Queen’s University of Belfast is renowned for its innovation strengths and has been ranked as the UK's #1 university for commercialising research for two consecutive years (2019 & 2020). Innovation programmes play an increasingly important role in accelerating the translation of research into commercial and societal impact.
Queen’s successfully delivers high-impact programmes across the island of Ireland, UK and Europe, for many of the key innovational agencies in those territories. From university focused research-to-commercialisation programmes, challenge-led programmes for specific sectors or scale-up innovation programmes for existing SMEs, Queen's, along with a vast network of partners, industry experts and mentors, Queen's is helping to build a innovation eco-system that is designed to tackle the urgent global, national and local economic & societal challenges we face.
Innovation Programme for Early Career Researchers
“Innovation-to-Commercialisation of University Research” (ICURe)
Innovation-to-Commercialisation of University Research” (ICURe) is a 4-month full-time online customer discovery programme designed using lean start-up methodology and funded by Innovate UK.
Challenge-driven innovation Programmes
Agri- Food: EIT Food Seedbed Incubator
The pan-European EIT Food Seedbed programme is led by Queen’s and delivered in collaboration with leading EIT Food Partner Universities and Research and Innovation Organisations (Seedbed Hubs) from across Europe. Through knowledge transfer, Queen’s has provided their expertise in technology and product commercialisation to help these Hubs support entrepreneurs right across Europe to launch or progress a commercially viable business.
Oncology Innovate UK/Cancer Research UK
Working in collaboration with CRUK & Innovate UK, Queens lead a cohort with teams from four UK Universities to help them commercialise oncology research. The novel partnership helped cancer researchers accelerate the translation of their discoveries and ideas through a 4-month online customer discovery programme designed using ‘lean start-up’ methodology.
Construction: UKRI ISCF Transforming Construction Impact
Working with the UKRI Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and Innovate UK, the Transforming Construction Impact Programme helps academic-led teams validate that their research has the potential to lead to impact and transition from research to industry.
Working in collaboration with Ulster University, InvestNI, Innovate UK and Techstart Ventures, DigiSpark is a launch pad for digital innovators enabling teams of interdisciplinary researchers to 'get out of the lab’ to carry out preliminary market testing of their innovations with potential customers & collaborators and help foster the next generation of Northern Ireland’s exciting digital start-ups.
Business-led Innovation Programmes
In collaboration with Innovate UK, Queen’s created an Intrapreneurship development Programme for SMEs based on a lean start-up methodology, design thinking, digital testing and data driven decision making. This methodology can radically change SMEs' approach to innovation thinking, particularly around new product development, product enhancement, and identifying new markets or applications for existing technologies and products.
UKRI Future Leader Fellowships FLF’s
Building on the initial success of the Scaling the Edge pilot, Innovate UK have recognised the importance of embedding innovation training within their flagship programmes to help ensure return on investment through delivering commercial impact and and long term upskilling of the fellows.