i2i – Ideas to Innovation

Ideas to Innovation (i2i) has been designed for ambitious individuals looking to unlock their entrepreneurial and creative potential. This programme encourages research students to consider the social and economic relevance of their research.

Within the i2i programme you will:

  • Explore entrepreneurship as an for option for corporate innovation and new venture creation.
  • Gain basic business understanding.
  • Develop knowledge of how to commercialise your research.
  • Develop a network of likeminded researchers facing similar challenges.

This course encourages researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and business people from multiple disciplines to talk to each other “outside the box”. The programme helps you explore your desire to take your research to market, understanding creative methods, team building, cultures and communications and the very basics of business. By the end of the course you will have had fun, learnt about yourself and your idea and managed to communicate them effectively.

You will have met a huge network of smart entrepreneurial people, feel that you are amongst people with shared values and hopefully feel encouraged to take your research forward into society.

Within this four-day entrepreneurial programme we combine large scale plenary sessions with small group activity. Each group has two facilitators to transfer the learning from the plenary – to guide and support you. We feel that this format enables you to consider the social and economic relevance of your research, and will equip you with the skills and know-how to turn your ideas into action.

i2i is for

  • Researchers within Centres of Doctoral Training and partner institutions
  • Doctoral candidates across multiple disciplines
  • Postdocs from multiple disciplines


The programme is led by Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam, Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University, Professor Neil Hartman at MIT and a team of expert facilitators ranging from academia and industry.


  • Day One enables understanding of personal values, motivations and direction.
  • Day Two focuses on the importance of building teams, as well as generating potential impact pathways for your research.
  • Day Three looks at the basic elements of taking an idea and turning it into a product or service.
  • Day Four is all about communication, passion and pitching.

Location and travel details

Cranfield University is located at the very heart of the UK – within the innovation triangle between London and the cities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Our central location provides easy access from the M1, excellent main line rail service as well as proximity to key international airports. Set in rolling countryside, Cranfield offers a rich, rural landscape complemented by thriving towns and picturesque villages.

  • Road: We are just 10 minutes from Junctions 13 and 14 of the M1 motorway. There is free parking on campus.
  • Rail: Milton Keynes or Bedford
  • Air: London Luton (22 miles), Heathrow (50 miles) or Birmingham (70 miles)

For further travel details please visit our Location page.


If you would like to book accommodation whilst visiting the campus then we are pleased to offer en suite accommodation on the campus, which is within easy walking distance of lecture rooms and other facilities. To make an enquiry or booking, please contact the Cranfield Management Development Centre.

How to apply

Please complete the online application form placed below.

The deadline for applications is 17:00 on 31st October. There is a selection process and places are limited, so, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the programme further, please contact the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Apply now


If you are an organisation looking to partner up with the Bettany Centre and secure places on i2i please contact Orsolya Ihasz at the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship.

At present, it is free to members of:

Cranfield PhDs/Post Docs (funded by UKRI)
Cranfield PhDs/Post Docs (not funded by UKRI, up to 10 places)
Quantum CDT Bristol
HEAPP project (University of Cambridge, University of Glasgow, PSL, Paris, Universitat Innsbruck)
KEEN project

If you have any questions regarding eligibility as a Cranfield candidate, please contact Michelle Carter at the Research and Innovation Office.