How It Works

LIF is a multi-phase program delivered over 12 months. It is a multi-sectoral partnership among top institutions in the UK and the Philippines in the fields of science, innovation, and leadership management.

The Fellowship is open to all academic researchers across the country and Technology Transfer Officers with DOST-funded technology, who are in the process of developing a business plan for their technology or innovation. While the most ideal candidates are those who have tested their idea in the market, candidates who are on the cusp of commercialization may also be considered.

The Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will accept applications from scientists, academic researchers, and technology innovators across the country. A DOST planning council, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), will be the primary implementing and monitoring arm for the duration of the program.

Phase 1: Selection of Fellows

A group of 15 researchers (i.e., Leaders in Innovation Fellows) from the Philippines will be selected based on the excellence of their research, the commercialization potential of their idea, and their capacity to take the idea forward.

Eligibility Criteria

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:

  • Applicant must be working on DOST-funded technology
  • 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 defined in its broadest sense to encompass a wide range of fields, including – but not limited to:
    • Agricultural technology
    • Biotechnology
    • Chemical engineering
    • Civil engineering
    • Computer science
    • Design engineering
    • Electrical and electronic engineering
    • Materials science
    • Mechanical engineering
    • Medical 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
  • The primary application of the innovation must NOT be in the defense or military sector

(Note that previous experience of commercialisation or involvement with technology transfer is not required. Please note that the residential programme will be conducted entirely in English, and candidates will need to demonstrate a good level of English in order to participate.)

Scoring System

Qualified applicants will undergo a competitive screening process that involves the submission and presentation of their idea or business plan to a panel of experts from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Asian Institute of Management.

A rigorous scoring system will be used with such criteria for the proposed innovation as the following:

  • Expected benefits and social impact of the innovation to the Philippine economy
  • Relevance of innovation to the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Track record of the applicant (e.g. technical and non-technical capabilities)
  • Entrepreneurial potential and commercial awareness of the applicant
  • Degree of the technology’s innovation
  • Feasibility and global market potential of the innovation
  • Estimated distance to market (i.e. technology readiness, investment readiness)

From a shortlist of candidates, the top 15 applicants will be selected as Fellows of the program.

Phase 2: Launch Program in Manila, and UK Residential Program


The Fellows will be invited to attend a two-week residential program in the UK, arranged for and supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering. To prepare for their coursework in the UK, the Fellows will undergo a three-day preparatory course at the Asian Institute of Management to orient their commercialization effort and enhance their entrepreneurial skill set. Topics covered include the following:

  • Elements of business
  • Market segmentation and positioning
  • Operational feasibility
  • Financial viability


The Fellows will receive a focused period of training in the UK, access to expert coaches, and opportunities for international networking. In the short term, the Fellows will get support to develop a commercialization plan for their innovation. In the long term, they will have access to an international network of peer innovators to help them take their commercialization plan forward.

The program builds on the expertise of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) to support technology entrepreneurs through various fellowships and prizes. Fellows supported by the program benefit from the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, a network of technology innovators, researcher-entrepreneurs, and senior industrialists who drive and support innovation.

The Program

Up to 15 successful applicants, or Leaders in Innovation Fellows, will participate in the 10-day residential program in the UK.

Week 1 > Activity-based learning week combined with external visits and master classes

The first week of training involves becoming familiar with Business Modelling and Customer Markets, visits to a UK university incubator, and a site visit to an industry partner. The groups will start working with their coaches to develop their business plans. Participants will round out their first week with expert master class sessions presented by the esteemed Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Week 2 > Intensive training program in entrepreneurship and innovation leadership

The second week involves more classroom-style learning with a training program organized by the Royal Academy of Engineering. It consists of training in innovation leadership delivered by expert trainers and based on the Academy’s existing programs for UK researchers. The course will focus on skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Operations and leadership
  • Finance, IP, and regulations
  • Presenting and pitching to investors and customers
  • Negotiation skills

As a program highlight, there will be time for participants to develop their own business plans and pitch decks during the two weeks, while receiving guidance and coaching.

Week 2 will conclude with a competitive pitch session to a panel of expert judges including senior Academy Fellows.

Over the course of the program, participants will be able to network with coaches, representatives of technology-driven organizations, and each other. All LIF participants automatically become part of the international network of innovators and coaches clustered around the Academy’s Enterprise Hub.

(Note that the residential program will be conducted entirely in English.)


The training and mentoring program, international flights, airport transfers, and other UK travel expenses attached to the program, all hotel accommodations, and breakfast and evening meals will be paid for by the Academy.

Successful applicants will, however, be responsible for arranging and paying for their visa fees, and other incidental expenses incurred due to the program. Reimbursement for visa will be included in the travel allowance to be distributed a few days before departure.

Phase 3: Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Program (Landing Program)

Upon their return to the Philippines, the Fellows will undergo a landing program to contextualize their learnings abroad via simulations, lectures, and case studies.

For three days of each month for six months, the Fellows will attend the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program handled primarily by AIM. It will cover such topics as ―

  • Marketing and Brand Management
  • Product Design and Development
  • Accounting and Finance for Startups
  • Forecasting and Valuation
  • Fundraising and Negotiations
  • Business Setup

The program is designed to tackle the general areas of Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Operations, and Financial Management. It will culminate in a Final Defense and Demo Day, where participants showcase their product and pitch their business.

Fellows who complete this program will be awarded a completion certificate by the Asian Institute of Management.