Apply for the IBIC Innovate UK ICURe programme

The eight-week ICURe programme will enable you to explore the commercial potential of your research and innovation with on focus on market awareness and customer discovery. This will enable you to understand whether there is commercial demand for your science or technology. Programme participants will work in teams. The programme is delivered via a two-day virtual bootcamp followed by eight weeks of early-stage market engagement and customer discovery (total eight weeks part-time). Past participants have reported that having eight weeks of support and time for customer discovery significantly transformed their perspective on their innovation.


The IBIC ICURe Discover programme is open to individuals and teams of researchers and technicians from within the IBIC partner universities who are addressing any industrial biotechnology1 related discipline. This includes any research or technical research staff members who receive their salary or stipend from an eligible IBIC university2 (including, but not limited to, PhD, technician, PDRA, fellowship, and group leader positions). We actively encourage applications from teams led by early career researchers and/or principal investigators from under-represented groups.

1 industrial biotechnology (IB) is defined as a means to replace fossil fuels with sustainable ways to biomanufacture everyday products such as medicines, fuels, chemicals, and agri/food

2 University of Manchester, University of Liverpool, University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Bolton, Liverpool John Moores University

What’s included?

  • 2,500 support for testing assumptions and market discovery activities
  • Two-day training boot camp with part-time market discovery spanning eight-weeks
  • Gather market feedback that indicates the next steps, such as entering ICURe Explore with a team
  • Access to our team of experts and we will proactively connect you to our network of entrepreneurs, investors, and funders
  • Outline the commercial viability using tools such as the Business Model Canvas (BMC)
  • Develop an understanding of existing market offerings and competitive landscape for your sector

Programme details

Key information and dates are as follows:
  • Applications open: 01/07/2024
  • Applications close: 16/08/2024
  • Programme start date: 20/09/2024
  • Location: Online
  • Delivery partner: NxNW Partnership and The Helix Way

More information can be found on the InnovateUK ICURe website.

You can watch a recording of the information session here and access the slide deck here.