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Supporting, developing and enhancing engagement with business (SPEED with business)

Start date

March 2021

End date

June 2021


'SPEED with Business', supported by the Surrey ESRC IAA, is the one of the first staff development programme of its kind in the UK, where early career academics are supported to engage with business.

The programme is appropriate for academics with a whole range of business engagement agendas, from those who may just be curious about how businesses work, through to those who have research and knowledge they want to commercialise into products and services.

It also relevant for those who are looking for industry collaborators for their research, access to data or subjects for their investigations or who have knowledge that might be leveraged into consultancy.

The training is aimed primarily at early career social science academics with an interest in how business collaboration could benefit their research, but who have a more limited experience of business engagement.  

This project builds on the ESRC's 'Business Boost' BB2020 programme. In particular the 'Connecting and Engaging Researchers with Business,' workshop series which was delivered by SurreyIDEA between summer 2020 and spring 2021.

SPEED with Business Delivery

On Demand Content - Collaboration, Harnessing Diverse Thinking, Networking. 

Coaching - Virtual and (if circumstances allow) face-to-face coaching. Small learning sets.

Impact Sprints -  Simulations. Live consultancy problem solving.

Plenary sessions -  Impact Landscapes. Impact Showcases.

The programme is built around live on-line workshops and on demand content which support participants to engage with business in several ways.  

Over 12 weeks, students develop personal, professional and commercial impact through learning by doing. Training takes place in an intensive, accelerated and immersive physical and virtual environment that allows participants to engage in a flexible way. Across the 12 weeks, participants will be expected to commit to around 40 hours of direct participation, which will typically work out at 3-4 hours per week. 

How to Apply

The course started on 24th March 2021 and then continued after the Easter holidays. You can download the timetable here. Download the SPEED with Business Brochure, for more information.

If you’re ready to get your entrepreneurial career under way and would like to apply for this programme, we’d love to hear from you. Equally, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Twitter@SurreyIDEA



Download the IAA's 'SPEED with Business' brochure



By completing this programme, participants will develop:  

  • A range of key skills which can be transferable across a range of contexts including business engagement, such as leadership, team working, influencing, networking, persuading and trust building. 
  • An understanding of how their own disciplinary knowledge, thinking and methodologies can be applied across a range of business engagement contexts to bring value to both research and practice.

This will be developed through activities which support the development of:  

  • Decision making skills in a variety of organisational and business contexts and via a range of different processes. 
  • Problem solving skills through the application of appropriate business models and concepts to a range of organisational and business challenges. 
  • The capacity to be creative and innovative and to appropriately deploy this newly developed creative capacity in a range of organisational and business contexts. 

The long term ambition behind this programme is to transition it into an institutionally funded University wide offering, which will become a gold standard induction offering to early career academics and PhD students from across all three of Surrey's faculties.

The pilot programme funded by the IAA, and subsequent workshop, will offer further validation of the content and approach to delivery that has been successful across the Business Boost programme.

As well as adding to the capacity of the University to engage with business, the uniqueness of this programme will contribute to making Surrey an even more attractive destination for talented ECRs and PhD students.

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