Access keys

Skip to content Accessibility Home News, events and publications Site map Search Privacy policy Help Contact us Terms of use

Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition

Call status: Opens in spring 2020


This year will be the 25th anniversary of YES, an innovative global competition developed to raise awareness among postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers of how ideas from science and engineering can be commercialised.

Teams, united by a dedication to their subject, curiosity, enthusiasm and a desire to learn, attempt to deploy novel science and engineering to address societal challenges such as the ageing population, sustainable food production, global warming and driverless cars. In this way, they develop a business plan for a start-up company based on a hypothetical but plausible idea during an intense three-day residential workshop.

The competition is organised jointly by:

  • The University of Nottingham's Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepeneurship (HGI)
  • NERC
  • MRC

About the competition

YES comprises several residential workshops that are run over three days. Your team can be made up of four or five members and you will attend a residential workshop of your choice.

During each workshop, in the morning of the first two days, leading figures in industry deliver presentations on all aspects of knowledge exchange and the commercialisation of ideas.

This knowledge, and any gained prior to the YES workshop, provides a basis to prepare an oral business plan for a company based on a hypothetical but plausible idea, based on real markets and financial data. In the afternoon of the first two days, mentors are at hand to answer questions, give advice and provide a focus for the team’s ideas.

On the third and final day, your team will make a formal oral presentation of your business plan before a panel comprised of business, financial and academic representatives taking the role of equity investors.

Two teams from each workshop are selected to progress through to the final competition.

Benefits of taking part

Diversify your life experience and professionally develop your range of attributes by taking part in YES.  You will:

  • develop enterprise skills
  • cultivate business acumen
  • create new knowledge
  • think creatively to produce innovative solutions to major challenges
  • collaborate with peers and industry experts, developing your networking skills
  • discover how to communicate research with impact to diverse audiences
  • gain project management skills in the context of business planning
  • learn about ethical, legal and health and safety aspects
  • become a team player as well as fostering mentoring/supervisory skills and
  • understand how funding is sourced and managed.


BBSRC is funding participation through the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). Please contact your DTP for more information.

For BBSRC funded postdoctoral researchers, all places are free when providing research or trading grant code.

How to apply

This call will open in spring 2020. Register your interest for more information via the Biotechnology YES website.

Related calls: collaboration early career industry innovation knowledge exchange people skills and training