Fri, 10 Dec 2010
Entrepreneurial young scientists from Norwich Research Park will be out in force for the final of a prestigious national business competition.
Two teams from the University of East Anglia’s Schools of Biological Sciences and one team from the John Innes Centre (JIC) are preparing for the final of the Biotechnology YES competition which takes place on Monday December 13.
The 11 teams in the final have beaten off stiff competition in a series of regional heats for the chance to compete for the £1000 prize. They will present their business ideas to a panel of investors at County Hall in London.
Each team will be pitching an imaginary product, based on their actual research.
The UEA teams in the final are Co-Alyst Technology and Ribotech Biosystems. Led by Anke Arkenberg, Co-Alyst Technology provides a new way of filtering toxic emissions from car exhaust pipes without reducing fuel efficiency. Led by Richard Kelwick, Ribotech Biosystems have developed a new way of manufacturing more advanced protein-based drugs and cosmetics. The JIC team is Immuno-Peptech which has developed a novel anti-inflammatory drug to prevent the onset of hayfever.
Biotechnology YES (Young Entrepreneurs Scheme) is an annual business plan competition run by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. It is designed to raise awareness of commercialisation among postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers working in the field of bioscience.
Now in its 15th year, the competition was developed in partnership between the University of Nottingham, the Institute of Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI) and the BBSRC, with the Medical Research Council providing significant financial support.
Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director of Innovation and Skills, said: "Now, more than ever, we need UK bioscientists with the skills and knowledge to realise the economic and social benefit of their research. The Biotechnology YES finalists have demonstrated that they possess an ability to see what is required in finance, marketing and intellectual property to propel their research into the commercial sphere.
“The teams have done well to get this far and are developing knowledge and skills that will put them in an excellent position to exploit their abilities in bioscience and entrepreneurship to develop real-life products and technologies in the future. We wish them the best of luck in the final.”