Bristol Roadshow – SHAPE Catalyst

On 11 March, we hit the road and headed to the University of Bristol for the second SHAPE Catalyst Roadshow of the year!

Read the full blog post here

During our Roadshow in Bristol, we ran an ARC Discover taster session on how you can transform research into impact at scale, alongside inspirational talks by brilliant SHAPE entrepreneurs.

Robin Halpenny, Commercialisation Manager at the University of Bristol, interviewed Dr Lucy McCarthy, Co-Founder of Circ Agri Hub, a project that seeks to connect actors across agricultural supply chains, share knowledge and support the implementation of circular agricultural practices, such as waste valorisation.

Lucy shared her experiences of going through the ARC Accelerator, what she recommends to those starting their journeys and what commercialisation means to her – which was mostly around creating a social enterprise that could cover its own costs and get value back to the small and medium farmers in order to make the UK food system more resilient. You can watch a video on Lucy’s journey through the ARC programme here.

We heard from Dr James Woodhams from the ARC team about the ARC Pathway and how commercialisation is really about realisation and getting your research being used in society. Dave Jarman, Associate Professor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol and part of the ARC team, then took us through an ARC Discover taster session. We heard about audiences, empathy and context for research outputs and had a go at filling out an audiences map. More resources from the session can be found here.

After this, Dave led a panel session featuring:

  • Professor Roberta Guerrina, SPAIS (first University of Bristol social sciences spinout founder of Equal In-sight; completed ARC Accelerate 2021 Cohort),
  • Dr Joanna Burch-Brown, Philosophy (Founder of Bridging Histories CIC and just starting on ARC Accelerate 2024 Cohort),
  • Robert Sharples, Education (setting up EaL Co-Pilot, tested in consultancy, and just starting on ARC Accelerate 2024 Cohort).

They spoke about what they have learned from attending the ARC Launch and ARC Accelerate programmes. Their messages were to build in joy, just do it and don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them – brilliant inspiration for anyone looking to embark on this journey.

Lunch after the session allowed academics, members of the commercialisation and impact teams and the ARC Accelerator to network, creating a relaxed atmosphere for a vibrant Q&A session after the event.