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    • 10588838

      NEWS & EVENTS

    • 10588838

      empowering innovators®

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    Last chance to win up to £2,000 cash to explore your idea for a new business

    “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 idea for a new business? Are you a staff member at The University of Manchester? Apply today for an Ignition Award of up to £2,000 to test its viability.

    The team at Innovation Optimiser made a pledge back in January to provide an Ignition Award of up to £2,000 each month* until the end of July 2019 to an innovative idea. Sticking to that promise, £12,000 has been awarded to 6 new projects over the last 6 months. This funding has enabled awardees from across all faculties at the university to explore their idea through market validation and create product prototypes to test within industry.


    The 14th “Chunhui Cup” Oversea Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition

    The “Chunhui Cup” – the national Chinese Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition – is the most prestigious and influential entrepreneurial competition in China, jointly organised by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

    The winners of the “Chunhui Cup” have the opportunity to get very close connections with international partners, often resulting in the development of a new level of international collaborations in business, technology and research.


    Ignite your idea this May with up to £2,000

    We are on the lookout for new, budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. We’re proud to have supported so many people already this year across all faculties at The University of Manchester with their fantastic ideas; from meetings to discuss the commercial potential of an idea, through to hosting exclusive commercialisation programmes for early career researchers to help develop innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset. We’ve plugged tens of thousands of pounds into innovators to enable them to conduct customer discovery, but we don’t want to stop there!

    We at the Innovation Optimiser made a pledge back in January to provide a £2,000 Ignition Award* to an innovative idea each month until the end of July 2019. We have stuck to our promise so far awarding £6,000 in total to three new projects. This funding has enabled the campus-based innovators to attend both national and international events, meet with potential customers to gather invaluable feedback and create product prototypes to test in industry. Brilliant, right?

    Let us ignite your idea this May with our monthly Ignition Award.

    Do you have an idea that you believe would make a great business opportunity? Do you have the solution to a problem and desperate to share it with the world? Are you an ambitious member of staff at The University of Manchester and ready to test your idea in a risk-free environment? Then apply today for an Ignition Award of up to £2,000.

    To obtain an application form, please email IgnitionAwards@umip.com – the closing date for this month’s award is Sunday 26th May 2019.

    Questions? We have a range of FAQs published on our blog which you may find useful before submitting an application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us using the email above.

    For inspiration, please take a look at some CASE STUDIES to learn about other campus-based innovators who have received support through the Innovation Optimiser.

    *Subject to availability.


    Second series of the ‘Researcher to Innovator’ programme launching May 2019

    SECURE YOUR PLACE TODAY

    Due to popular demand, the UMIP Innovation Optimiser are pleased to announce the launch of a second series of the Researcher to Innovator (R2I) programme this May. R2I is a brand-new fully-funded programme that was introduced to The University of Manchester earlier this year. It familiarises Early Career Researchers* (ECRs) with the concept of commercialisation and encourages creativity, innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset. Throughout the 4-part programme, ECRs can explore and refine their ideas and conduct good-quality customer discovery activities.

    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 programme will encompass an initial ‘boot-camp’ style event, lasting just short of 12 hours comprising a series of interactive professional development sessions, which will enable you to identify skills and opportunities to develop impact through commercialisation.

    This event will take place on Tuesday 14th May 2019 and is limited to 30 ambitious ECRs at The University of Manchester.

    The inaugural R2I programme launched in February and was a huge success. Abouzied Nasar, an ECR from the school of MACE commented: “I attended the R2I boot-camp back in February after my line manager Prof. Benedict Rogers recommended it to me. I saw it as an opportunity to find out what support is available to develop my idea for a start-up business. I knew the programme was focussed around commercialisation, but I wasn’t expecting to gain the skills and support that I have from just three workshops. The other ECRs and I soon became a pretty close-knit group, sharing ideas and supporting one another with our experiences and thinking. With the help of the R2I team I managed to identify key groups within business that I needed to speak with to evaluate the merit of my idea. I’ve recently been awarded just over £3,000 in funding through the Innovation Optimiser to enable me to go out and test the feasibility of my idea in the global market; I’m very excited for what the future holds. In summary: If you are an ECR with even an inch of an idea I strongly recommend the R2I programme. It is an incredible opportunity not to be missed!”

    If you would like to benefit from this bespoke programme of support, please register using EVENTBRITE by the 9th May 2019. Places are available on a FCFS basis.

    Please note: this event is exclusive to ECRs 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.


    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.


    ‘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