What is the programme?

The primary objective of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF) programme is to build the capacity of engineers and researchers for entrepreneurship and commercialisation of innovations which support the economic development and social welfare of emerging and developing countries.


Who can apply?

Through their research, applicants must have developed (or co-developed), or be in the process of developing (or co-developing) a new technological innovation. Applicants should have the ambition to take a leading role in creating a new business to commercialise this innovation.
Specific eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Applicants must be a citizen in or resident of one of the LIF programme’s Newton Fund partner countries
  • Applicants must be in the process of developing a business proposition of their innovation. Projects at the basic research stage are not supported through the current programme
  • The applicant’s innovation can be any new product, technology or service, based on research in engineering
  • The innovation should have the potential to benefit the applicant’s country, or other developing countries, in terms of improving social welfare and driving economic growth, and they should contribute one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals


What are the benefits of the programme?

The LIF programme is a year-long programme of bespoke, tailored support including:

  • Two weeks’ intensive commercialisation training in London
  • Expert mentoring
  • On-going support at their home institution
  • Access to an international network of peer innovators and mentors
  • Access to resources, webinars and opportunities on the LIF online community
  • In-country events


What are the key dates?

Please refer to our How to Apply section for open calls and country-specific application procedure.


What is the review process?

Applications are shortlisted by our in-country delivery partners, and 20-25 applications will be selected for review by the Academy.


What reporting requirements will be expected of me throughout the duration of the award?

We expect you to be responsive and communicative with your mentor and Academy staff throughout the duration of the programme. We want to hear about our alumni’s success and challenges so we can best support them on their commercialisation journey.


Who do I contact for further information?