Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program (ESDP)

Call for Applications

ENRICH your Research Commercialization Potential and Network
Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program (ESDP)

August 22– 28, 2019

A pilot service offered by ENRICH in the USA.

Rolling Application opens: June 13, 2019 | Call closes: August 7, 2019 – 23h59 CET

The call for application will close once the candidate capacity of 20 is reached.


  1. Services offered in this specific call

Join us – think entrepreneurial, increase your research impact!

ENRICH in the USA is launching its first Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program for researchers. We provide you the skill trainings necessary to spark your entrepreneurial mindset and boost your research impact.

This call is open to early stage and mid-career researchers based in the EU Member States or Horizon 2020 Associated Countries[1], whose research has a high innovation potential and who aim to investigate the possibilities of commercializing their research in the USA and beyond. To foster successful commercialization, the Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program is looking into topics like research commercialization strategies, patents, technology transfer, IP Protection and licensing and career development. This edition is taking place back-to-back with the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting and thus provides an excellent opportunity for all researchers with a thematic focus on chemistry.

This service gives you the opportunity to:

  • Connect with US institutions, mentors, IP experts, and potential partners
  • Identify and assess the commercial value of your research
  • Understand technology transfer, IP-protection, licensing, and the research commercialization processes in the US innovation ecosystem
  • Learn how to convert research discoveries into marketable products for the public and how to attract funding and sponsoring
  • Hear Lessons Learned from practical examples
  • Practice negotiations
  • Find a dedicated mentor for sustainable support on your career after the program

We warmly welcome you in San Diego CA, USA, where the Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program takes place. We are looking forward to a productive week with you. Training on research commercialization aspects, technology transfer, licensing, patents, IP, skill-development and much more will be delivered to you by leading US experts in this field. The ESDP will take place around and during the ACS national meeting, which will give participants the opportunity to choose from 50+ professional training courses and workshops during the American Chemical Society’s national meeting with 15,000+ attendees from around the world.

The fuel for your innovation career kick-off!

As the final highlight, the Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program and the American Chemical Society are offering you a match-and-meet with highly engaged and experienced mentors. The mentoring fosters your personal development through participation in the insider knowledge of experience of senior managers (mentors), which is made possible by a direct and exclusive relationship.

Tentative schedule[2]

  • Wednesday August 21st afternoon: San Diego
    • Casual first gathering
  • Thursday, August 22nd: San Diego
    • Welcome Breakfast
    • Getting started-session with introduction on ENRICH in the USA and logistical aspects
    • Info-Session on the commercial value of your research
    • Hands-on Training on the assessment of your research and its commercial value
    • External event (tbd)
  • Friday, August 23rd: San Diego
    • Info-Session on IP Protection, Patents and Licensing
    • Hands-on Training on Academic Technology Transfer
    • Write your own Commercialisation Strategy
    • Joint Dinner or external event
  • Saturday, August 24th: San Diego
    • Info-Sessions: Speeches (Converting research discoveries into marketable products for the public, How to deal with funding and sponsoring, Lessons Learned)
    • Hands-On Training: Professional Development Course on Negotiation and Marketing
    • Joint Dinner or external event
  • Sunday, August 25th: San Diego
    • Cultural Activity
    • ACS-Welcome Reception at the Expo & Career Fair
  • Monday, August 26th: San Diego - Alternative 1
    • ACS National Meeting Participation/Career Fair (ACS registration is not included)
  • Monday, August 26th: Los Angeles - Alternative 2
    • Transfer to Los Angeles
    • Campus/Lab Visit at universities (incl. Caltech)
    • Training at the I-Corps Innovation Node in LA
    • Back to San Diego
  • Tuesday, August 27th: San Diego
    • Attending ACS National Meeting including workshop attendance
    • ENRICH Mentor-Mentee Match&Meet@ACS
  • Wednesday, August 28th: San Diego
    • Farewell Breakfast
    • Individual get-together with your mentors

Expected outcomes and impact per participant

Average per participant

  • Receive 3 information-sessions on commercial value, technology transfer, IP, patents, career development, innovation and research etc.
  • Get 3 training courses on academic technology transfer, commercialization strategy, negotiation and marketing
  • Attend multiple workshops at the ACS National Meeting (if registered)
  • Get connected to a dedicated mentor
  1. Target Group of this Call

ENRICH in the USA is looking for individual research actors from EU Member States or Associated Countries (EU MS/AC) whose research has a high innovation potential and who aim to investigate the possibilities of commercializing their research in the USA and beyond:

  • Early-stage to mid-career researchers
  • Researchers looking for commercialization opportunities
  • Researchers not yet established in the US
  • Research Focus on chemistry in a broader sense preferred
  1. Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for the provided service, applicants have to meet the following requirements:

  • Applicant must be a tax payer in an EU MS/AC AND/OR be an EU MS/AC passport holder
  • Applicant must be able to communicate (read and speak) in English;
  1. Funding Principle

Funded by the European Commission, this call will support 20 participants for the Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program[3]. The Program is evaluated at 20.000€, but the reduced training fee to be paid by participants is a total of 450€ only. This includes costs for the trainings, info-sessions, venues, materials, guest speakers and meals during the program.

Participants have to cover their own costs for flights to and from the United States, hotel accommodation as well as other costs not mentioned above (e.g. ESTA/VISA application costs, health insurance, dinners, ACS Registration, etc.) by themselves.

Please note: Only one participant can be covered for the same organisation. Additional participants of selected organisations may attend, but must cover all costs by themselves.

  1. Submission Procedure

All applicants must register at the electronic submission tool F6S under https://www.f6s.com/esdpaugust2019. It is highly advised that applicants submit no later than two days before the submission deadline. ENRICH in the USA staff will assist with questions or portal issues for applicants. Besides basic information, applicants must mark a checklist for actual criteria and must complete each section of the application.

In F6S, the applicant is asked to register themselves and fill in general information, personal information (such as name, institution, organization type, contact details, and specific questions referring to the organization type). All applicants must acknowledge that they are made aware that some costs have to be covered individually.

You will need to complete all required questions in the F6S application form before you are allowed to submit. This includes all uploads and attachments in the last section of the application form.

Required uploads/attachments include: Short Pitch Deck


Please follow the framework of the pitch deck outlined below:

1. Please follow this framework - 7 slides max.:

  • Slide #1: Name research idea + The idea behind it: Summarize it in one sentence (max. 20 words).
  • Slide #2: The Market Potential
    • Define the market/commercialisation potential of your idea. What are you trying to innovate (product/ solution, market, societal problem, etc.)?
    • Are there any current solutions/ other ideas reaching towards the same goal?
  • Slide #3: Future outlook
    • Define short-/ mid- and long-term developments regarding your research idea.
    • Show your timeline and milestones to date.
  • Slide #4: Your struggle
    • Define the problems you are currently facing regarding future developments (e.g. licensing, IP protection, patents, commercialization strategies).
    • Define 3 questions you have regarding future developments.
  • Slide #5: Ways to overcome your struggle
    • Define what kind of approaches/ tools/ etc. you think would help you in your current situation/ what are your current needs regarding your research idea?
    • Try to answer your 3 questions form the slide above.
  • Slide #6: Why going abroad?
    • Explain why you seek to internationalize into the US eventually? Why internationalize? Why the US?
    • List 3 pros and 3 cons for that decision.
  • Slide #7: Team & Contact info

Note that all application responses and pitch decks have to be submitted in English.

  1. Evaluation and Selection Procedure

The fundamental principles governing the evaluation of the applications are:

  • Transparency: The process for selecting applicants will be clearly described and made available to any interested party.
  • Fairness and Equality of treatment: All applications shall be treated alike, irrespective of where they originate or the identity of the applicants.
  • Ethical and Legal considerations: Any application that contravenes ethical principles and legal regulations may be excluded from being evaluated and rejected at any time.

The evaluation process involves five steps:

Step 1: Eligibility Check: Will be done by the ENRICH in the USA staff following the criteria defined in section 4:

  1. If they meet the respective eligibility criteria (outlined above)
  2. If they meet the respective target group for this call (outlined above)

Step 2: Overall Impression: Once the eligibility check is conducted and complete, the pitch deck and the answers to the specific questions on F6S from eligible applications will be scored from 1 – 5 (5 being the highest score) by ENRICH in the USA staff.

Step 3: Pitch presentation via skype or go-to meeting: Candidates reaching at least 3 out of 5 scores in step 2 will be invited to present their pitch deck during a 20 minutes presentation (including 10 min Q&A) before a reviewing committee consisting of at least two experts in the field of EU-US innovation and commercialisation.

Step 4: Scoring: Presentations will be scored by the reviewing committee according to the following criteria.

  1. Motivation
  2. Knowledge and/or Skillset
  3. Demonstrate first solution approaches
  4. Long-term strategy and/or goals
  5. Reasoned interest in the US ecosystem/market

All these five criteria will be scored from 1-5 (5 being the highest score).

Step 5: Final Selection and Admission: The first 20 candidates reaching a minimum of 15 out of 25 scores (scoring at least 3 out of 5 in each category) will win their spot in the ESDP. Candidates will be notified within max. 1 week after their presentation.

Please note: ENRICH in the USA is beholding the right to create a wait list of suitable candidates reaching the necessary scores of minimum 15.


Time Schedule



June 13, 2019

Call opens

August 07, 2019

Submission of application and call closes

June 14 -  August 07, 2019

Selection of applicants (rolling application)

June 14 -  August 07, 2019

20-minutes presentation

Max 1 week after interview
between June 14 – August 07, 2019

Individual admission acceptance of candidates

August 12, 2019

Public announcement of the 20 winners

August 22 - August 28, 2019

Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program



For questions regarding the Entrepreneurial Skills Development Program, please contact:


Contact Details

Ilka Löffler


Johanna Füllmann


Claire Chen



Files to be used for the application
Application Pitch Deck ENRICH ESDP (PPT)


[1] See http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/3cpart/h2020-hi-list-ac_en.pdf As of 01 January 2017, the following countries are associated to Horizon 2020: Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Tunisia, Georgia, Armenia.

[2] A more detailed agenda will be provided upon application acceptance. The final agenda will be released one week prior to the event.

[3] ENRICH in the USA has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 733286.