Innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Sussex

Sussex Innovation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Sussex. If you’re a part of the University community, whether you’re an academic, researcher, student or graduate, we want to help you achieve your ambitions for innovation and enterprise.

We offer experienced support and seed funding to help deliver a strategy, to build business confidence and skills, and increase your chances of commercial success.

Funding, IP protection and driving revenue from research

If you think that your research has commercial potential or you have an idea or opportunity that might be suitable for exploitation, support is available from Research & Enterprise Services and Sussex Innovation. We can help you with market research, identifying funding opportunities, exploitation strategy, and business negotiations.

The University Enterprise Development Fund has been created to support new academic commercial activity. The Fund is overseen by the University’s Enterprise Panel, funding such activities as proof-of-concept work, development of a business model, securing IP advice and protection, and access to specialist consultancy services.

A credible business space

Sussex Innovation’s facilities provide a credible commercial environment for academics and students to do business. Whether you need an office to host a spinout enterprise, a virtual company presence or just a meeting room, we can help to present a professional image. Access an experienced support team and join a stimulating, entrepreneurial community of likeminded people. At the Sussex Innovation Centre on campus, or either of our incubation hubs in Brighton and Croydon, you can use our facilities to present a professional face to the world.

Member stories

How do you commercialise theoretical research?

The Electric Potential Sensor (EPS) is a revolutionary measurement tool, capable of detecting tiny changes in spatial potential, electric field or charge. Developed by Professor Robert Prance and his team at the University of Sussex, EPS had significant commercial potential.

Professor Robert Prance, The University of Sussex

Next steps...

To investigate possible commercial opportunities or applications of your research, or to further the public dissemination of your research to deliver impact, get in touch and find out how we can help.

Email, or give us a call on 01273 704 400 and ask to speak with Peter Lane.

Student enterprise initiatives

The StartUp Sussex enterprise programme takes place from October-March each year, and offers Sussex students and recent graduates the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops to help develop their entrepreneurial skill. Participants are shown how to explore and validate a business idea using customer research and business modelling tools.


The six teams that submit the most impressive business models go through to the second phase of the programme, an intensive 8-week course to learn how to write a formal business plan. Finalists pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, including local business leaders and investors, in a bid to receive funding awards of up to £10,000 to help launch their businesses. Sussex Innovation offers a range of further support for student enterprise at the University - get in touch to find out how we can help you.

The catalyst scheme - a work placement like no other

Start-ups and small businesses face a common issue when hiring temporary staff to help them grow; while there is a large pool of graduate-level interns that are eager to learn new skills, these companies often lack the resources to train and mentor their recruits in-house. As a result, neither party stands to gain the full potential benefit of the relationship.

The Catalyst Team is a student career development initiative unique to the University of Sussex and Sussex Innovation. The team is formed of placement year and graduate students from a variety of disciplines. The students become paid employees of Sussex Innovation and member companies are able to hire them for short-term business growth projects, during which our Support team provide ongoing hands-on training.

Visit the Catalyst scheme microsite to find out more.

Member stories

Creating a business case for new technology

Santander Associate Entrepreneurship Bursary winners in 2012, Vortex Sport Design invented the BodyRocket system, a technology that enables professional and keen amateur cyclists to accurately measure their aerodynamic drag in real time, on the road, without the need for expensive wind tunnel testing.

Thomas Irps and Eric DeGolier,

Talk to us

To find out more about any of the student and graduate enterprise schemes delivered by Sussex Innovation, visit the University's Careers and Employability Centre website, email us, or call 01273 704 400 and ask to speak to Simon Chuter.