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3 October 2006 PR 06/112

Students’ innovative business thinking is rewarded by KPMG

Six Loughborough University students have been awarded prizes by KPMG for their work in helping real-life businesses to maximise the potential of their ideas.

The students, who are all studying on the University’s MBA programme, used a cutting-edge technique – the ‘HiTech’ programme – developed in the US to evaluate the potential of companies’ technologies or ideas and suggest ways to aid their commercialisation.

At the prize giving, the award for the best oral presentation went to Gerry Barker, Jonathan Hart and Mohamed Galai Hassan Sayed.

The prize for the best portfolio was presented to Claire Draper, Jonathan Armishaw and Rick Seehra.

The ‘HiTech’ programme was brought to this country, and adapted for the MBA programme, by Loughborough University staff, working in association with colleagues at North Carolina State University. At its heart is a framework, or algorithm, that explores the interaction between technology, products and markets. This method of assessing business potential has been responsible for the creation of more than 250 jobs in existing companies and spin-out ventures in the US, which have attracted over $120m in venture capital.

Working in groups, each on a specific technology, the students put together a portfolio that evaluated the potential of a given technology and demonstrated the most appropriate way to commercialise that technology.

Feedback from businesses that participated in the scheme was very positive, and some said they would put forward other business ideas for evaluation next year, when the module is run again.

The prizes were presented on 23 September at the MBA Induction Day at Loughborough University.

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Notes to editors

  1. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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