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The Innovation Academy

The Innovation Academy:
"Harnessing the talents of doctoral students to develop innovative projects"

The Innovation Academy is organized in Lyon Saint-Étienne, and offers an active educational program for doctoral students to discover entrepreneurial culture and show them how to access other support programs if they decide to move forward, and to give them an opportunity to discover entrepreneurship in a unique project-centered, multidisciplinary team experience over a four-month period, while exploring innovative ideas: a product, a new service, a social or environmental innovation project, etc.

It has been developed by the Université de Lyon, in partnership with the Beelys entrepreneurship hub, the PULSALYS Technology Transfer Acceleration Company (SATT) and the Innovation Factory. It has adopted action-based learning and trial-and-error methodologies to foster cross-cutting innovative project management, bringing together the skills of people with different knowledge bases. The hands-on teaching will fill in operational know-how acquired from real-world experiences.

This training program alternates between classes and opportunities to meet with and learn from experts, innovation and entrepreneurship professionals. The multidisciplinary groups work independently to produce the standard deliverables required during the entrepreneurial process.

Training objectives

  1. Develop a collective innovation project;
  2. Experience the first phase of an entrepreneurial adventure, test entrepreneurial appetite and skills in innovation and creation;
  3. Skill development:
    • Creativity and idea generation;
    • Innovative project management;
    • Team management;
    • Project funding;
    • Communications and marketing.


Guillaume Pétaud, first graduating class, chemistry doctoral student:

This 3-month entrepreneurship training program was designed for us, as graduate students, and it was a wonderful experience and built great relationships! I hope this Academy will continue to flourish!

Matthias Godart, first graduating class, biology doctoral student:

Our team earned a trophy that attests to the collaborative work between our team and the innovation professionals. Their support helped us grow by leaps and bounds on the long road to entrepreneurship. I would like to thank the participants and organizers of the Innovation Academy.

Charlotte Spay, first graduating class, neuroscience and cognition doctoral student:

The Innovation Academy was an immersive, intense experience, where I discovered the world of entrepreneurship. This active training program provides us with the theoretical baggage we need for marketing innovation and start-up creation, while also enabling us to meet the key stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem in Lyon. The program is fascinating and all doctoral students interested in innovation and business creation should enroll.

Watch the introductory film on our YouTube channel