Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exceptional entrepreneurial skills win omega-3 team best young entrepreneur title

09.12.2008
A team of bioscientists from the University of Reading were last night rewarded for their exceptional entrepreneurial skills as they were crowned winners of a national competition run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI).

The team scooped top prize in the annual Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) by impressing a panel of judges with their proposal for a hypothetical company called Ovega and its revolutionary new product which aims to produce vegetarian Omega-3 oil from food industry waste.

The team are Dr Nadia Abed, Federico Dorati, Joao Lopes, Dr Abby Thompson and Cristina Fante and were mentored by Dr Samantha Decombel from the University of Reading Technology Transfer Office.

The Reading team is one of 14 teams that made it through to the final from a total of 73 teams of bioscientists that took part in regional heats. Their fictional product, also named Ovega, was pitched against some excellent business ideas, such as a gel that indicates the presence of skin cancer cells; a food additive that fools you into feeling full and lowers cholesterol; a hair removal cream that prevents hair re-growth for three months; and a kit for allergy sufferers to detect traces of peanuts in their food. The winners walked away with the Biotechnology YES 2008 title, £1000 prize money, sponsored places at the Bioindustry Association dinner and the opportunity to give their presentation at a premier regional US Business Plan Competition.

Minister of State for Science and Innovation, Lord Drayson, said: "I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Ovega. This scheme is producing a generation of commercially-aware scientists who will be crucial to the UK economy by generating new businesses, jobs and wealth for the UK. In addition to scientific talent, the development of entrepreneurial skills and ability to understand the commercialisation of research are key tools for young researchers today --- whether they stay in academia or move into business."

Dr Peter Ringrose, Chair of BBSRC and head of the final judging panel said: "The standard of competition this year was particularly high and in addition to the excellent entrepreneurial skills demonstrated we also heard about some incredibly innovative product ideas. We would like to congratulate the winning team and also commend all the finalists for their achievements throughout the competition.

"We are delighted that these talented scientists are preparing themselves early in their careers to translate their research into benefits for the UK economy and society - an activity for which their grasp of the principles of finance, marketing and intellectual property will be absolutely vital. The UK's bioscience sector is truly world class and we must continue to encourage our early-career scientists to turn excellent science into significant impacts."

Abby Thompson, Operations Director of Ovega, said: "We have learnt so much through this experience and are very grateful for the opportunity to develop the skills we would need to bring a real product to market one day. To win the competition is a huge bonus on top of an amazing journey; we have definitely benefited individually but we have also grown as a team and are looking forward very much to working together in the future."

Biotechnology YES is an annual competition, now in its 13th year, that aims to help the UK's early career bioscientists gain the skills and contacts needed to turn research into commercial reality. Year on year the competition grows in popularity and the 2008 competition was 10% bigger than 2007, with around 330 entrants. Through regional heats across the UK, young scientists competed for places in the final, mentored by a team of advisors including financiers, intellectual property experts and spin-out company heads.

This year saw ONE North East, the development agency for the North East of England, coming on board with Biotechnology YES for the first time as sponsor and host of the North East regional heat. This has paved the way for some excellent talent to come through from the North East region, with two Newcastle University teams scooping prizes at the final. Fybre were awarded the prize for best consideration of IP strategy, sponsored by Potter Clarkson and Allez won the Pfizer prize for innovation.

Press Office | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Tracking down the origins of gold
08.11.2017 | Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien gGmbH

nachricht Lasagni awarded with Materials Science and Technology Prize 2017
09.10.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>