bpc/index.asp

Learn more about Qi3 at www.qi3.co.uk and about RCUK at www.rcuk.ac.uk

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About the Research Councils’ Business Plan Competition

Helping researchers turn great research in to great business – that’s the aim of the Research Councils’ Business Plan Competition.

Every good business starts with two things; a good idea and a robust business plan. You supply the idea, and we’ll give you the skills, knowledge and support you need to develop a first-rate business plan! This will be provided through expert trainers, coaches and mentors. Plus – the opportunity to win funds to help with the development of your business idea.

The competition is open to researchers based in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) or Public Sector Research Establishments (PSRE) from across the whole spectrum of academic research within the remits of the eight UK Research Councils – from the arts and biosciences, to environmental physical and social sciences to technology.

Postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers and academic staff who have a business idea arising from research and want to develop this further are encouraged to participate.

Taking part is easy – just prepare a one page summary of your business idea, without giving away any potential business secrets and complete the short application form (to be submitted between 10 October and 31 December 2005). Once accepted for the competition you will benefit from training through a two day commercialisation workshop.

The second phase of the competition will provide you with access to highly skilled experts with experience of research commercialisation. They will help to guide you in the preparation of a high quality business plan – the essential requirement for marketing your business idea to potential investors.

Prizes of up to £25,000 will be awarded to the business plans judged to have the best potential to help turn business ideas into reality.

About Research Councils UK

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the partnership between the UK ‘s eight Research Councils.

The Research Councils run several cross-council multidisciplinary research programmes and are the main public investors in fundamental research in the UK. Through RCUK, the Research Councils are working together to create a common framework for research, training and knowledge transfer.

The partnership is led by the RCUK Executive Group, which meets monthly and comprises the chief executives of the eight Research Councils. The Group is currently chaired by Professor Ian Diamond, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council.

The eight UK Research Councils are:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
  • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
  • Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC);
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
  • Medical Research Council (MRC);
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
  • Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council (PPARC).

About Qi3

Qi3 is a specialist service provider that enables high-tech start-ups, technology corporations, universities and government to unite technology and the marketplace. Our key expertise is in Technology Commercialisation, Business Development and Knowledge Transfer.

Principal activities for the public sector include:

  • Technology market evaluation for corporate venturing organisations and technology companies
  • Hands-on business development support (which typically includes product launch, pioneer sales, licensing of Intellectual Property, establishment of sales distribution channels, product development management, technology strategy)


For the Research Councils
Sarah Cooper, Competition Manager
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
Swindon, SN2 1ET
Tel: 01793 444422
Email: rcbpcomp@epsrc.ac.uk

For Qi3
Nathan Hill, Managing Director
Qi3, St John’s Innovation Centre
Cowley Road
Cambridge, CB4 0WS
Tel: 01223 422404
Email: nathan.hill@qi3.co.uk

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