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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 a hands-on training 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.

The Innovation Academy was developed by the Université de Lyon, in partnership with the PULSALYS Technology Transfer Acceleration Office (SATT), the PEPITE Beelys and the Innovation Factory.

It aims to help doctoral students transform their innovative ideas into projects. All areas of innovation are concerned, be they economic, social, sportive or even cultural.

Educational and professional objectives

The adopted educational method fosters a cross-curricular understanding of innovative project management, with hands-on training providing operational skills based on real-life situations.

Training objectives:

  1. To work as part of a multidisciplinary team and to collectively develop an innovation project;
  2. To test your skills and desire to innovate, and to experience the first phase of an entrepreneurial adventure;
  3. To put an innovative idea to the test when faced with its economic reality;
  4. To get a feel for the socio-economic sector and build a professional network;
  5. To openly discuss projects and ideas.

And for professional development...

The skills acquired throughout the training program can be put to use:

  • in an n innovation, research and development department;
  • within an innovation support structure;
  • to create a start-up;
  • etc.

Details and information


The training takes place over 1 month from May 30, 2023 to June 29, 2023.
It revolves around 3 learning sequences. Collective expertise sessions are planned between each sequence.
  • 6 days taught in French;
  • A project team dedicated to the device;
  • 5 multidisciplinary teams maximum;
  • Capacity: 18 to 25 people;
  • Different trainers from one session to another;
  • Training validated as part of cross-disciplinary studies (45 hours);
  • Final deliverable: business model and pitch for the project developed as a team;
  • A final challenge during a network evening.


A first-year Neuroscience and Cognition PhD 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 knowledge needed for marketing innovation and creating start-ups, all while enabling us to meet with the Lyon innovation ecosystem’s key players. The program is fascinating and I encourage all PhD students who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship to take part.

A second-year History PhD student

Being part of a project which is outside my field of research, my comfort zone and my knowledge base has allowed me to prove to myself that I can embark on any new adventure, take on any new project, and go all the way to complete it, despite the obstacles and challenges it may present.

A second-year Computer Science PHD student
The training program provided me with a clear understanding of all aspects of entrepreneurship. I really enjoyed the combination of theory and practical work.

A second-year Neuroscience PhD student
I really enjoyed listening to the various speeches. They contributed to a diverse and enriching experience, and provided me with the general knowledge in fields in which I had no experience...

A first-year Biology PhD student

Our team earned a trophy that attests to the collaborative work between our team and the innovation professionals. Their support enabled us to make great progress on the long road to entrepreneurship. I would like to thank the participants and organizers of the Innovation Academy.