i-Teams originated at MIT and was first implemented in Cambridge in 2006. Since then, i-Teams Cambridge has run nearly 80 projects for over 70 research teams, involving over 500 students and 35 business mentors.
Typically, two thirds of students are studying for PhDs and one third are contract research staff or Masters students. In Cambridge, the majority of students are from science and engineering backgrounds, and the rest are studying business and humanities subjects. 30% of the Cambridge i-Teams projects have gone on to create spin-out companies, several of which have received significant investment funding.
UEA was involved with the Cambridge i-Teams platform with UEA spinouts Intelligent Fingerprinting in 2010 and Spectral Edge in 2011. In 2012, Professor Thomas Mock (UEA, School of Environmental Sciences) and a team of PGR students from UEA, IFR and JIC participated in the Cambridge i-Teams programme to assess and analyse the market opportunities for a novel gene allowing faster algae growth.
UEA’s i-Team programme started in 2015 and ran for a second year in 2016. One of the projects from the 2015 programme by inventor Dr Sean Bew from the School of Chemistry has recently been spun-out as a new company called Isochemix. The programme is running for the third consecutive year in 2017.
i-Teams at UEA
The i-Teams Co-ordinator is Dr Faye Outram, a former research scientist from ENV who took part in the first UEA i-Teams programme in 2015 as a postdoc. Inspired by her experience during i-Teams she decided to take the plunge and leave postdoc life to take up post as an Intellectual Property Officer in REN.