ICURe | Congratulations are in order for two SETsquared Bath members

Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe)

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We’re pleased to announce that not one but two University of Bath researchers and SETsquared Bath members have been selected to join Cohort 25 of ICURe.

Parimala Shivaprasad, who is a Research Associate of Chemical Engineering, Alumni Innovation Award winner and the founder of start-up, Retra. Retra is a waste-management solution looking to tackle the issues caused by mass floral waste from Indian temples. Parimala will be supported by Entrepreneur in Residence Pete Keevill as her business mentor on the programme. On being accepted to ICURe Cohort 25, Parimala told us,

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I am excited to be a part of this year’s ICURe cohort and looking forward to interacting with key chemical industries around the world as a market validation step to commercialise my research.

The program fits into the long term vision of Retra as I am keen on testing the transformation of essential oils into high value chemicals using the technology I developed during my research. This is a great opportunity to test the B2B potential for Retra.

David Canepa Talamas, a Research Associate of Mechanical Engineering and the founder of MesMerix, a startup specialising in developing Mixed Reality (MR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) applications for engineering, tourism, marketing, and real estate industries. MesMerix are currently working on some exciting new applications for AR, MR, & VR and looking at how to combine them with new disruptive technologies like AI and 5G. David is being supported by Student Mentor in Residence Grant Calvin.

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What is ICURe?

The ICURe Innovation to Commercialisation programme offers university researchers with commercially-promising ideas up to £35k to ‘get out of the lab’ and validate their ideas in the marketplace. It supports Early Career Researchers to undertake three months of full-time, intense market assessment and to have meaningful conversations with at least 100 prospective customers, regulators, suppliers, partners and competitors to validate the commercial potential of their research.

ICURe 3 Month Programme

  • Intensive 3 Day Training Bootcamp

  • Get out of the lab and learn from customers

  • Lots of travel, meetings and trade shows

  • Bi-monthly update teleconferences and regular coaching sessions

  • Collect and share customer feedback


  • Develop a market-ready business model

  • Options Roundabout

ICURe funding

Up to £35k of funding from InnovateUK is available over the three months for each team, this includes a salary for the Early Career Researcher (ECR) and a travel budget for the ECR:

  • Up to £15k for salary

  • Up to £20k for customer discovery activities (travel).

ICURe starts with an intense 3 Day Training Bootcamp where you become familiar with the Business Model Canvas, have time to think about your Value Proposition and propose a budget and action plan for your market validation discovery.

You will be given a target of holding 100 conversations around the world during the three months travel and then report your findings to the Options Roundabout panel at the end of your ICURe journey. The conversations you have will help you form an understanding as to what the marketplace needs and how your research can impact those needs. This understanding might lead to “options” such as further research, the launch of a University spin-out company or a licensing deal.


The programme is open to university research teams from all UK universities with a commercially-promising idea. There are no restrictions upon which discipline or HE institution can apply, but your team should consist of the following individuals:

 • Early Career Researcher/Entrepreneurial Lead with hands-on knowledge of the technology and research results

 • Senior researcher (Principal Investigator) who is leading the research activity

 • Technology Transfer Officer with university responsibility for commercialising the research activity

 • Business Adviser who is familiar with the research activity and experience in the commercial marketplace

For the full team descriptions and requirements, as well as eligible expenditures and expectations, please read the Guidance for Applicants

Good luck to Parimala and David over the next 3 months of the ICURe programme. We’re excited to see the impact of such a valuable research opportunity on your startups.