Cancer Research UK forms new partnership with Edinburgh Uni


Cancer Research UK (CRUK) will fund up to 10 participants in the university program Data Driven Entrepreneurship (DDE) Incubator of business creators.

This is currently helping graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and academic staff to develop innovative startup ideas for three months.

Applicants may be doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from the University of Edinburgh or Heriot-Watt University, or research staff from anywhere in the UK. Researchers do not need to be currently funded by CRUK to participate.

Cancer Research UK’s participation in the DDE Venture Builder incubator is part of the charity’s UK business support program.

Iain Foulkes, Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Cancer Research UK, said: “As funders of much of the leading world-class cancer research in the UK, we know how important it is for these discoveries to be made in the lab and in the clinic.

“Encouraging entrepreneurship among our researchers is essential to achieve this, which is why we are delighted to be part of the DDE Venture Builder incubator.

“With access to tailored training, one-on-one support and new networks to help them navigate the translation process, this incubator will provide a channel for our most enterprising researchers to accelerate their vital discoveries between patient hands. “

The DDE Venture Builder incubator offers each beneficiary group £ 2,000, workshops, networking events, tailored mentoring, one-on-one support and access to the University of Edinburgh’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The incubator is part of the university’s Data-Driven Entrepreneurship Beacon program to support post-Covid recovery. Funding for the program comes from the Data Driven Innovation Program of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Regional Agreement.

Cancer-related projects are expected to make up half of the incubator’s second cohort. The incubator has also entered into a partnership with FinTech Scotland strengthen its network to further support entrepreneurship.

The first cohort of DDE’s Venture Builder incubator saw 27 startups supported between April and July 2021. Projects ranged from apps to save teachers’ time and support elderly family members, to robotic sorting systems. waste and environmental monitoring.

During this first cycle of incubator participation, the entrepreneurs recruited 23 new staff, formally incorporated four companies, developed a minimum of seven viable products and raised over £ 250,000 in grants, awards and investments.

Edinburgh innovations, the university’s marketing department, will oversee management of the incubator, which the Bayes Center will provide on behalf of the university’s five data-driven innovation hubs.


Dr John Lonsdale, Head of Business Services at Edinburgh Innovations, said: “The Venture Builder Incubator has proven to be a powerful tool that puts innovators on the path to success as entrepreneurs.

“Partnering with Cancer Research UK to support up to 10 of our teams adds a new dimension to the impact the incubator will achieve. “

The implementation of the program is supported by Nile, and Edventure, an Edinburgh-based strategic design consultancy, a pan-European university builder and accelerator launched in 2020 by three Edinburgh students.

Applications are open until October 1, 2021. The second cohort of the DDE Venture Builder incubator will start its program at the end of November. Companies will have a chance to win £ 5,000 at the End of Program Demo Day in March, when they present their business plans to a jury of experts.

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