i2i – Ideas to Innovation

In line with University policy and the Coronavirus crisis, this programme will be run online this year.

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

This event will be held online in 2021. 

How to apply

Details on how to apply will be available nearer to the time. Please check back or contact the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship for further details.


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.

Free places are available to all PhDs across the campus up to 30 places funded by RIO and Santander. 

Members of the KEEN project are free to attend.

A number of places are sponsored by the postdocs2innovators (p2i) Network.

Postdocs from the p2i Network partners (University of Innsbruck, Cambridge University, Free University Berlin, PSL research University, AstraZeneca and BP) need to apply first through the p2i Network application process. Look out for i2i application information at your institution.

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