The Sciencepreneur program is aimed at NOVA scientists who are seeking to create value from their research activities. It focuses on the acquisition of the basic concepts and understanding on how to generate value from research activities into a wider context, namely their benefits to the economy and society at large.

The program runs annually, since 2020 and aims to developed skills and competences in the Entrepreneurship area and to understand how to commercialize their technology/service or scientific breakthrough and to develop their go-to-market strategy. It is also open to scientists who want to understand how to create value out of their research (e.g. public policies, etc)


  1. Sciencepreneur – This course is designed for scientists seeking to broaden the idea of what innovation is and to know how to create value from their research activities. It aims to provide PhD students, young scientists and even more senior researchers with proper tools needed to put their research and ideas into a wider context, namely on the valorisation of research results and their benefits to the economy and society at large.

Comprising theoretical lectures, case studies and discussion sessions with successful science-based entrepreneurs, investors and corporate CEOs, this course will provide insights into the process of knowledge-driven innovation and idea generation, besides creating awareness of the impact that scientists can have from an economical and societal perspective, as well as of protecting intellectual property rights.

This course is a joint venture between the NOVA Impact Office and Nova Doctoral School and is therefore part of the available options for Doctoral Programs at NOVA. It intends to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at NOVA, although participants do not need to have any business idea to apply for it. Every session has real case studies and classes always end with the intervention of an invited speaker who will talk about her/his experience and reflect on the subject of the class.

  1. Sciencepreneur | Hands-on

Creating Value from Research

Sciencepreneur Hands-on aims to accelerate knowledge transfer at NOVA, supporting scientists with a technological or scientific breakthrough to identify the best path for its commercialization, through a one-on-one guidance on how to build a go-to-market strategy, from research results to impact. The Hands-on version of the Sciencepreneur program runs every year after the theoretical part (see above) and it is organized by the NOVA Impact Office in articulation with renowned Venture Capital firms and with the support of a network of experts and mentors in several areas of knowledge.

Check below the conditions to apply to the Sciencepreneur | Hands-on Program.

What is Sciencepreneur Hands-on ?

Program Description

Sciencepreneur Hands-on aims to accelerate knowledge transfer at NOVA, supporting scientists with a technological or scientific breakthrough to identify the best path for its commercialization, through a one-on-one guidance on how to build a go-to-market strategy, from research results to impact.

Participants will have access to:

  • Support and follow-up by experts from NOVA and program partners, with experience in knowledge and technology transfer and business development;
  • Regular meetings with selected coaches/mentors, who will closely follow the evolution of the participants/teams and facilitate networking opportunities;
  • Feedback/guidance from venture capitalists and science-based entrepreneurs;
  • NOVA Mentor Network and other resources;
  • Connection with different schools and other research labs, depending on specific needs.

This initiative is promoted by the Rectorate’s NOVA IMPACT.

Key goals:

  • Explore, identify and analyze the best path for commercializing a lab’s emerging technology or scientific breakthrough (licensing vs spin-off), including IP protection;
  • Generate new science-based business opportunities;
  • Identify the best market opportunities for the proposed technology or scientific breakthrough and its scalability;
  • Promote the conversion of NOVA technologies or scientific breakthroughs into economic and social value
  • Provide the participants with the mindset to create socioeconomic value out of their research.

Workload and Activities:

The Program will take place online, through a period of about 15 weeks (or more, if there are holiday periods in between). The estimated availability is of 6 hours per week (taking into account work and mentoring sessions).

Selected applicants will meet their assigned mentors in the beginning of the program to present the current status of their project and brainstorm. There will be a clearly defined list of milestones to achieve throughout the program, towards the desired goal. Teams must comply with these milestones. Meetings will occur normally every week, but can vary depending on specific milestones and mentors’ availability.

Midway, each team will have to give a midterm pitch , presenting the developments made thus far to a panel of experienced invited guests, who will provide feedback and tips for the steps ahead.

Towards the end, teams should work on the final business case report, and a pitch session will take in the end of the program to a panel of investors and experienced entrepreneurs.


During this program the participants will:

  • Write a Business Case with an analysis of the technology or scientific breakthrough status, the intellectual property landscape, if applicable, a consideration of the competition, an overview of an appropriate business model, and recommendations for next steps – Please note that the final conclusion might be three way: 1) Create a spin-off; 2) Find a licensee/partnership; or 3) Go back to the lab and improve the technology;
  • Find business-oriented members to join the team (in case of individual applications or teams lacking this background) – if applicable;
  • Pitch the outcomes to a group of experts from business and venture capital contexts.
Who can apply?
  • Teams or individuals that are working in a technological or scientific project. Teams will be valued over individual applications but both are encouraged to apply.
  • Teams must have at least one member from NOVA University Lisbon and the technology/scientific breakthrough must have been developed in part or in total at NOVA.
  • Individuals must have a relation to NOVA University Lisbon (PhD students, Professors, Researchers, Post-Doc, etc).


Participation Requirements

To participate in Sciencepreneur Hands-on, it is mandatory to have previously participated in the Sciencepreneur, or have participated in other entrepreneurship programs, where participants already got contact with the main entrepreneurship-based concepts. This is an action-based program where you will mainly learn by doing, focusing on practice rather than theory.

Projects are welcome in any field of knowledge, as long as they have a strong scientific component, are innovative or disruptive, have some discernible economic value, and have not yet been funded by market-oriented investors.


When and how?

Date: From 15th October to 21st January

Personalized mentorship:

Once every week with assigned mentor;

Facilitated access to all experts from NOVA Mentor Network and other NOVA IMPACT partners.

Venue: Online/Face to Face (for kick off and final project presentation)

Applications and selection

  • Deadline for applications: 23rd September
  • Where: online form
  • Selection of applicants (interviews if required): until the 7th October
  • Kick-off: 15th October

Check the timeline with all the dates and deliverables expected throughout the program



Access the regulation of the Sciencepreneur Hands-on program, here.