The p2i consortium was formed in 2016 and since its launch in May 2017, p2i has successfully engaged over 435 postdocs through six enterprise fairs, fifteen residential courses, eleven entrepreneurship events, the creation of three new entrepreneurial postdoc societies, and three business plan competitions.
As the p2i consortium collectively represents over 10,000 early career researchers across all partners, there is great potential for engagement in the long term.
Hear below from some early career researchers who have engaged with p2i on their entrepreneurial journey!
p2i in numbers
The overarching aim of the p2i programme is that the activities will support postdocs to develop the mindset and skills to become innovators both in or outside academia.
There are many similarities in mindset and skills between successful academic innovators, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs – they all are able to spot opportunities and develop initial ideas into either:
cutting edge research projects
opportunities of value to organisations as an employee
Becoming an independent researcher or starting a research group, joining a company, or starting a venture are measurable outputs of entrepreneurial learning programmes, however, these outputs may only be realised a long time after the exposure and engagement with the activities.
The p2i partners are interested in the qualitative outcomes as a result from participating in the activities.
To this end, we have undertaken an initial pilot evaluation research study to investigate the effectiveness of the entrepreneurial training activities to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skills in researchers. We’re also interested in identifying what they are finding difficult and what other qualitative outcomes we can attribute to participating in the programmes.
The evaluation study is led by the Cambridge and FUB partners, with input from the p2i partners.
A paper “Navigating on the edge - exploring the entrepreneurial function of postdocs” was collaboratively written and the FUB p2i partner presented the this at the RENT conference (Research in Entrepreneurship and small business), Berlin November 2019.
This pilot evaluation research will be used to:
Help shape future activities delivered by the partnership.
Help develop pathways for postdocs (what is their starting point, what are their needs, what part of the programme should they engage with).
Provide evidence of effectiveness of the programme.
Expand the evaluation programme.
Support funding applications to further develop and roll out the programme across the European partners (HEIs and Industry).