PSI helps researchers create businesses

The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is supporting young researchers on the way to becoming entrepreneurs. During the Founder Fellowship, they have 18 months to create a business plan. Three scholarship holders have already been named.

Philipp Spycher, winner of a PSI Founder Fellowships.
The Founder Fellowship of the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is supporting young researchers on the way to becoming entrepreneurs. (Image credit: Paul Scherrer Institut/Mahir Dzambegovic)

Numerous promising research findings never make it as a marketable product. To help solve this problem, PSI has launched the Founder Fellowship.

The 18-month scholarship offers young researchers and engineers financial support and consulting to help them become entrepreneurs, explained the institute in a statement.

“We want to promote entrepreneurship and a culture of entrepreneurialism at PSI,” explained John Millard of PSI’s technology transfer office. “With the Founder Fellowship, we can encourage talented researchers at PSI to pursue their promising business ideas and found a spin-off.”

The scholarship holders are granted 150,000 Swiss francs and receive consulting throughout the 18-month programme. They also have unlimited access to PSI’s research facilities.  

Following the scholarship, they are expected to leave PSI, found a company and find investors.

“We want to draw a clear line,” explained Millard. “Neither a finished product nor a prototype is required by the end of the Fellowship. However, it must be clear whether the technology can be commercialized or not.”

The first three scholarship holders have now been named by an external jury. They are researching a new medication technology, a nano energy technology and a neutron detector respectively.

PSI plans to open the Founder Fellowship, which is being financially supported by UBS, again next year.

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