• We are catalysts for innovation, commercialising next-generation technologies developed by

    The University of Manchester’s world-class research base

    • £360m+ invested by venture funders

    • 40+ spin-out companies created

    • 7,500+ licences and IP partnerships concluded

    • 4,000+ invention disclosures received

    • £115m+ IP and R&D revenue generated for the University

  • We are catalysts for innovation, commercialising next-generation technologies developed by The University of Manchester’s world-class research base

    • £300m+ invested by venture funders since 2004

    • 40+ spin-out companies created

    • 4,800+

      licences and IP partnerships concluded

    • 3,700+ invention disclosures received

    • 1,300+ jobs generated across various industry sectors

    • £105m+ IP and R&D revenue generated for the University

The 14th “Chunhui Cup” Oversea Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (Manchester Contest)

The Third Manchester-China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition

(MCIEC 2019)

Competition Introduction

As the Sino-British relation steps into the Golden Era, the inter-exchanges and convergence of interests between UK and China have reached an unprecedented level in many fields, especially in the aspect of education. Overseas students are becoming the most important ambassadors to bridge the UK and China, promoting all-round, multi-level and wide-ranging connection, cooperation and communication between the two countries. In order to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among Chinese overseas students in the Northern England (refer to the list of universities included in the region at the end), the 14th “Chunhui Cup” Chinese Oversea Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (Manchester Contest), which is also the 3rd Manchester – China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition (MCIEC 2019) will continually be held in Manchester, UK, in 2019.

“Chunhui Cup” – the national Chinese Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition is the most prestigious and influential entrepreneurial competition in China, jointly organized 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.

What can you benefit from the competition?

  1. Successful projects selected by expert panels will have the opportunity to join the China Roadshow Program which will take place in Wuhan, Hangzhou, Liyang and Beijing this coming summer and be introduced to local policy makers, incubators, and investors. (Travel and accommodation will be covered)
  2. Selected projects will also have the opportunity to be recommended to multiple industrial parks and investors in both UK and China.
  3. Free trainings and follow-up advisories on business proposal development application process, presentation and roadshows will be provided to support all teams participated in the competition.
  4. Selected projects will be recommended to the “Chunhui Cup” Global Finals in Guangzhou, in December 2019. Round-trip ticket to Guangzhou is provided by the “Chunhui Cup” committee. Opportunities to meet thousands of industrial parks, incubators and investors from all over China.
  5. All teams will get the certificate issued by the MCIEC 2019 committee.

Application requirements

  1. Applicants can be a team or an individual, although teams are preferred and encouraged
  2. The team can consist of Chinese and non-Chinese members but the leading applicant should be Chinese
  3. The leading applicants can be current students, graduates or working professionals, who must have overseas experience
  4. Applicants must have innovation start-up idea or project and completed the application form.
  5. Each participant is limited to lead one project.
  6. Projects from all professional fields and industries are welcome.

Application Process

Fill in the application form (REQUIRED, http://mcieb.org/2019_mciec_application_form) and prepare the business proposal (DESIRED, http://mcieb.org/mciec-2019-template-1), send the materials back to email mailto:cyds@mcieb.org by 22nd June, 2019.

Key Dates

22nd June, 2019 – Application Close

24th June, 2019 – Notice of Shortlist Proposals

5th July, 2019 – The Manchester Contest

For any inquiries, please contact info@mcieb.org, or Ms. Xue Bai via baixuewyfbt@hotmail.com.


Grafine Ltd sets up R&D facility at Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre

Grafine Ltd has established a Research and Development (R&D) facility in the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

The business, founded by renowned experts in graphene and University of Manchester academics Dr Maria Iliut and Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, offers a range of technical development services to manufacturing companies from around the world who wish to profit from the performance benefits that graphene can add to their products.

Grafine Ltd is looking to exploit the potential of rubber and elastomer products, a global market forecasted to be more than £70 billion by 2021.

Elastomers and rubbers are used world over in products such as tyres, shoes, gloves, industrial components, construction materials, coatings and medical devices.

In addition to the development projects that it has commenced in the GEIC, Grafine Ltd is in advanced negotiations with various global manufacturers of elastomer and rubber products, as well as actively seeking investment to expand its team and facilities.

Grafine was founded with the support of Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd and UMI3 Ltd, the University’s tech transfer organisation. UMI3 recently became the latest Tier One partner of the multi-million-pound centre which is based in the Masdar Building on the University’s North Campus. Grafine will undertake its R&D activities in UMI3’s Tier One lab as well as the state-of-the-art shared facilities available within the GEIC.

Dr Maria Iliut & Andrew Wilkinson

Dr. Iliut, the academic co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Grafine, said: “Establishing a R&D facility in GEIC is a landmark moment for Grafine Ltd as we continue on our journey.

“The GEIC is a perfect R&D base for us. It combines latest knowledgebase in graphene and related materials arising from the University, with the scale-up and characterisation facilities to bridge the gap between research and production, which is the space in which Grafine operates.”

Grafine’s R&D base in the GEIC will also enable it to partner and collaborate with the wide range of other GEIC partner companies, who can take advantage of Grafine’s expertise and infrastructure in composite materials development and testing.


Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of UMI3, said: “Grafine Ltd is a very exciting University spin-out company that is now generating sales revenue and actively building its customer base. With this R&D facility, we believe that the business will have a huge impact on the use of 2-dimensional materials in the global rubber and elastomer markets.”

Grafine Ltd. exhibits at Chinaplas 2019

Grafine Ltd., supported by Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd., is exhibiting its research and development capabilities at Chinaplas 2019, the world’s leading plastics and rubber trade fair.

Chinaplas 2019, the 33rd International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, is being held this week, from 21st to 24th of May, at the China Import & Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou, PR China. Grafine is exhibit in stand 9.2D55, as part of the British Pavilion.

Grafine Ltd. has been awarded a Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) Exhibitor Grant by the Department of International Trade in support of this exhibit.

Grafine, a University of Manchester spin-out company, offers a range of technical development services to manufacturing companies from around the world who wish to profit from the performance benefits that graphene can add to their products.

Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, co-founder of Grafine, and University academic, will be on hand, supported by Dr. Shanshan Huo, Senior Project Engineer at Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd.

Dr. Vijayaraghavan leads the Nanofunctional Materials Group, and is responsible for developing the graphene-enhanced rubber used by inov-8 Ltd., in their range of award-winning G-series and G-grip shoes.

Grafine is supported by UMI3 Ltd., the University’s tech transfer organisation, and Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the University.

Dr. Vijayaraghavan said: “Chinaplas is widely recognised by the industry as one of the most influential plastics and rubber exhibitions in the world. It is therefore an excellent opportunity for Grafine and the University of Manchester to expand the scope of applications of graphene-enhanced elastomer materials through seeking and establishing development partnerships with a range of international industries”

“Grafine and the University of Manchester have embarked on an ambitious journey to impact a range of sectors such as automotive, aerospace, sports & leisure, medical and infrastructure through the application of graphene-enhanced elastomer materials”.

Chinaplas 2019 will feature over 3,500 exhibitors from 40 countries, and is expected to attract over 180,000 visitors over 4 days.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of UMI3, said: “Grafine Ltd is at the forefront of 2D-materials enhanced elastomer development. The business is able to deliver new formulations to industry which can significantly enhance the performance of existing products and even create new applications. Grafine is currently partnering or negotiating commercial deals with customers across the globe operating in a wide range of industrial and consumer markets. I am delighted that, Manchester based, Grafine is now generating sales revenue and I am very confident that the team are going to make a major impact in the rubber and elastomer sector.”


UMI3 Ltd reveals partnership with Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre

The University of Manchester’s innovation company, UMI3 Ltd, has become the latest partner of the multi-million-pound Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

UMI3 is the fifth Tier One partner of the GEIC, which opened in December 2018.

The GEIC specialises in the rapid development and scale up of technologies using graphene and other 2D materials.

This new collaboration will see University graphene subsidiary Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd manage a technology development laboratory on behalf of UMI3. The facility will be available for all University graphene spin-out companies to use.

Tier One GEIC partnership benefits include access to world-leading expertise and experience along with specialist equipment to aid projects which will accelerate product and process development and market entry.

Andrew Wilkinson is the CEO of UMI3, the technology transfer company which leads the commercialisation of The University of Manchester’s innovations and IP to create global social and economic impact.

He said: “We’re delighted to announce that UMI3 is the latest Tier One member of GEIC, the world’s leading 2D materials development and scale-up facility.

“Commercialising science is fundamental to economic growth. This technology development laboratory, managed by Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd, will help facilitate the proactive approach of the graphene ecosystem in Manchester.”

The GEIC, housed in The Masdar Building on the University’s north campus, complements the National Graphene Institute’s (NGI) international research focus by concentrating on multi-faceted industry-led applications development. The key areas within the new building include pilot productions, characterisation and material development in composites, energy, solution formulations and coatings, electronics and membranes.

Some of the world’s biggest and most influential companies are working with The University of Manchester on graphene applications.


University of Manchester Innovation Company holds Innovation Showcase

Investors, industry representatives and entrepreneurial academics among the 100 plus people in attendance

“Through collaboration, through partnership – and with investment and strong links to industry – only good things happen”. So says Dr Martino Picardo who facilitated discussion and interaction throughout the successful day long Innovation Showcase held on Wednesday 3rd April at The University of Manchester Innovation Centre, UMIC.

From l to r; Mark Dearden, Paul Bishop, Alex Casson, Curtis Dobson, Martino Picardo

Over 100 people came together – from an invited audience of entrepreneurial academics, investors and industry representatives – to learn more about developments at the University in Vision Sciences, Bioelectronics and MedTech. There were demonstrations of new technologies, tours of MedTech laboratories, presentations by researchers and budding entrepreneurs as well as roundtable discussions and networking with the University’s technology transfer company, UMI3.

Curtis Dobson, Professor of Translational Biology at the University commented: “The University of Manchester carries out an astonishingly broad programme of research, with numerous world renowned teams eager to help companies pursue their R&D goals.

“Events like the Innovation Showcase offer a fantastic opportunity for the University to engage with industry and further its mission to make a positive impact in the world.”

Mary Canning, Associate at Epidarex, a specialist life science venture capital group, who attended the Innovation Showcase commented:

“We like to work closely with top universities and the Innovation Showcase was very helpful in pointing out where The University of Manchester’s strengths lie. We’ve had a good relationship with UMI3 for the last couple of years. They’ve pitched a number of projects to us and there’s a very exciting pipeline.”

She added: “I’d also say that academics shouldn’t feel that they have to have a perfect business plan before they talk to industry or talk to investors, because if the technology is exciting enough, people will want to help and give advice.

“We like to engage directly with academics, even long before they need funding so we can give them some input and then talk again later on.”

Mark Dearden took part in the Plenary Panel. Mark is VP of Strategy & Marketing at LG, a global leader in the life sciences sector, serving customers in healthcare, applied markets (including food, agbio and the environment), research and government.

Mark commented: “Innovation is critical to our agenda as a company. We track the vitality of our portfolio, which is a measure of revenue generated from new technology.

“The diversity of perspectives from such a broad range of attendees in the Innovation Showcase was really engaging.”

BioElectronics demo showcase

Networking in the Street