NIHR | Manchester Biomedical Research Centre

The Innovator Training Scheme – One year on

In collaboration with Translation Manchester (TM), Manchester BRC’s Innovator Training Scheme (ITS) equips and inspires researchers to explore and develop impactful research alongside industry and commercial partners.

Alessandro Faroni, Translational Research Manager at TM, reflects on a year since the development and launch of the programme.

The academic, clinical and wider societal impact of translational research and training can only be fully maximised by harnessing the industrial and commercial ecosystems through which they are delivered.

Recognising this, and in response to feedback from staff and students on training needs, the ‘Innovator Training Scheme’ (ITS) was developed as a between partnership with the Translation Manchester and the Wellcome Trust Translational Partnership Award and the BRC.

The aims of this initiative were :

Image shows Alessandro Faroni, Translational Research Manager with Translation Manchester
  • to equip and inspire researchers.
  • to explore and develop routes to clinical impact with industry partners.
  • to innovate and exploit their research to drive patient benefits.
  • to promote a translational research culture within our institution.

It’s been almost a year since we conceived and launched the Innovator Training Scheme which was launched in May 2021 and concluded in December of 2021, attracting over 200  participants from across Greater Manchester.

The pilot programme centred around a drop-in virtual webinar series on topics such as entrepreneurshipIP identificationpitching innovations to commercial audiences and the value of building your network and team science.  Training was developed and delivered drawing on expertise from across our partner organisations, including The Masood Entrepreneurship CentreUniversity of Manchester Innovation Factory, the Manchester NIHR Clinical Research Facility, Team Science Manchester, Manchester Cancer Research CentreHealth Innovation Manchester, MFT Innovation team and The UoM Business engagement teams.

The scheme aimed to develop essential skills and knowledge to help promote innovation and commercialisation as a career path for researchers, by providing real world examples of success making innovation role models more visible.

Selected participants received further training on research impact and 1:1 support on developing an effective pitch for their own research. In a final pitching event prizes for the best pitches were awarded to Dr. Ashley Gluchowski and Dr Shuayb Elkhalifa.

The sessions are now available as a digital resource to watch back via the dedicated BRC YouTube Channel and webpages.  A huge thank you to all of our partners and speakers for their good will and time developing training material, hosting sessions and contributing their expertise to the scheme.

To complement the webinar series, we have established the Innovator Insights blog series which will continue to provide researcher insights into commercial working and personal perspectives on common pitfalls to overcome on the way to success.  The BRC Industry lead Professor Rick Body will kick off the career spotlights in the February issue.

What next ? Have your say

We have some ideas of our own, but we would like your input on how we proceed with the Innovator Training Scheme this year. Please take 2-minutes to share your feedback and ideas on how we can support you by clicking on the link below and completing the survey by 28 February 2022.