Encouraging and supporting campus-based innovators to turn their ideas into reality


To encourage, inspire and empower campus based innovators to turn their ideas into reality by providing access to value-adding services and a supportive community of practice


By maximising opportunities for success through mentoring and coaching, we seek to position innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of the University’s culture and infrastructure



The Innovation Optimiser provides a vibrant and supportive environment for individuals or teams with an idea, innovation or venture in which they are empowered to develop and build their business.

Actively encourages on-campus innovation, nurtures venture creation and supports self-directed development for Manchester innovators to achieve their goals.



Innovation Optimiser Showcase 2018 Highlights



Key Metrics since launching in December 2015


  • 165

    Entrepreneurs engaged

  • 77

    Active entrepreneurs

  • 14

    Start-ups created

  • £172,600

    worth of support and awards provided

  • 23

    Ignition Awards made

  • 44

    Events Hosted

  • 1000+

    engaged in outreach activity across campus

  • 750

    attendees at events

  • 20

    Partnerships created



Enterprise & Academia

The challenges of doing two things at once; maintaining a busy career or studying and commercialising a new technology or service may seem formidable to many. However, embarking on entrepreneurial activities together with your existing activities can go hand-in-hand, especially here at Manchester where we recognise the benefits of both.

Academic, staff and research student innovators can have a profound impact on society and many of our successful innovators show us that it is possible to be a part of the campus community while commercialising scientific, social, or technological findings. There is a defined path for those with creativity, courage, and capability: through the Innovation Optimiser.



The Team

Tony Walker

Director of Innovation Optimiser
E: tony.walker@umip.com

Laura Etchells

Enterprise and Business Development Manager
E: laura.etchells@umip.com

Ellie Buckley

Enterprise and Business Development Executive
E: ellie.buckley@umip.com