https://innovateuk.blog.gov.uk/2019/08/07/the-business-opportunity-for-future-leaders-fellowships/

The business opportunity for Future Leaders Fellowships

UK Research and Innovation’s flagship fellowship scheme: Future Leaders Fellowships is open for applications from business.

This is the first scheme we have run where business applicants can apply for fellowship funding. So how can your business benefit from the Future Leaders Fellowships scheme, and how does it differ from typical Innovate UK funding?

We will also cover how you can use the funding available to develop world class innovators, build collaborations, and raise the profile of your business.

How could your business benefit?

The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme offers a grant centred around a highly talented individual in the earlier stages of the career.

It allows them to dedicate their time to a strategically important project, or series of projects through which they will demonstrate their potential, and deliver business innovation and success.

Funding could be used to proactively tackle technological challenges, explore market opportunities, and develop know-how, new processes, products, or service design. The scope of this grant is extensive so you have the freedom to adopt a flexible approach to tackling the biggest challenges.

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Develop a world class innovator

Innovate UK strongly believe people are crucial to delivering growth, by developing and championing new ideas, and realising new potential through exceptional research and innovation.

By investing in individuals with excellent potential in any type of business, in any sector, working in any region in the UK, this scheme aims to support applicants with the most ambitious plans, who are working on the most exciting and innovative ideas.

We want applicants to this scheme to be asking themselves questions such as:
• What are your biggest career aspirations?
• Where could you be in the future if you had all the resource you needed?
• Who do you want to work with and learn from?

Delivering successful business innovation

The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme will award talented applicants in the earlier stages of their career, who have not yet had the opportunity to fully realise their potential. Future Leaders Fellowships grants provide this opportunity, and expedite the progression of these individuals.

Whilst the primary focus of this scheme is developing an individual, you can also use the grant to develop the wider team working on the innovation project. In fact, some of the strongest applications we have seen demonstrate how the future leader will use this grant to upskill the team they are leading.

We want to see the future leader working closely with each individual in their team to increase their capabilities, and ultimately the success of the team and their innovation goals.

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Collaborate with other businesses and/or academic researchers

This Future Leaders Fellowships scheme can be used work with multiple collaborators, to enhance your networks, and build an effective pipeline for new viewpoints, experiences, and partnerships.

This grant could be used to work with universities or research institutes to bring in knowledge of a new technology into a business, applying this research to solve a technological challenge, or develop new business capabilities.

Alternatively, the grant could be used to collaborate with policy makers or organisations with different expertise to your own, for example working with human behaviour specialists to commercialise technology with improved end-user acceptance.

You could also use this scheme to attract new talent into your organisation.

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Raise the profile of your business

By securing a Future Leaders Fellowships grant, the applicant will become recognised as one of 550 future leaders in the UK, with all the publicity benefits that will bring to your business.

Your business could use this fellowship to engage with innovators from around the world, and set up new mentoring relationships to learn from inspirational people.

It could be used to establish links with senior advisors or expert talent to support the applicant and the business for a portion of the grant.

How does a Future Leaders Fellowships differ from typical Innovate UK funding?

Innovate UK typically provides funding for ambitious and disruptive research and development innovation, supporting businesses working on high risk projects over and above business as usual, that will significantly impact the UK economy. The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme offers all this and more.

In addition to project and salary costs, you could request funds and time to:
• Expand innovation knowledge
• Develop & inspire others
• Network with experts
• Communicate your vision and ideas
• Increase the profile of the both applicant and the business

Applicants could even use this grant to carry out a professional qualification.

The opportunities are vast, and we want to see highly individualised plans for career development. For the best chances of success, we want the applicant to showcase how they can most effectively elevate their personal development by leading on an innovative project.

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It’s about the individual and their potential for your business

To us, the most exciting thing about this scheme is that it is not prescriptive; each application looks very different from the next, and is assessed on it’s on own unique merits. We look forward to seeing a multitude of applications that showcase the best original and ambitious ideas from the innovation community.

If you would like to know more, or are considering applying, please visit the Future Leaders Fellowships website.

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