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A new doctoral programme for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

2017 EPFL / Alain Herzog

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A new doctoral programme for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

EPFLinnovators is a new programme designed to develop the innovation potential of EPFL’s PhD students. The programme, which is geared towards the non-academic sector, is supported by the European Union’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme, which is part of the Horizon 2020 framework.

One of EPFL’s three missions is to promote the transfer of knowledge from research to industry. However, too many PhD students wait until the end of their studies to start considering career opportunities in industry or the creation of a start-up. That’s why EPFL is launching EPFLinnovators, a programme that will provide new excellent PhD students with the training, experience and advice they need to become successful entrepreneurs.

Experience in the non-academic sector

36 participants will be selected among the PhD candidates of EPFL’s 19 doctoral programmes to join EPFLinnovators. They will take additional classes and do a six-month to two-year work placement in a company. They will emerge from the programme with the scientific and entrepreneurial skills they need to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.

After completing the programme, the PhD students will continue to receive start-up related support from EPFL, including contacts with investors and personalized guidance at EPFL Innovation Park. That’s because the programme aims not only to bring out the PhD students’ entrepreneurial spirit, but also to provide them with the tools they need to create successful start-ups after finalizing their PhD studies.

The EPFLinnovators programme received the financial support (€3.7 million) of European Union’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Horizon 2020 programme, which covers part of the PhD students’ salary for up to 48 months.

Applications will be accepted from 1 November 2017 to 15 January 2018 and from 1 February 2018 to 16 April 2018. 18 applicants will be selected during each of the two rounds to fill a total of 36 places. All applications must be submitted online.

source: The Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

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