e2i: Evolve 2 Innovate

e2i: Evolve to Innovate

Transform your discoveries into practical solutions with funding, support and mentorship

e2i is for postdocs, research associates, or senior graduate students, and their PIs to get started on the pathway to translating their research into practical solutions.

The e2i program creates a new pathway for researchers to translate successful research outcomes into practical solutions. e2i trainees will engage in an eight-month experiential innovation curriculum, including mentorship from Academic Entrepreneurs in Residence, hands-on workshops, guidance, and a research allowance.

The e2i program prepares participants from all disciplines to develop the skills required to make an impact by evolving their research to solve compelling real-world problems.

Innovate Calgary

e2i is supported by Innovate Calgary and the Office of the VP Research at the University of Calgary.

Who can apply:

Teams of 2:

  • 1 Postdoc, Research Associate, or Senior Graduate Student (e2i trainee)
  • 1 Principal Investigator

What is awarded:

8-month experiential innovation curriculum, and the opportunity to apply for a research allowance:

  • $5k to e2i trainee
  • $5k to Principal Investigator


  • Application Deadline: September 20, 2023

  • Kick-off event: September 27, 2023

  • Program begins: October 4, 2023

  • Duration: 8 months 

e2i is actively seeking applicants from all disciplines, with an emphasis on transdisciplinary research.

  • Applicant teams must include:
    • 1 postdoc, research associate, or senior graduate student (e2i trainee)
    • 1 principal investigator (faculty member)
    • Both team members must hold current appointments at the University of Calgary for the duration of the program (September 2023 - May 2024)
  1. Postdoc, Research Associate, or Senior Graduate Student:

    • Must have an interest in exploring the possibility of translating their research outcomes and discoveries into practical solutions for societal benefit
    • Key career aspirations may include:
      • Being a better academic
      • Getting a good job in industry
      • Start a business venture
    • Must commit to a time investment of 13-15 hours/month for the duration of the program
  2. Principal Investigator:

    • Must be willing to support and engage their e2i trainee throughout the program
  • 8 months
  • e2i trainees (postdoc/RA/graduate student) are expected to spend 13-15 hours per month on the program (8 hours of synchronous workshops and 5-7 hours of asynchronous work)
  • Principal Investigators can expect to spend 5 hours per month on the program (all asynchronous)

e2i will capture an array of introductory topics to inform and encourage participants. Topics that you will explore include:

  • The nature of technology (in the broadest sense) and the linkages between research and discovery, solutions and practical outcomes and impact.
  • UCalgary and other research university case histories illustrating discovery to impact stories
  • Identifying potential solutions in research results
  • How to choose a solution direction and topic
  • Customer discovery
  • Routes to a successful venture and how to create a funded viable project
  • Setting up a research-based business
  • Getting funded
  • So you’ve created a start up – now what?
  • How can I keep my research program growing and be involved in a successful business venture as well?

Teams will also further develop their own research and technology directions with the support of their PIs and e2i mentors.

icon with brain and pencil


The continuum of innovation

Throughout history, research has always informed the creation of new inventions to generate practical solutions and outcomes for society.

This overall process, commonly and broadly termed innovation, has occurred throughout history, with many great researchers also being great innovators. Research and innovation are part of a continuum that is complementary and synergistic, with new opportunities and benefits throughout the virtuous cycle.

e2i is supported by Innovate Calgary and the Office of the VP Research at the University of Calgary.