£750,000 boost for turning ideas into business reality

Thirteen of the UK’s most innovative Universities were awarded more than £750,000 to support outstanding projects that are helping to develop new ideas from the drawing board into the market place. Baroness Wilcox, Intellectual Property Minister, made awards to projects, including the 1,000mph Bloodhound world land speed record team, that are helping to turn the UK’s ‘intellectual property’ into economic prosperity.

Winning projects come from areas such as healthcare and computer games design to intellectual property valuation and social enterprise, with one notable winner being the University of the West of England’s (UWE) “Bloodhound@University” project which received £80,000 in funding from the Intellectual Property Office. “Bloodhound@University” is part of the prestigious Bloodhound SSC world land speed record project which will create novel technologies and processes to achieve its goal of 1,000mph. UWE have designed the ‘Bloodhound Open Access User Community Model’ where intellectual property generated from the innovative design/engineering will, via Higher Education Institutions and open-source methods, be made available to UK manufacturing, mainly to small and medium enterprises. This will help to improve the manufacturing competitiveness of UK industry.

Announcing the successful projects, the Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Wilcox said:

“I am delighted to reward these projects for their role in helping hubs of innovation in UK universities to harness the intellectual property derived from their leading research and to collaborate with our most innovative and responsive industries. Bridging the gap between innovation and industry is key, and is vital for the UK’s continued growth, and these projects do just that. I look forward to seeing the real difference this year’s winners will bring to university and industry relationships.”

Following on from the highly successful 2011 competition, the 2012 Fast Forward Competition provides individual projects with funding ranging from £10,000 to £90,000. The money is awarded to encourage innovative approaches to knowledge transfer from university research to real world products and services. The competition was open to UK universities and Public Sector Research Establishments and saw over 50 entries with 13 projects standing out as worthy of financial support.

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