Innovation, Impact and Business Essentials Series

Taking place over June, The IIB Essentials Series provides an opportunity to explore how the Innovation, Impact and Business Team can help you to generate new funding and research opportunities.

Our short sessions distil key information about how you can work effectively with non-academic partners, commercialise your research, generate impact, and the support available to do so, covering:

  • Engaging with business
  • Research collaboration
  • Impact
  • Consultancy
  • IP and Commercialisation
  • Regional Funding

For further information contact


An Introduction to Engaging and Influencing Policy Makers

About this session: Influencing policy is a key area of research impact. This session is intended to work towards understanding who are the policymakers and policy influencers, what are some of the pathways to engaging with them, and how we can support researchers who would like to engage with policy makers.

Presenter(s): Jess Hurrell

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Impactful Public Engagement with Research 

What makes for high quality public engagement with research? This workshop explores the key elements that make for impactful engagement with the public.

Presenter(s): Grace Williams

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Impact: What, Why and How   

About this session: Research England (formerly HEFCE) and the research councils use a common definition of impact:

"The demonstrable contribution that excellent research makes to society and the economy."

In this workshop we will explore

-          What really is and counts as ‘impact?

-          Why is impact important?

-          How you can plan for and develop your research’s impact, including the professional and financial support available to help

Presenter(s): Sian Moody

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Pathways to impact in UKRI Grant applications

About this session: All applicants for grants from the UK Research Councils (UKRI, formally RCUK) are required to write an impact summary and a ‘Pathways to Impact’ document as part of their bid. This session will help you to think about how to make the most of this part of your application.

Presenter(s): Kevin Sales and Tom James

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Using Twitter for Research Influence and Engagement

About this session: Social media can be really useful for building research reputation and engagement. Good social media that effectively targets and engages influencers could lead to better league table rankings and possibly improved REF results! It will also enhance your reputation as an academic. This workshop will give you an insight into how build your Twitter engagement and target Twitter influencers to amplify your research and academic reputation.

Presenter(s): Jenna Richards

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Intellectual Property and Commercialisation 

About this session: Intellectual property (IP) and routes to commercialisation are key considerations when developing partnerships or drafting pathways to impact sections for research grant applications. IP is a valuable business asset and properly protecting your IP is important in order to monetise it or control how it is used. This workshop will provide an overview of the main types of intellectual property, ownership of IP, how to secure and protect IP and the typical routes to commercialisation of University IP.

Presenter(s): Neil Hayes and Tori Hammond

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SETsquared Exeter: Supporting Research, Commercialisation, Spinouts and Startups

In this workshop we will look at the breadth of support that the SETsquared Exeter team can offer in supporting start-up and spinout activity, including accessing the facilities Exeter Science Park has to offer, and the development of an entrepreneurial approach to research commercialisation. You should leave this session with increased understanding and awareness of:

- The support available for spin outs and start up

- The factors involved in considering whether you or a colleague can set up a spin out or start up.

Presenter(s): Joe Pearce

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Consultancy and Contract Research

About this session: Working with external partners such as companies and government bodies can be a great way to improve the impact of your work, obtain funding, develop new research material and build links. This session will cover two mechanisms for working with external organisations, contract research and Consultancy. Contract Research is REF attributable research actively funded by industry or government whereas consultancy is the provision of expert advice, analysis and interpretation which draws upon the expertise and knowledge of University staff. Come along and hear about how to get involved in this kind of work, the support available from IIB and some case studies of successful projects.

Presenter(s): Carrie Rye, Commercial and Business Programmes Manager, and Tom Hurles Commercial and Business Programmes Manager (Consultancy)

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Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

About this session: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships are collaborative projects between research and industry which are facilitated by a high-calibre graduate. They are an excellent way to develop strong relationships with industrial partners and apply research in an industrial setting. This workshop will introduce and explain Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), and outline their benefits and challenges.

As a result of attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand how a KTP can benefit your research, teaching and career development
  • Explain how to identify the ‘building blocks’ of a KTP
  • Explain how to utilise support from the IIB KTP team to develop and apply for a project

Presenter(s): Sophie O'Callaghan

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The Industrial Strategy

About this session: The Industrial Strategy is a major government policy setting an ambition for the UK to be the most innovative nation in the world by 2030 with an investment of £4.7bn. This offers a range of opportunities for the university with commitments to fund STEM skills training and major infrastructure projects as well as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) which will fund collaborations between leading research and business to tackle the big societal and industrial challenges today. These challenges are identified in consultation with business and funding is generally industry led so it is critical to have strong collaborative partnerships in place to contribute to driving the agenda.

This workshop explores the challenge-based structure of this major source of funding, the best ways to approach building industrial partnerships and will help you understand timescales and process for ISCF.

Presenter(s): Rebecca Adams

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Innovate UK Funding Streams

About this session: Innovate UK (I:UK) is a major component of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion. I:UK is the agency within UKRI responsible for research, development and innovation focused on productivity and economic growth and it does so through competitions supporting businesses to de-risk, enable and support innovation, encouraging or requiring them in many cases to collaborate with the UK’s research base to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. This workshop explores how the University of Exeter’s academics can engage in I:UK programmes, which range from relatively modest feasibility studies, through to very large multi-partner industrial strategy thematic programmes, understanding  their role and the benefits of participation.

Presenter(s): Jim Grant

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Regional Funding Streams

About this session: Regional funding can be used to support a range of activities from student placements, PhD studentships, research and business engagement.  The University of Exeter, in partnership with businesses and universities in the South West, has secured funding from the European Union to support a range of new and exciting sector-based initiatives that will support the growth of our local economies, including

  • Agri-Tech Cornwall
  • Smartline (Cornwall)
  • South West Satellite Applications Catapult Regional Centre for Excellence
  • Spacetech

IIB has an expert team dedicated to regional funding sources who can help design and win programmes for academic groups. This workshop explores how the University of Exeter’s academics can engage in Regional Funding programmes, understanding their role and the benefits of participation.

Presenter(s): Chris Evans

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An Introduction to Building Relationships with Businesses and Organisations

About this session: Want to learn more about building relationships with business and government for your research or education programmes? This session will provide an introduction to working with external partners, give hints and tips for gaining funding from industry and government and will give you an overview of the support available at University of Exeter for relationship building with business and government organisations

Presenter(s): Michelle Spillar

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Regional Research, Development and Innovation Hubs

About this session: An introduction to the RD&I hub concept developed by IIB to start a targeted conversation with businesses and stakeholders around key challenges and opportunities. The event describes the rationale behind RD&I hubs and particularly how the ‘Discovery Room’ model leads to sets of actions with informed innovation-focussed businesses towards the development of collaborative solutions to business needs.

As a result of attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the RD&I hub process, your role and contribution to the conversation.
  • Help identify and shape solutions to key business challenges, particularly where your expertise and the university’s facilities can have a positive input.
  • Engage in follow- up discussions / actions to propose and develop collaborative solutions to business challenges.

Presenter(s): Jim Grant

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Building relationships with non-academic collaborators


Sean Fielding, Director of Innovation, Impact and Business and Mark Goodwin Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement) talk about engaging with non-academic collaborators and how Innovation, Impact and Business can help you.

Impact: What, why and how
Degree Apprenticeships
Exeter MBA
The Industrial Strategy
IP and commercialisation
SETsquared Exeter
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Innovate UK (I:UK)
UKRI Pathways to Impact
Twitter for influence and engagement
Responsible practice in research and innovation
Regional Research, Development and Innovation (RD&I) Hubs
Engaging and influencing policy makers
Building partnerships with business and government
Internships and Professional Pathways