Find out more about the i-Teams programme

What is the history of i-Teams?

 

i-Teams originated at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was first implemented in the UK at the University of Cambridge in 2006. UEA became involved with the Cambridge i-Teams programme in 2010, before starting our own programme in 2015.

Heritage i-Teams was successfully introduced to the programme in 2018 and we now run two heritage projects each year. Unlike the technology projects, heritage i-Teams work with external organisations to develop a project or solve a problem. 

Who are the UEA i-Teams Co-ordinators?

 

The i-Teams Co-ordinators for 2021 are:

  • Dr Rosemary Bass is a former Associate Professoracademic who is now works as a PGR Careers Adviser with postgraduate students and staff
  • Dr Sue Coleman has a PhD from BIO and an MBA, as well as experience working in and with small businesses, and is also an Intellectual Property Officer in Research and Innovation Services (RIN)
  • Alison Northwood is a UEA Masters Graduate, small business owner and an Intellectual Property Officer in RIN

What is an i-Team?

 

Each i-Team is made up of up to seven members, selected to be as multi-disciplinary as possible. Every team has a dedicated industry mentor and is also supported by the UEA i-Teams Co-ordinators throughout the programme.

Do I need previous business/commercial experience?

 

Not at all. Any PGR, Masters or postdocs from UEA, the John Innes Centre, Sainsbury Laboratory, Quadram Institute, Earlham Institute and Norwich University of the Arts can apply to join i-Teams, whether or not you have previous commercial experience. 

Teams are chosen to have as broad a range of backgrounds as possible; we try to make sure teams contain members with different skill sets. The main requirement is to be enthusiastic and willing to try out new approaches.

Do I need relevant technical knowledge?

 

No, and you don't need to be a scientist for the technology projects or have specialist knowledge of the area for heritage projects. We specifically look for teams to be multi-disciplinary, so while one or two team members may have a background directly relevant to the project, most of the team members will not. Our aim is to take a fresh view of the invention to see if it can be used in applications and markets outside the researcher's own experience.

Can I use my own project?

 

No, projects are chosen by the i-Teams Co-ordinators in conjunction with Intellectual Property Managers at UEA and with Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Managers across the Norwich Research Park. The projects are selected for their relevance and commercial potential.

What is Heritage i-Teams?

 

Heritage i-Teams was successfully introduced to the programme in 2018 and we now run two heritage projects each year. Unlike the technology projects, Hheritage i-Teams work with external organisations to develop a project or solve a problem.

These projects involve working with local heritage organisations on a problem, challenge or new area for exploration. The projects centre on how a significant collection, archive or something else of historical importance can be developed for the benefit of the local community and the organisations that partner with UEA.

The projects are intended as creative collaborations, to offer the partner business ideas and an innovative way of exploring commercially viable solutions. The emphasis is on researching how heritage can be marketed, refined, or presented to the public - rather than developing the offering itself. 

Do I need to apply as part of an existing team?

 

No, we ask for people to apply separately. Teams are selected from individual applications, to ensure that the team members have as broad a range of backgrounds as possible.

When does it run?

 

The programme runs every year for up to 12 weeks between January and March/April, culminating in a public presentation in the final week.

How much time do I need to commit?

 

There will be group and team meetings every week, from 6pm to 9pm (maximum). In addition, you will be expected to put in at least four hours of individual work each week.

What about Intellectual Property?

 

i-Teams members will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement. The final presentation will be vetted by an Intellectual Property Manager to ensure that confidential and commercially sensitive information is not divulged publicly.

i-Teams members also agree that they will not be entitled to any revenue-sharing should the project later result in successful commercialisation.

More questions?

 

Email us at iteams@uea.ac.uk and we will do our best to help.