The team of five, Innovink, comprising three research students and two postdoctoral researchers from the Advanced Ceramics Research Group saw off 19 teams from 13 UK universities to claim the top prize.
The annual competition, which brings together young researchers from across the country in an intensive three day residential workshop, provides an invaluable opportunity to hone the skills and knowledge needed to launch an innovative engineering start-up company. As well as developing enterprise and commercial awareness, participants gain experience of working under pressure whilst trying to impress leading industry experts.
The event culminates in a Dragon’s Den style pitch which sees competitors put their new entrepreneurial expertise to the test.
Innovink members – Saranya Venugopal, Yifei Zhang, Siyuan Qi, Dr Sina Saremi and Dr Min Nah Tong – greatly impressed the panel of judges with their presentation and business acumen.
Their venture focussed on developing and commercialising a novel nano-zirconia electrolyte ink for manufacturing affordable solid oxide fuel cells, a real proposition being researched within the group.
Professor Steve Rothberg, the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise, is thrilled with the team’s success: “We are immensely proud of Innovink’s achievement and delighted that the enterprise support we provide is genuinely helping our students to develop the skills needed to take their ideas forward into the business world.”