A NATIONAL roadshow aimed at helping scientists and academics turn their ideas into commercial businesses is being launched in York next week.

The “Start-Up Essentials for Life Sciences” roadshow launches on June 7 at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus at Sand Hutton.

The roadshow will provide academics with advice and guidance on becoming entrepreneurs and starting a business from a range of experts who have been working with life sciences start-ups for more than 20 years.

A series of seminars will tackle some of the major barriers preventing many from taking their products to market instead of just publishing research in industry journals. These include sessions on access to funding, intellectual property and patent rights and other legal and business regulations.

The NAFIC was chosen as the launch site for the roadshow due to its international reputation as a centre for innovation across the life and agri-sciences sectors and the mix of SMEs and public and private sector organisations based on the site.

The roadshow is being organised by Symbiosis IP, a leading patent attorney firm specialising in life sciences and which moved to NAFIC last year.

Rob Docherty, patent attorney at Symbiosis IP, said: “Increasingly, we are seeing the UK missing out on some great scientific ideas and innovation because there isn’t a sufficient level of support and information out there to help those in academic research transition from an academic to a commercial environment.

“The roadshow is about providing people with the essential knowledge for setting up a company, ensuring a new business is set up in the right way and has the right structure, funding and support in place to increase the likelihood of success.”

The roadshow launches in York before heading to other leading science bases across the North West and South.

Liz Cashon, Innovation Campus manager at NAFIC, said: “It’s so important that we do everything we can to increase the amount of technology and innovation in the UK market and turn great ideas into commercial operations.

“There is a strong mix of organisations here at NAFIC, working at the interface of government, academia and industry, and we have seen how rapidly start-ups can grow with the right business ecosystem in place, backed by the right levels of support, investment and collaboration.

“Life sciences is a key sector in the UK and there is so much intelligence and entrepreneurialism in the region, but if we are to ensure this continued growth, we really need to make sure that we create the right environment and deliver strong business support for start-ups making this first, and most important, step.”