Three questions to researchers in the programme

Janneke Keemink, researcher at the Department of Pharmacy

Why did you become interested in Mentor4Research?
– UU Innovation helped me with a patent application for ENA; a new in vitro model that can be used to evaluate the performance of drug formulations in the intestine. After participating in the EIT Health Business Creation Weekend in Uppsala 2017, I got really excited about commercializing this invention. Mentor4Research is the perfect programme to explore options and develop a strategy to bring ENA to the market.

What do you appreciate most with the programme?
– It has been great to have the support from my mentor during my journey towards commercialization. I can discuss ideas/strategies that I am exploring and, I have been introduced to relevant people within the field. Mentor4Research has also given me the opportunity to participate in the Nordic Life Science days and to take trips to visit several pharmaceutical companies where will get to present ENA.

What would you say to research colleagues who are considering applying to Mentor4Research?
– Go for it!

Read more about Janneke´s work with ENA

Emin Poljarevic, associate professor at the Department of Theology, sociology of religion

Why did you become interested in Mentor4Research?
– As a researcher, it is important to maintain a high level of curiosity about your own scientific field, but also willingness to engage with scientists outside of it. UU innovation with their Mentor4Research programme offers one such, I dare say, unique opportunity to venture out of your comfort zone as a social scientist. I was not terribly interested in the commercial part of the program as much as an opportunity to ask new and challenging questions about my own field. My mentor possesses deep insights in communication strategies that have helped me to rethink a part of my scholarly strategy.

What do you appreciate most with the programme?
– The most exciting and positive element of the programme is that it offers a forum where a wide variety of researchers can interact, discuss and critically probe each other’s business models. Another very important part that I especially appreciate is the workshops throughout the year where you meet different expert speakers. All of them have offered helpful knowledge and insights on how to develop one’s professional skills.

What would you say to research colleagues who are considering applying to Mentor4Research?
– I would like to encourage university scholars in social sciences and humanities to accept the challenge of networking with researchers and experts from life and natural sciences. This interaction have encouraged me to add new perspectives from which I view my own research field, which have generated new and, I believe, innovative research questions.

Viviana Lopes, researcher at the Department of Engineering sciences, currently working in the nanotoxicology field.

Why did you become interested in Mentor4Research?
– I have always been fascinated by how other scientists turn science into something applicable for being used by the general community, i.e. commercializing their research. Moreover, with my participation in projects involving industry partners, I have become quite keen to know how industry and academia could interlink for achieving that goal. Mentor4Research was the ideal opportunity to get the skills and knowledge for someone like me coming from a strictly academic research background with no experience at all in entrepreneurship and business.

What do you appreciate most with the program?
– The chance to have a mentor in this programme is, in my opinion, the best part of it. The meetings with my mentor are rewarding and inspiring getting knowledge and experience that I would not get in another way. In addition, the workshops included in the programme are quite educational and targeting specific skills and topics, you need to grow as a potential entrepreneur and businessperson.

What would you say to research colleagues who are considering applying to Mentor4Research?
– Do it, even if you think you do not have any skills at all as an entrepreneur and in the business field. In my opinion, that is why the program exists.