A team from The University of Manchester has secured a place in the final of a national competition to find the entrepreneurial scientists of the future.
Cleanzyme beat off stiff competition from other university teams from across the country in the Biosciences NorthWest heat of the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotechnology YES) 2014 competition. They will fly the flag for Manchester in December in London at the UK finals where the winning team will collect £2,500, an invitation to attend the BIA Gala Dinner and the opportunity to attend the 2015 Rice Business Plan Competition in Houston, Texas.
From left to right: Michael Winn, Heidi Fisk, Jonathan Latham, Eileen Brandenburger, Graham Heaven
Cleanzyme has developed a revolutionary biocatalytic cleaning technology designed to reduce the downtime of industry-scale chemical reactors by expediting the cleaning process. The CLEANZYME core carries an array of immobilised enzymes which are capable of degrading the most common contaminants found in such reactors, converting them into highly soluble compounds which can be washed away. CLEANZYME have demonstrated that this technology could reduce the time lost by the chemical industry to cleaning by up to 50%, potentially saving the chemical industry millions per year.
Cleanzyme CEO, Eileen Brandenburger, comments: “So far BiotechYES has been an amazing experience. It has opened our eyes to career options for PhD students outside academia and exposed us to all aspects of business. It’s an unrivalled platform for professional and personal development, as well as a fantastic networking opportunity. Throughout the competition we have grown into our business roles and are really looking forward to the final in December.”
Cleanzyme will be joined by University of Liverpool team, Haemotech, developers of a novel ‘plaque-busting’ drug specifically to target the narrowing or blocked arteries caused by cardiovascular disease.
The competition organised jointly by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and The University of Nottingham Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with sponsorship from the Royal Society of Chemistry is open to science researchers and aims to help them commercialise their ideas.
The North West heat was held over three days at Manchester United Football Club. Regional professionals, including representatives from The University of Manchester’s agent for intellectual property commercialisation (UMIP) and their network of advisors and professional associates offered mentoring sessions to the researchers during the competition. Teams also attended seminars giving advice and tips on how to develop their ideas into commercially-viable opportunities.
Each team was required to present an idea that is based on a hypothetical biotech idea. On the final day of the event they presented their concept to a judging panel of biotechnology, intellectual property and business experts.
Dr Rich Ferrie, Director of Operations UMIP, commented: “This competition is a key part of the annual schedule of events at Manchester. It gives young scientists an opportunity to learn about business creation from a range of seasoned professionals, all of whom give their valuable time for free. This year’s competition was the strongest field we have seen with 28 teams registered. It was a great pleasure to Chair one of the panels of judges and see for myself how much the teams had progressed in such a short period. We now wish the winning teams the best of luck for the UK Finals where they have every chance of overall success.”
C4X Discovery (C4XD), a drug development company with a leading technology for rational drug discovery and design has successfully floated on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange with approximately £31M placed. C4XD is backed by life science investor, Aquarius Equity Partners. Zeus Capital acted as nominated adviser and broker.
C4XD’s technology is understood to be the only one in the world that can generate accurate, experimentally-derived dynamic solution 3D structures of drug molecules in just a matter of days. The Company is applying its unique technology to improve the efficiency of the drug discovery process, both in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry and across its own pipeline of high-value therapeutic targets.
Clive Rowland, CEO of UMI3 Ltd, the University’s innovation company, comments: ”We are delighted to see that the plan for the floatation has been successfully realised. It is very encouraging for us to see a project which was discussed over a coffee table some seven years ago and which the University supported though its Proof-of-Principle Programme and which was subsequently housed in our Innovation Centre for a few years, get to the stage of significant funding like this to take the Company further forward. We believe that C4XD has amazing science which will have an enormous positive and practical impact on healthcare in the near future. It’s a great example of what makes our work so rewarding from both the business and society benefit perspectives.
”We are particularly grateful to Duncan Peyton at Aquarius for seeing the potential in C4XD’s technology and for supporting the work after the proof-of-principle phase and his personal commitment to the Company’s business development.”
Funds raised will principally be used to progress two of C4XD’s programmes through to clinical trials, towards generating Proof-of-Concept in man as well as continuing to apply its technology to other high-value areas with high unmet medical need.
For further information on C4XD, please see www.c4xdiscovery.com/
For further info on UMI3, please see www.umi3.com
On Tuesday 7th October, The University of Manchester and UMIP welcomed a delegation from Thailand to its Innovation Centre to hear about the University’s social enterprise and social responsibility agenda through a series of presentations and case studies.
The delegation was led by Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand (KNIT) and composed university council chairmen, university presidents, vice-presidents and deans as well as representatives from the government.
Dr Gill Green, University of Manchester Social Enterprise Ambassador, welcomed the delegation and introduced them to her social enterprise, STORM, which provides skills-based self-harm mitigation and suicide postvention training packages.
Further presentations detailed the University’s social enterprise and social responsibility agenda with two University social enterprises presenting their businesses. UnLtd, the University’s partner in Higher Education / Social Enterprise development explained how they support social entrepreneurs as did business development support experts, NovoModo.
“This was a great opportunity to show the Thai delegates how the University is increasingly supporting social entrepreneurship at scale and how having access to UnLtd and the local support community means ventures can scale and grow off campus and add value to Manchester and beyond,” said Tony Walker of UMIP.
UnLtd hosted an afternoon workshop on the developing support ecosystems in Greater Manchester for social enterprises with a panel formed from New Economy, GMCVO, Trafford Housing, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Big Society Capital, and the Manchester Metropolitan University.
Nickala Torkington of UnLtd said: “UnLtd believe HEIs are natural centres of social entrepreneurship and innovation, bringing substantial benefits to our society and economy as well as their localities. Through the UnLtd/HEFCE SEE Change programme, they are able to carry out more direct work with beneficiaries. We hope the delegates found inspiration from this event and we can progress mutual learning internationally as Thai universities develop ecosystems of support for social entrepreneurs.”
Meet the latest guest entrepreneur speaker at Manchester Enterprise Centre’s Ideas Factory
Ideas Factory is Manchester Enterprise Centre’s regular series of guest entrepreneur events for all undergraduate, postgraduate and research students across the University.
This time, you can meet Max Lines, General Manager of Uber Manchester, a smart-phone app which is aiming to revolutionise transportation globally. Already in over 200 cities, in 45 countries on 6 continents, Uber’s mission is to be in every major city in the world.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Places are limited, so please register in advance to secure admission.
Date and Time: Wednesday 22 October 2014, 12.00noon – 1.00pm
Venue: Alumni Club Room (within the Cafe Bar), Ground Floor, MBS West
Think you’ve got a great business idea? Enter Venture Out for a chance to win cash prizes and make it happen…
The Venture Out 2014 ideas competition, supported by PZ Cussons, is for all current undergraduate, postgraduate and research students across The University of Manchester. We’re looking for your brilliant ideas – it could be something that solves a problem that you have identified, a modification to an existing product or service, or something that’s completely new. Join us at the launch event to find out more from competition director Martin Henery. Places are limited so please register in advance to secure admission.
Date and Time: Wednesday 8 October 2014, 12.00noon – 1.00pm
Venue: Room 10.02, Harold Hankins Building