e2i: Evolve 2 Innovate

e2i: Evolve to Innovate

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

e2i is for postdocs or research associates 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 fellows will engage in an eight-month experiential innovation curriculum, including mentorship from experienced entrepreneurial faculty members, hands-on workshops, guidance, and a cash allowance.

The e2i program prepares participants to develop the skills required to make an impact by evolving their research to pursue research translation, and confidently explore the commercial potential of existing research.

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 or Research Associate (e2i fellow)
  • 1 Principal Investigator

What is awarded:

8-month experiential innovation curriculum, plus: 

  • $5k to e2i fellow for innovation expenses
  • $5k to Principal Investigator for research allowance


Cohort 1: 

  • Application Deadline September 29, 2021

  • Program begins fall 2021

  • Duration: 8 months 

Up to an additional $20k funding will be awarded per team through Mitacs. Contact Adam Cragg for details. 

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

  • Applicant teams must include:
    • 1 postdoc or research associate (e2i fellow)
    • 1 principal investigator (faculty member)
    • Both team members must hold current appointments at the University of Calgary
  1. Postdoc or Research Associate:

    • must have a well-developed research concept or program with demonstrable research outcomes and an interest in exploring the possibility of translating the discoveries to practical outcomes in society, including the possibility of business ventures
    • be willing to invest time and commit to the program for the duration
    • must be at the university for the duration of the program (ending May 2022)​
  2. Principal Investigator:

    • must be willing to support and engage their e2i fellow throughout the curriculum
  • 8 months
  • e2i fellows (postdoc/RA) are expected to spend 13-15 hours per month on the program (3 hours of synchronous workshops and 10-12 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.

Evolve 2 Innovate:

Tentative workshop dates:

Launch Event: Oct 19

Goal-setting Workshop: Oct 26

Design Thinking: Nov 9

Intro to Validation: Nov 16

Pathways of Knowledge Transfer: Nov 23

IP Strategy: Feb 22

Innovation Models: March 8

e2i fellows will receive details once dates and sessions are confirmed

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 the Government of Canada Incremental Project Grants. Learn how UCalgary uses the Incremental Project Grants.