Invitation to Tender for the Enterprise Fellowships Business Training

RSE Enterprise Fellowship Programme evaluation

The economic consultancy BiGGAR Economics reported that the RSE (Royal Society of Edinburgh) Enterprise Fellowship (EF) programme..delivers on current and pressing concerns of the UK and Scottish Governments and their agencies and has provided a significant boost to the Scottish, UK and global economies“. The evaluation and economic impact assessment found that the EF Programme had added almost £170m to annual global gross value added (GVA), including £77 million in Scotland, and led to the creation of more than 3,000 jobs, nearly half (1,395) of which are in Scotland, and over 200 businesses. The impact of the Enterprise Fellows is £52.6 million GVA and 949 jobs in Scotland each year, with the Fellowships generating £5.69 annual GVA in Scotland and £9.74 in the UK for every £1 it received in income. The added value from pro-bono contributions from the wider RSE Fellowship was acknowledged and the RSE was commended on the ability of a relatively small team being able to deliver the programme. Full report (


The RSE Enterprise Fellowships provide a support package over one year to enable academics at all levels (graduate level and above) with science and technology ideas/products to commercialise their work through the formation of start-up and spin-out companies. The programme has a strong record of success spanning over twenty years, as evidenced in the independent economic evaluation carried out by Biggar Economics in 2019 mentioned above.

The Enterprise Fellowship programme is a priority for the RSE, as the RSE’s flagship programme delivering on its mission “to make knowledge useful”, whilst creating significant value to the UK economy through the development and mentoring of entrepreneurial talent that underpins growth and innovation. The programme delivers benefits to the individual through business training, mentoring and funding to enable new and exciting science and technology businesses to be created with products for societal benefit. To continue and develop this very successful programme the RSE is looking to contract a business training provider that can add value to the programme through innovative and effective delivery and extensive knowledge exchange.


Companies, consultants and organisations that have the experience and resources to deliver a UK-wide, in-depth, 12-month training programme to cohorts of academia-based entrepreneurs, at various career stages, with science and technology-based businesses are invited to tender for this contract.

Contract Dates

Please note that this contract will run from 1 May 2021 to 30 April 2024 but any part-time Fellows in post during 2023 and 2024 will continue to be trained to the end of their Fellowships beyond 30 April 2024.

Requirements/Selection Criteria

The following must be included in your proposal and are the criteria against which your proposal will be assessed:-

  • Suitability for this piece of work – the reputation and demonstrable experience of your company/organisation and details of similar work undertaken by your
    company/organisation within the past 3 years that make it suitable for this work. What is your USP?
  • The Team – details of the people who will be involved in delivering the training, their areas of expertise and relevant experience. One-page CVs for each individual should be included with your proposal. Some examples (up to 4) of the mentors to be used along with one paragraph of biographical details on each should be provided also.
  • Training and Mentoring – bearing in mind that the Enterprise Fellows are required to produce a polished, investment-ready business plan and have the skills to engage with potential customers and investors by the end of the award, please provide details of the content that will be delivered, the resources used, why each topic is included, any state of the art innovations being brought to the content, and what provision will be made for high quality mentoring. What is the USP for the training and mentoring package?
  • Methodology – details on how the training will be delivered, where, and the timeline for delivery over the 12-month period. Please allow for some part-time (50% time) Fellows who will attend training over a 24-month period. Please also allow for Fellows who have to take a period of leave e.g. maternity/paternity leave; please also provide details of any innovative delivery.
  • Risk – information on how risk will be managed and mitigated against for this project.
  • Costs – costs involved in delivering the training allowing for two intakes of Fellows per year, one in April and one in October, over a three-year period with cohorts ranging in size from 2 to 16 Fellows. Please also allow for part-time Fellows who will undertake the training over a 2-year period at 50% time and for Fellows who may take a break, for example due to sick leave or parental leave. Download ‘Appenix 1. business training pricing schedule’ to aid the clear communication of the costs involved.

Scoring system

Each of the six criteria above will be scored according to the following system:-

      1. 1 – not suitable or appropriate and does not meet the contract requirements
      1. 2 – suitable or appropriate to some degree, meeting some of the contract requirements
      1. 3 – suitable or appropriate in most areas, meeting most of the contract requirements
      1. 4 – very suitable or appropriate and meets the contract requirements in full

All six criteria will have equal weighting making a total possible score of 24.

Submission of Proposals

Proposals must be submitted by e-mail to Anne Fraser ([email protected]), Enterprise Manager, at the Royal Society of Edinburgh by 5pm on Friday 15 January 2021. The timeline for selection is as follows:-

15 January 2021 (5pm) – deadline for proposals

18-22 January 2021 – Consideration of proposals by selection panel

25 January 2021 – selection panel meets to agree shortlist for interview, if interviews are deemed necessary

26 January 2021 – invitations to interview sent out

3 February 2021 – interviews held online and business training provider chosen

4 February 2021 – feedback provided to all who attended for interview

18 February 2021 – contract provided to successful applicant

1 May 2021 – training begins with new cohort of Enterprise Fellows.

Selection Panel

The Selection Panel will be made up of representatives from the funding organisations and RSE staff and Fellows.


Any enquiries about this invitation to tender should be sent by e-mail to Anne Fraser, Enterprise Manager, at the RSE [email protected]


Download ‘Appendix 1. business training pricing schedule’