Over the past few months UMIC has been holding a Low Carbon and Environment Competition (LCEC). This competition was set up to draw out innovative, commercially viable Low Carbon projects from academics within The University of Manchester. The competition consisted of 3 heats, alongside a series of workshops designed to help applicants shape their idea and improve their chances of winning a coveted prize
On the 27th June, UMIC hosted the LCEC Grand Prix Final at their bespoke conferencing facilities in the Core Technology Facility. Five applicants were short-listed and asked to pitch their idea to the judging panel under closed conditions. The judging panel consisted of representatives from the companies providing the prizes for the LCEC competition including; Tony Walker (UMIC), Frank Allison (UMIP), Ean Davies (Appleyard Lees), Peter Gaunt (Winning Pitch) and David Innes-Edwards (Frontier PR)
In addition to the five short-listed finalists we also awarded a number of Merit Awards to the ideas that were particularly well presented but still required support and assistance to fully realise the potential. All applicants were invited to attend the Grand Prix event and given the opportunity to network with a variety of Low Carbon and Industry experts, including representatives from the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).
Finalist Barry Gleave from the Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences was awarded £5k worth of commercialisation support from UMIP, alongside full assistance with preparing and filing a UK patent application from Appleyard Lees. Barry’s idea looked at an Energy Efficient LED Growth Chamber for Plant Sciences.
Joanne Tippett from the School of Environment & Development was also awarded £5k worth of commercialisation support from UMIP, alongside a support package from UMIC. This includes high quality accommodation in the Low Carbon Incubation Centre, business mentoring from UMIC executives and associates including legal, IP and access to funding sources. She will also obtain access to a range of Master classes and Workshops to help develop her idea. Joanne’s “RoundView” concept encompassed a decision making tool for developing sustainability.
Professor Mohammed Missous from the School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Dr Steve Hall (together with co-applicant Prof. Robin Smith from the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences) both won entry onto a Winning Business Academy® course. This course will look at sales and business development strategies relating to each idea, including tools and techniques for planning growth. Mohammed was awarded his prize for developing an innovative Domestic Smart Electricity meter using Advanced Semiconductor Technology. Steve and Robin received their prize for their idea covering the Accelerated Optimisation of Complex Crude Oil Systems for Energy Reduction.
Finally, Dr Antonio Filippone from the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering was awarded bespoke Marketing and Communications support from Frontier PR, designated to develop the Communications Planning of his idea. Antonio’s idea was associated with the Engineering Analysis of Carbon Emissions from Commercial Aviation. Unfortunately, Antonio was unable to attend the Grand Prix so his post doctoral associate, Zulfaa Mohamed-Kassim, attended on his behalf
Tony Walker from UMIC, who awarded the prizes on the day, was extremely pleased with the result of the competition, stating:
“We were very happy with the outcome overall and that the quality of the entries was so high and demonstrable of the range and diversity of the subject matters covered.”
UMIC will be following up with every applicant regardless of winning a prize, to ensure these excellent ideas progress accordingly. Similarly, the competition will be run again next year, with a view to expanding it out to North West SMEs and The University of Manchester students.