Course description

We offer a new training program on “Innovation & Entrepreneurship” within the format of lunch & learn sessions. The training consists of 4 consecutive modules.

During the course you will:

  • gain insights in how entrepreneurship can be applied as a transversal competence; 
  • investigate how the results of (your) research can be used for the benefit of society;
  • be introduced to creative thinking,  and various aspects of entrepreneurship and innovation from ideation, recognition and evaluation of opportunities and user needs, team formation and collection of resources, until considering the realization through different valorisation routes.

Module 1: Introduction on (Open) Innovation and Entrepreneurship

During this first session you will receive an introduction in the basics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. We will also dive deeper into the ‘EntreComp framework’ which presents a definition of entrepreneurship as a transversal competence, which can be applied to all spheres of life, from personal development, to actively participating in society, and even to starting up ventures (cultural, social or commercial).  Together we will explore  how this  entrepreneurship competence is of relevance  during and after your own Phd-trajectory. To make this all concrete there will be a testimonial of Dr. Valentin Carlan who finished his doctoral thesis and who is one of the Co-founders of the spin-off DigiTrans which has its roots in interdisciplinary research.

​Module  2: From research to value creation and innovation: technological and commercial  readiness levels (TRL/CRL)

During this second session you will receive an introduction to the concepts of Technological Readiness Level (TRL) and Commercial Readiness Level (CRL), their advantages and drawbacks. You will learn how they can be used in the process of translating  your research into a valorisation opportunity/ business idea, by building a roadmap based on the TRL and CRL. This will allow you to select the most suitable next steps during the valorisation process, whether it is about protection of your intellectual property, further research, collaborations or funding. The concepts and road map strategy will be illustrated with the aid of real-life case studies.

Module 3: The Business Model Canvas and how to apply it to your own research

During the third session you will be introduced into Osterwalder’s  Business Model Canvas  which is a  broadly used business model tool that  summarizes all facets in which a business or an organization creates, delivers and retains value. You will learn that this Canvas is not for exclusive use by for-profit organizations, but  also can be a useful tool for non-profit organizations, charities, public sector entities and for-profit social enterprises. Through examples, discussions you will be encouraged during  this workshop to translate and elaborate the Business Model Canvas within a research context.

Module 4: From research to valorisation: which route to take?

During the last session  you will learn about the different potential routes for the valorisation of your research like a licence-agreement, serviceplatform or the startup of your own spin-off company.  In this last module, there  will be a wrap up of the essentials of the previous modules which you need to take into account: the assessment of the intellectual property (IPR), the  TRL/CRL which are also important to assess the investor readiness of your company. Last but  not least you will get an introduction in the different options on how to finance your research project and how to get interest from investors for a spin-off company.

Learning objectives

You will learn how to/acquire:

  • Insights in the EntreComp Framework and understanding on how the acquisition of competencies to act upon opportunities  and ideas, and transform them into value for others by mobilizing resources can be of central importance both during and after your Phd
  • Encouragement of  self-reflection, thinking in terms of skills, and empowerment to take your self-development in your own hands
  • Background knowledge on the different TRL and CRL -levels and ability to position your own research on the TRL/CRL scale
  • Insights of the limitations of TRL-levels
  • Being able build a roadmap for collaborations, funding and investments  based on the TRL/CRL level of  your research
  • Knowledge of the 9 Building Blocks of Osterwalders Business Model Canvas
  • Gaining insights into basic concepts and modern tools in innovation and entrepreneurship, which motivates Phds to transfer research results into value for to society according to the needs of their stakeholders.
  • Being able to explore opportunities in the environment (of your research) and understand user/stakeholders needs
  • Applying the business model canvas on a specific case (guided workshop)
  • The basics of Intellectual property and the possible ways of protection and commercialization
  • Why or why not dream of the creation of your own spin-off?
  • Important financial insights needed to draft your financial plan
  • The points of attention when looking for industrial partners or investors;
  • Tips & tricks from a venture capitalist and a CEO of a spin-off company.


The training will be live at Campus Middelheim. Participation of the 4 modules is required to complete the course and to receive the credits. We offer a lunch + drinks. 

Practical information

Dates and location:

This course will be scheduled again in Fall 2024.

Who are the trainers?

  • Barbara Tan (RTTP), Policy Advisor Knowledge Transfer, Valorisation Office
  • dr. Bram Verbinnen, Valorisation Manager Exact Sciences, Valorisation Office
  • dr. Bruno Hoste, Research Manager Life Sciences, Grants Office
  • dr. Jurgen Joossens, Head of the Valorisation Office

Language of the course:



This course counts for 0,7 points.


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