UMIP Fellows Programme enters its 3rd Year

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We are now recruiting …

Our Fellows programme is modelled on the similar, highly successful Columbia Fellows Programme run at Columbia University in New York and offers a unique opportunity for full-time postgraduate students registered at the University to gain in-depth experience in technology commercialisation activities. The programme is intended to enhance our understanding of the commercial potential of University technologies, while providing Fellows with a valuable educational experience.

Successful Fellows receive structured training from UMIP staff in order to complete assignments, and the opportunity to participate in enterprise training from the Manchester Enterprise Centre. We expect that Fellows will be starting their 2nd year of PhD study in a STEM related discipline, and will be able to commit to the programme for at least one year.

Heather Thompson, Director of IP Development and Partnering at UMIP, commented: “It is great to get so much interest in the Fellows Programme and enthusiasm from students here. The benefits to both students and UMIP have clearly been demonstrated over the past two years. For UMIP, the Fellows provided valuable start-points for our detailed analysis of the commercial potential of new invention disclosures collected in the year, and for our promotion of technology externally. I would like to thank the Manchester Enterprise Centre for their close involvement and support of the UMIP Fellows Programme.

Tom Catherall, a student from EPS, commented: “The UMIP fellows experience has been of great benefit to me. I have discovered skills, such as market research and finding company contacts, while honing those that I already had. It is a great way to develop a professional mind-set and to see the bigger picture of technology and its place in the commercial environment. For anyone looking to gain experience at the interface between research and business, I would highly recommend becoming a UMIP Fellow.”

Julio Manuel Rios de la Rosa, a student from MHS, commented: “The programme was crucial in allowing me to have the support to explore the world of university intellectual property, working on a myriad of research topics even outside the scope of my own PhD project. The whole experience has made a huge impact both in my ability to analyse the commercialisation of research and the choice of key problems and how to solve them.”

Lynn Sheppard, Director of Manchester Enterprise Centre, commented: ”It is very exciting to see the UMIP Fellows Programme entering a third year and enabling students interested in enterprise to get hand-on experience of real technology commercialisation cases.”

If you would like to apply to be a UMIP Fellow, you can find out more here. Deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 11th September 2015.

For additional information about our Fellow Programme, please contact: Mary Williams on 0161 606 7233 or

UMIP Appoints Three New Patent Agents

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UMIP has appointed three firms to act as patent agents.

Specialist firms HGF Ltd, Mewburn Ellis and Appleyard Lees made the final cut, following a rigorous and highly competitive tender process, which saw immensely high quality responses from a large pool of applicants.

Commenting on the selection, Clare Arkwright, Head of IP services at UMIP, said:

“We’re confident each of these prestigious patent firms will add value to UMIP’s business through high quality drafting and prosecution of patents and the provision of appropriate strategic advice. We are very much looking forward to a productive partnership with each of the firms.”

Applicants had to demonstrate a proven record of university IP commercialisation, as well as the ability to draft high-quality patent specifications and trademark applications.

It was also vital that the agents were able to attend in-person meetings with inventors and university personnel at short notice multiple times each year.

EPSRC Healthcare Technologies NetworkPlus

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You may already be aware of EPSRC’s recently announced call for Healthcare Technologies NetworkPlus proposals. The aim is to build UK-wide networks to address the recently announced Healthcare Technologies Grand Challenges.  EPSRC expects to fund 8 networks, each of which must have representation from several disciplines and institutions. The funding available is around £600k per network, split between community-building activities and feasibility projects (the Plus component). The closing date for proposals is 6th October 2015, with a compulsory expression of interest deadline of 8th September.

These networks are likely to be important in shaping the future EPSRC funding landscape in Healthcare Technologies, so it is important for the University to be involved. Please think about the possibility of leading a network and/or contributing to one led by another university. There is no limit on the number of applications that can be submitted, but the University will be coordinating responses to this call with a view to: providing help and advice, avoiding overlap, avoiding underlap (failing to draw fully on relevant strengths), and preparing institutional letters of support.

If you are interested in leading a proposal, or participating in one led by another University, please complete the online internal expression of interest form by 27th July 2015. If you have any queries, please contact

NB. The call document makes it clear that EPSRC will not fund NetworkPlus proposals that overlap significantly with existing EPSRC-NIHR HTC Partnership Networks. These are not easy to find so we have provided brief details here.

Award-winning University of Manchester software project teams up with Cloud Enterprise Software Limited

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TRAM (Textual Analysis into Analysis Models) is award-winning novel software which automates a key stage in the process of developing business software systems. It converts user requirements, written in plain English, to analysis models that can be used directly as the basis for software development.

The software has been developed by PhD students Erol-Valeriu Chioasca and Keletso Joel Letsholo with supervisor Dr. Liping Zhao from The University of Manchester’s Software Systems Research Group with business and IP management by UMIP.

To help turn the research project into a cloud solution, TRAM has enlisted Cloud Enterprise Software Limited based on Manchester Science Park. The company will collaborate with the TRAM team to further validate and develop the software so that it can be implemented as a transferable, stand-alone product.

Wai Lau, director of Cloud Enterprise Software Limited, comments: “Cloud Enterprise is all about enabling great technology to get online and achieve commercial success. It is a privilege to be collaborating with The University of Manchester in bringing its latest technology to market. TRAM is one of the most innovative technologies around. With global reach online it has very exciting times ahead.”

TRAM’s Erol Chioasca comments: “We are very excited about working with UMIP and collaborating with Cloud Enterprise to bring this technology to market. Here at TRAM we strive to create smarter, more collaborative automation software that doesn’t constrain its users but instead allows them the freedom to communicate and complete tasks better, more efficiently.”

Existing tools that convert requirements into analysis models typically work within a deliberately constrained framework using templates and rules. TRAM is different, in that it can deal with entirely unstructured, unrestricted natural language. This means that the statements of requirements can be written by anyone, not necessarily a business systems analyst or IT expert, thus saving both time and money.

In May, TRAM won the Research Category of the University’s Venture Further Competition

Spectromics concludes its first Venture Capital financing round

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Spectromics, the developer of rapid diagnostics to guide effective antibiotic treatment and reduce escalation of antibiotic resistance, concludes its first Venture Capital financing round.

New Wave Ventures, a UK based Venture Capital investor has led the financing round that will provide the necessary funds to optimise and fully characterise this novel technology that promises to control how antibiotic stewardship will be managed at the point-of-prescription.

Ian George, Chief Scientific Officer of New Wave Ventures said “We understand the anti-infective sector, and the opportunity for game changing technologies to gain rapid adoption in the fight against antibiotic resistance. We have made successful investments in anti-infective therapy companies, but we also recognise how diagnostics can provide a targeted therapeutic approach to ensure patients receive effective treatments. What we liked about the Spectromics technology is the fact that the test is fast enough to fit within the existing doctor-prescription-patient process. Also the test is low in complexity and cost, yet phenotypic so that the test keeps pace with pathogen mutation. Those are 3 primary characteristics that can make this technology a winner.”

Co-investor Professor Douglas Kell, Research Chair of Bioanalytical Sciences, The University of Manchester and past Chief Executive of the BBSRC said “As a microbiologist that has worked in the area of rapid diagnostics of complex systems for most of my career, and as a Founding Director of Aber Instruments (a company specialising in real-time biomass detection), I am impressed by the speed of this phenotypic test and from the data seen to date I believe it will be able to change how we select antimicrobials for effective treatment of individual infections.”

Neil Butler, CEO of Spectromics said “I am pleased to have investors that understand the value of a rapid phenotypic diagnostic that better targets antibiotic treatment at the point-of-prescription, remote from microbiology labs, whether in doctors’ surgeries, clinics or global health settings, i.e. in the frontline for antibiotic treatment.

We have a precise development plan of work over the next 6 months, and resources in place to carry it out. At the end of this work plan we will have optimised the test method and carried out a full evaluation of our first test for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). We will then secure further financing for commercial product realisation and clinical studies.

What excites me most about this business is that we have a novel and unique technology that will be able to impact the way we use and preserve antibiotics. Also the timing couldn’t be better because the world is now conscious to the fact we are at threat from untreatable infections unless we use diagnostics to guide the antibiotics we have at hand.”

Contact Spectromics

+44 (0)1580 891106


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