The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme aims to build the entrepreneurial capacity and commercialisation skills of innovators from selected partner countries. The programme creates international networks of innovators and technology entrepreneurs.

LIF participants are jointly selected by the Academy and our in-country partner organisations on the basis of:

  • Their potential as entrepreneurs
  • The excellence of their research
  • The potential of their innovation
  • The social and economic benefits of their innovation

The programme is aimed at local researchers within the partner country who are in the process of developing a business proposition for their innovation. The programme is divided into two parts; a two-week residential training bootcamp in London complemented by a bespoke follow-on support package upon their return.


Residential training

Successful participants will benefit from a focused period of training in the UK, access to expert mentors, and opportunities for international networking. This enables them to develop, with the support of the programme, a commercialisation plan for their innovation.

In the long-term they will benefit from ongoing support at their home institution, and access to a curated international network of over seven hundred peer innovators and mentors, which can help them take their commercialisation plan forward.


Follow-on support

This package of support concludes the programme. Participants have remote access to their personal mentors from the residential training for continued mentoring and advice to achieve their goals, set when designing their business plans in London. 

Remote support is reinforced with in-country events held jointly with our country partners to continue engagement between the Academy and participants.

Support covers anything from regulatory advice and developing plans for market approval, to finding investors, suppliers, distributors or major customers, in the participant’s own country, in the UK or anywhere else in the world using the Academy and the mentor’s networks.



This year marks the fifth year of the LIF programme. We have four rounds of residential training with innovators from four different countries participating in each round:

November 2018 Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil
January 2019 Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia
February 2019 India, South Africa, Kenya, The Philippines
March 2019 Chile, China, Egypt, Turkey



The Leaders in Innovation Fellowships programme is being delivered by the Academy as part of the UK Newton Fund which, through a variety of science and innovation activities, supports the economic development and social welfare of developing countries. This year we are working with 16 Newton Fund countries: Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, The Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

Applications to the programme are run through our local partner agencies.

For more information, please contact the Senior Programme Manager.


Sign up for our communications

You can subscribe for news, interviews and impact stories from our global innovation activities: the Leaders in Innovation Fellowships and the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation.

Please provide your email address below to sign up for updates from us.

LIF partner countries