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6 July 2012 | PR 12/129

Loughborough team wins national young entrepreneurs competition

Photo

Innovink members receiving their prize from Sir Nigel Rudd (centre) and Matt Price, Rolls Royce (left)

A team from Loughborough University’s Department of Materials has won the 2012 nationwide Engineering Young Entrepreneur Scheme (YES) overall winners prize.

The team of five, Innovink, comprising three research students and two postdoctoral researchers from the Advanced Ceramics Research Group saw off 19 teams from 13 UK universities to claim the top prize.

The annual competition, which brings together young researchers from across the country in an intensive three day residential workshop, provides an invaluable opportunity to hone the skills and knowledge needed to launch an innovative engineering start-up company. As well as developing enterprise and commercial awareness, participants gain experience of working under pressure whilst trying to impress leading industry experts.  

The event culminates in a Dragon’s Den style pitch which sees competitors put their new entrepreneurial expertise to the test.

Innovink members – Saranya Venugopal, Yifei Zhang, Siyuan Qi, Dr Sina Saremi and Dr Min Nah Tong – greatly impressed the panel of judges with their presentation and business acumen.

Their venture focussed on developing and commercialising a novel nano-zirconia electrolyte ink for manufacturing affordable solid oxide fuel cells, a real proposition being researched within the group.

Professor Steve Rothberg, the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise, is thrilled with the team’s success: “We are immensely proud of Innovink’s achievement and delighted that the enterprise support we provide is genuinely helping our students to develop the skills needed to take their ideas forward into the business world.”

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Paula Hamill
Marketing Officer (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228684
E: P.Hamill@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

About Engineering YES
The Engineering Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) is a competition for UK-based postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The intensive three day event gives participants the chance to work with leading industry figures who expand on all aspects of developing a business plan for an engineering start-up, and culminates with formal presentations to a panel of judges comprising business and venture capital representatives. The competition is part-funded by sponsorship and EPSRC enterprise and entrepreneurship Roberts funding.

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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