Universities plan to train enterprising top talent

Young scientists aiming to start a business will soon be getting some help, in the form of a two-year contract with a university to prepare them for a future as an entrepreneur.

photo Peshkova / Shutterstock

Yesterday, the universities presented the ‘Faculty of Impact’, the first national postdoc program with a focus on entrepreneurship and valorisation. Until 2025, three groups consisting of ten recently graduated PhDs will be given two years to develop their idea for a business.

These valorisation postdocs will sign a two-year contract with a university and will be given coaching and training courses in the field of entrepreneurship, intellectual property and investments. They will not be required to teach or publish articles but they will be given full access to the labs. By the end of their second year, the result should be a specific product plus the required capital.

Risky business

Universities will join forces with the Dutch Research Council to hammer out the details and the program is scheduled to be launched in September. The goal is to attract scientists with ideas that investors are currently still viewing as risky business but that have tremendous potential for society.

“We have observed that a lot of great ideas are being shelved because the market is not ready for them”, explains chairman of the board at VU Amsterdam, Mirjam van Praag, in the FD. “Without our help, nothing will change. Because of this unique focus, the program does not compete with existing university start-up organisations.”

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