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    • 10588838

      NEWS & EVENTS

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      empowering innovators®

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    Author Archive

    Our February Ignition Awardee is…

    Dr Daniel White, Senior Scientific Officer from Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute

    Congratulations to Dr Daniel White, winner of a £2,000 Ignition Award through the UMIP Innovation Optimiser; an initiative that empowers innovators across the University campus. Daniel’s idea aims to ultimately make the lives of researchers easier by providing commercially managed on-site ultra-low temperature sample storage.

    Daniel commented: “I have first-hand experience as a scientific researcher of the hassle of storing biomedical samples on-site. I believe my idea has the potential to free up valuable time and financial resources of University staff, allowing them to focus on what’s important – research and teaching.

    “The support available through the Innovation Optimiser, including both the Ignition Award and the Roadmap programme, will be a great help in driving my enterprise forward. Using my knowledge and enthusiasm I am determined to make a success of it.”

    Daniel will be spending the next few months developing new relationships with stakeholders as well as gathering market research data from potential future users.

    If you’re a researcher who stores samples at -80 degrees and below, please take just 5 minutes to help Daniel drive his venture forward by completing this short survey via Survey Monkey.

    The Innovation Optimiser Ignition Award of up to £2,000 is available every month* until the end of July 2019 for staff and early career researchers at The University of Manchester with innovative ideas.

    Do you have a solution to a commercial, societal, or environmental problem? Then you could be our March Ignition Award winner. Apply now to get your idea off the ground by emailing ignitionawards@umip.com

    To find out more about the monthly Ignition Awards and about the support available through the Innovation Optimiser, please register today for this free event, ‘Ignite Your Idea’ taking place on Wednesday 27th March over at The Milk & Honey Café, 1pm-2.30pm.

    *Subject to availability


    March Ignition Award: Open for applications!

    Do you have an innovative idea and would like some support to develop your own business? Are you a member of staff at The University of Manchester? Apply today for a grant of up to £2,000 to test its viability.

    The Innovation Optimiser have pledged to inject up to £2,000 each month* to the end of the current academic year into new ideas that we believe to be innovative.

    This Ignition Award allocation supports our vision to inspire and further build on the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship across The University of Manchester. Available every month until the end of July 2019, staff and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) at The University have the opportunity to apply for an Ignition Award of up to £2,000. This funding may be used to test the feasibility of your idea, learn more about what is needed to progress with your idea and even create a prototype product.

    For further information about the monthly Ignition Awards you’re invited to attend our FREE event on Wednesday 27th March, ‘Ignite Your Idea’, over at the Milk & Honey café and hear first hand about the support available through Innovation Optimiser from one of our previous awardees. Book your place today.

    To obtain an application form, please email ignitionawards@umip.com

    The closing date for the March Ignition Award is Monday 25th March 2019.

    For inspiration, take a look at some CASE STUDIES to read about The University of Manchester innovators who received support through the Innovation Optimiser programme.

    *Subject to availability.


    A resounding success for Innovation Optimiser’s new Researcher to Innovator programme

    Researcher to Innovator (R2I) has been heralded a resounding success with over 25 early career researchers from The University of Manchester participating in this new and exclusive programme.

    R2I introduces the concept of commercialisation aiming to develop innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset. This fully funded ‘boot-camp’ style event lasted just short of 12 hours, testing the Early Career Researchers’ (ECRs) abilities to remain focussed, engaged and motivated – three crucial, yet natural skills of successful entrepreneurs.

    The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP) commissioned Dr Simon Brown and Alan Scrase to design and deliver the programme. Simon and Alan are renowned for the creation of ICURe – Innovate UK’s award-winning commercialisation programme, and have worked on a number of high value, innovative projects throughout their careers.

    Tony Walker, Director of Innovation Optimiser, UMIP, said: “We were, and still are extremely excited to work with Simon and Alan in both designing and delivering the R2I series to our ECRs. It’s vital for a university like Manchester with an excellent reputation for research and innovation to encourage and support as many researchers in commercialising Manchester-based discoveries to deliver societal and economic benefit.

    “It was an informative and enjoyable day filled with an abundance of interactive activities; the whole group did a fantastic job in staying focussed and committed throughout the 12 hours. We had some brilliant ideas floating around the room which we’re really interested in supporting through the process.”

    Jessica Grocutt, Enterprise and Business Development Assistant who co-developed and manages the R2I programme commented: “The programme reached capacity in just two weeks and accrued a hefty waiting list, which demonstrates that the demand for such activity is certainly there. We are already looking to fund another R2I programme in the near future, and it excites us to be able to offer the support to our campus-based innovators and enhance their entrepreneurial skills.”

    All attendees have been invited to participate in the next stage of the R2I programme where they will further refine their ideas and test the viability of their business plan.

    To hear more about the support available through the Innovation Optimiser, register now for your free place at our ‘Ignite Your Idea’ event on Wednesday 27th March from 13.00 – 14.30 at the Milk & Honey Café, St Peter’s House, Oxford Road, Manchester.


    ‘Ignite Your Idea’ at this free event

    Do you have an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, or believe you’ve discovered a solution to a problem?

    Wednesday 27th March // 13:00 – 14:30 // Milk & Honey Café // Free Ticket

    Do you have an idea for a business that you just can’t stop thinking about? Would you like to feed your curiosity about entrepreneurship and start-ups? Are you an Early Career Researcher (ECR) or a staff member at The University of Manchester and feel motivated to create something amazing?

    Join the Innovation Optimiser team for an informative afternoon over at the Milk & Honey Café (with free coffee and cake, of course!) and discover the opportunities and support available to you through the Innovation Optimiser as an ECR or staff member at The University of Manchester, including the chance to access an Ignition Award of up to £2,000.

    Nikhil Kurian Jacob, an ECR at The University of Manchester will be talking you though his entrepreneurial journey with Innovation Optimiser and how the support available has enabled him to accelerate his business idea, Stressless; a VR App designed to combat stress. He’ll also be giving a live demo of his innovative invention.

    UMIP officers will also be on-hand to answer any questions you may have relating to your Intellectual Property Rights. You may be unfamiliar with the term Intellectual Property and want to know more; there will be an abundance of knowledge in the room and resources for you to take away.

    Register now via Eventbrite. Places are available on a FCFS basis.


    Our January Ignition Awardee is…

    Marco Rodriguez Frias, an Early Career Researcher (ECR) from The School of Electrical Electronic Engineering (EEE).

    Congratulations to Marco Rodriguez Frias, winner of a £2,000 Ignition Award through the UMIP Innovation Optimiser; an initiative that empowers innovators across the University campus. Marco, whose idea aims to support the UK Environmental Agency’s mission to prevent contaminating sewers with large quantities of oily water, will use the award to test the feasibility of his proposal.

    Marco commented, “I have an idea for a product derived from my research that can be implemented within industries to vastly lower the risk of oil being released into our sewers, and ultimately back into our ocean. I heard about the Ignition Award during a UMIP event on campus and thought it was a brilliant, risk-free opportunity.

    “I will use the funding to make samples of a product which I’ll apply to oil separators across industries. I will be monitoring the results over a period of time to ensure the product is ready; I’m excited to get my idea out of the lab and into industry.”

    The Innovation Optimiser Ignition Award of up to £2000 is available every month* until the end of July 2019 for staff and ECRs at The University of Manchester with innovative ideas.

    Do you have a solution to a commercial, societal, or environmental problem? Then you could be our February Ignition Awardee – apply now and get your idea off the ground. Closing date 25th Feb.

    For an informal chat about the Ignition funding opportunity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at ignitionawards@umip.com or for more information, please visit our website: www.innovationoptimiser.com

    *Subject to availability


    “We pledge to inject up to £2,000 each month into a new idea that we believe to be innovative.” – Innovation Optimiser, UMIP.

    Do you have an innovative business idea? Are you a staff member at The University of Manchester? Apply today for a grant of up to £2,000 to test its viability.

    The Innovation Optimiser pledges to inject up to £2,000 each month*, to the end of the current academic year into new ideas that we believe to be innovative.

    This Ignition Award allocation supports our vision to inspire and further build on the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship across The University of Manchester. Available every month until the end of July 2019, staff and early career researchers at The University will have the opportunity to apply for an Ignition Award of up to £2,000. This funding may be used to test the idea, find out if the idea is viable, learn more about what is needed to progress the idea and even create a prototype product.

    For more information about the Ignition Awards and to obtain an application form, please email ignitionawards@umip.com

    The closing date for the February Ignition Award is Monday 25th February 2019.

    For inspiration, take a look at some CASE STUDIES to read about University of Manchester innovators who received support through the Innovation Optimiser programme.

    *Subject to availability.


    A new fully-funded training programme available for 30 UoM Early Career Researchers

    An exciting opportunity for 30 University of Manchester Early Career Researchers* (ECRs) will take place on Wednesday 20th February 2019 here at the Core Technology Facility on Grafton Street.

    The UMIP Innovation Optimiser Researcher to Innovator (R2I) event is the first in a series of bespoke one-day training programmes for ECRs.

    This event will enable the participants to explore their own capacity to innovate and be entrepreneurial. It will allow them to explore opportunities in commercialisation and equip them with strategies to move forward with ideas, as well as discover new pathways to funding.


    As a researcher at an early stage in your career, it can be both daunting and exciting to discover that, increasingly, universities are encouraging you to maximise the potential impact of your research. This fully-funded, one-day ‘boot-camp’ style event comprises a series of interactive professional development sessions, which will enable you to identify skills and opportunities to develop impact through commercialisation.

    This is likely to be of particular interest to those working within the Faculty of Science & Engineering.

    If you would like to benefit from this bespoke programme of support, please register using EVENTBRITE by the 31st January 2019. Places are available on a FCFS basis.

    Please note: this event is exclusive to Early Career Researchers at The University of Manchester. 

    *UK Research Council definition of ECR: an individual who is within eight years of the award of their PhD or equivalent professional training, or an individual who is within six years of their first academic appointment. These durations exclude any period of career break, e.g. for family care or health reasons. The ‘first academic appointment’ is defined as the first paid contract of employment, either full-time or part-time, which lists research and/or teaching as the primary functions. The award of PhD is defined at the point of successful PhD viva.