SETsquared Blog

How can academics get more impact from their research?

When I heard about the Researcher to Innovator programme from SETsquared I thought it would be a good opportunity to find out more about how to bring my research out of the lab into real world business.

I also thought it would be a chance to network with other researchers at a similar point in their career as well as experienced industrialists.

The course definitely didn’t disappoint on these two objectives and there were also a few surprises along the way.

I found the Researcher to Innovator programme to be completely different from other similar courses. At each session we had real examples from existing entrepreneurs, so we were facing the reality of life in a start-up. We also had to work in teams to find the best solution for real problems which new start-ups are facing so it was very hands on.

It does require devoting some extra time over and above your day job but the rewards are massive. You go through a steep learning curve allowing you to realise your true potential as entrepreneur. Researcher to Innovator is a robust programme which has completely changed the way I approach my research. It gives you the support you need to take the first steps in turning your ideas into a reality.

Applying the concepts I learned in the programme has improved the impact of my research, leading to a high impact publication “Hybrid Graphene-Metal Oxide Solution Processed Electron Transport Layers for Large Area High-Performance Organic Photovoltaics” Advanced Materials 2014.

In addition, I got an invitation to give a talk at the first conference for users organised by nanoHUB.org - the worlds largest cloud hub for open access nanotechnology tools.

Research to Innovator is an excellent program and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who wants to transform ideas into real world business. If you want to see the ideas I developed after attending the Researcher to Innovator program follow my blog (http://grapheneintelligentsystems.com/).