Impulse bursary

The Maxwell Centre | University of Cambridge

Helping PhD students and academics commercialise their research

Funding from Royce has enabled six PhD and Postdoctoral researchers to enrol in the Impulse programme for technology innovators, helping them to develop the skills they need to commercialise their research.

The University of Cambridge’s flagship innovation programme Impulse aims to develop the next generation of technology entrepreneurs. Through a blend of masterclasses, workshops and mentoring covering every aspect of starting a business and bringing a product to market, the Impulse programme supports attendees to develop the skills, knowledge, and network they need to commercialise their research.

The Programme

The Impulse programme serves as a catalyst for developing entrepreneurial skills for individuals and organisations in the science and technology sectors. The programme involves real business practitioners giving workshops based on their extensive knowledge and experience, helping participants bring their innovative ideas to the table. Not only does the programme encourage participants to determine the best business models and marketing strategies for their idea, Impulse sessions also help attendees to identify sources of help,advice and feedback for developing their ideas and business strategies. The programme also covers the process of taking an academic research idea and turning it into a commercial venture, challenging participants to develop a different perspective on their work in the lab and how it can impact the world. In a survey of Impulse 2019 participants, 97% agreed that attending the training programme helped improve their future entrepreneurial success.

Royce Support

In 2020, six potential innovators from UK universities were fully-funded by Royce to take part in the Impulse training, enabling the recipients to develop their entrepreneurial and business skills. Through supporting enrolment on the Impulse programme, Royce is contributing to training a new cohort of UK innovators with ‘high-potential’ business cases across materials science.

“Attending the Impulse programme gave me a very thorough introduction to the world of entrepreneurship. Taking an idea from the lab to commercialisation can seem like an opaque process, especially for scientists with good ideas, but little knowledge of business models, fundraising and marketing. The Impulse programme connects these scientists with the expertise of business leaders, helping to facilitate societal impact beyond scientific publications. I’m very grateful for the Henry Royce sponsorship to attend this program. Impulse has certainly shaped my own experience in the year since its completion helping to bring my own ideas closer to the real world.”

Tiarnan Doherty | PhD Student
Cavendish Lab | University of Cambridge