Who can join?
- For Innovation i-Teams : Any post-graduate student or post-doctoral researcher from any department at the University of Cambridge (includes the Babraham Institute, the Sanger Centre and the British Antarctic Survey)
- For Medical i-Teams : Any post-doctoral researcher or post-graduate student from any department at the University of Cambridge (includes the Babraham Institute, the Sanger Centre and the British Antarctic Survey)
- For Development i-Teams : Any student or member of staff from any department at the University of Cambridge, including postdocs and other researchers, non-research staff, PhD, MPhil and MBA students, and all undergraduates (includes the Babraham Institute, the Sanger Centre and the British Antarctic Survey)
- Any member of CUTEC
- Any member of Cambridge University Entrepreneurs
- Any member of The Centre for Global Equality
When does it run?
- i-Teams runs in Cambridge in each of the three academic terms, Michaelmas (October-December), Lent (January-March) and Easter (April-June), usually at the Institute for Manufacturing
- Typically Innovation i-Teams will run in all three terms, Development i-Teams will run in Michaelmas and Easter terms, and Medical i-Teams will run in Lent term
How long does it last?
- Innovation i-Teams projects run for a whole term (9 1/2 weeks). There will sometimes be a first meeting at the end of the previous term, and the final presentations are in the week after the end of Full Term
- Medical i-Teams projects run on Tuesday evenings for 8 weeks (9 sessions), all of which are within Full Term
- Development i-Teams projects run on Tuesday evenings for 5 weeks (6 sessions), all of which are within Full Term
How much time does it take?
- Weekly group and team meetings plus at least 4 hours a week of individual work
- Note that you will need to telephone/Skype with external contacts as part of the project work, and some of these discussions may need to be within office hours – telephone costs can be reimbursed
Who is in an i-Team?
- Teams include up to 7 participants, selected to be as multi-disciplinary as possible
- Each team has a dedicated industry mentor, and are also supported by Amy Weatherup (i-Teams Programme Director) and Zurina Mokhtar (i-Teams Deputy Director) throughout the project
What will I learn?
You gain the hands-on experience and satisfaction of “learning by doing”, working on a real project where your ideas and conclusions will influence future directions and outcomes. Skills gained include:
- Teamworking & team management
- Identify the key commercial benefits of a technology or product innovation
- Identify relevant competitors and potential collaborators
- Identify and contact relevant industry experts
- Use and develop your own network of contacts
- Cold calling and extracting useful information from commercial contacts
- Application of Human-Centred Design, Design Thinking and Lean Startup methodologies to technology commercialisation projects
- Analyse incomplete data from a variety of sources to draw a justifiable conclusion
- Presentation skills (for a non-expert audience)
Final results are presented to a mixed university and industry audience, and back-up materials are also given to the researchers.
What do I get?
- Everyone that completes the program receives a certificate
- In Cambridge:
- Free entry to the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs Business Creation Competition, £1k and £5k stages
- The Physical Sciences Graduate School and the Department of Chemistry have pre-approved i-Teams as part of their Transferable Skills program
- PhD students in other Schools should receive Transferable Skills credits, but will need to ask their Transferable Skills coordinator
Do I need previous business/commercial experience?
Absolutely not. Anyone can apply to join i-Teams, whether or not you have previous commercial experience. Teams are chosen to have as broad a range of backgrounds as possible, and all your current knowledge and experience may well prove to be useful. The key qualification is to be enthusiastic and willing to try out new approaches.
Do I need relevant technical knowledge?
Absolutely not, and you don’t need to be a scientist either. We specifically look for teams to be multi-disciplinary, so while one or two team members may have a background directly relevant to the technology, most of the team members will not. Our aim is to take a fresh view of the invention, to see if it can be used in applications and markets outside of the researcher’s own experience.
Can I use my own project?
Currently i-Teams uses the projects shown on this website, which are pre-selected for their relevance and commercial potential. If you have a project that you would like to have considered for future terms, please contact Amy Weatherup.
Do I need to apply as part of an existing team?
No, we ask for people to apply separately. Teams are selected from individual applications, to ensure that the team members have as broad a range of backgrounds as possible. If there are other people applying who you would specifically like to work with, then please include that with your application.
What about Intellectual Property?
- i-Teams participants are all required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement
- Participants also agree that they will not be entitled to any revenue sharing should the project result in a later successful commercialisation
- Any other arrangement would make it difficult for researchers to provide us with projects