Exciting Business Ideas from Young Bioscience Entrepreneurs - (1999 competition)
The winners of the 1999 Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotechnology YES) were chosen following the two-day national final held at the Department of Trade and Industry, London, on 14th - 15th December 1999.
Four undergraduate and eight postgraduate/postdoctoral teams, selected in the regional heats, presented their business plans for ‘imaginary’ biotech ventures to a distinguished panel of judges.
The winning team in the undergraduate competition was from the Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London whose business plan was for a novel wound healing treatment.
Mrs Sue Charles, CEO Hee-Defacto, presenting the prize to the
winning undergraduate team from University College London.
The winning postgraduate/postdoctoral team from the Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow won with their business plan to commercialise a novel vaccine for Hepatitis C.
Professor Sir Tom Blundell presenting the prize to the
winning postgraduate/postdoctoral team from the
Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow.
Geneswitch (School of Biological Sciences, University of Manchester) were awarded second prize in the postgraduate/postdoctoral competition.
Geneswitch were awarded second prize in the
Professor Ray Baker, Chief Executive of BBSRC and member of the postgraduate/postdoctoral judging panel, said "The standard of presentations was extremely high. The business ideas were innovative and conveyed with enthusiasm and energy". The BBSRC is one of the main sponsors of the competition.
"The panel were extremely impressed by the standard of all the teams – the business plans and presentations were truly excellent," said Sue Charles, CEO HCC De Facto (a sponsor) and Chair of the undergraduate judging panel. "The Biotechnology YES Competition clearly has a great deal to offer in providing a learning exercise for the graduates and undergraduates on commercialisation of science" she added.
Additional prizes were awarded by some of the Biotechnology YES competition sponsors: Eric Potter Clarkson gave a prize to the teams from the University College London and University of Manchester (BAR) for the best consideration of intellectual property in the undergraduate and postgraduate competition, respectively.
Eric Potter Clarkson, represented by Dr John Miles, gave a prize to the teams from the University College London (above) and the University of Manchester (BAR) (below) for the best consideration of intellectual property.University of Manchester Team
PricewaterhouseCoopers awarded a prize to the undergraduate team from the University of Edinburgh and the postgraduate/postdoctoral team from the University of Cambridge for the plan with the best European focus.
PricewaterhouseCoopers awarded a prize to the undergraduate team from the University of Edinburgh (above) and the postgraduate/postdoctoral team from the University of Cambridge (below) for the plan with the best European focus.
Professor John Peberdy, Chair of the YES Organising Committee and University of Nottingham, said "Once again the Competition has revealed the talent for innovation and the generation of business ideas which exists in the community of students in the Biological Sciences. The competition provides a valuable learning experience in the importance of science in wealth creation and engenders an awareness of wider career opportunities in Biotechnology for our graduates and postgraduates"
Notes to Editors:
Sponsors of the 1999 Competition include: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Gatsby Charitable Foundation, Medical Research Council, HCC De Facto, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Celltech-Chiroscience, GlaxoWellcome, Scottish Enterprise, AstraZeneca, Bioprocessing Ltd, Eric Potter Clarkson, Knoll Pharmaceuticals, Merlin Ventures, Oxford Asymmetry International, SmithKline Beecham, Society for Applied Microbiology, Unilever, Xenova and the University of Nottingham.
Teams selected for the Undergraduate finals were:
- ASCLEPSIA BIOTECH (University of Edinburgh) – production of natural nematocides derived from plants for the control of plant nematodes.
- GENODERM (University College London) – a novel idea for a wound dressing based on fibrinogen and fibronectin.
- MODIFIND (University of Nottingham) – to provide a screening technology for the detection of genetically modified plant materials used as food ingredients.
- PARABOND (University of Nottingham) – a novel idea for a "bio-glue" and anti-glue based upon an adhesive protein secreted by a nematode fish parasite.
Teams selected for the Postgraduate/Postdoctoral finals were:
- AURA BIOTECH (University of Hertfordshire) – to provide environmentally safe GMO’s that are commercially viable which will be used to produce a self-illuminating Christmas tree.
- BELSANA (University of Wales, Swansea) – the manufacturing of an enzyme which is able to repair DNA damage induced by UV light.
- BIONOVA (Institute of Animal Health) – a novel approach to immunotherapy which will be used to create an immunosuppressant derived from a natural source for use in transplantations.
- SENEXIS (University of Cambridge) – a platform technology that are a class of peptide mimics that can be adapted to bind tightly and specifically to any amyloid-forming protein used to prevent the formation of destructive plaques that cause degenerative diseases.
- INVARTECH (University of Glasgow) – a novel recombinant protein expression system used to generate novel vaccines and by-products to treat significant diseases.
- GENESWITCH (University of Manchester) – a technology that reversibly switches on specific genes which will be used to create a product that will replace the need to use cell lines.
- BAR (University of Manchester) – a novel technology designed to eliminate bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation primarily for the catheter market.
- CALEDONIAN COFACTORS (University of Glasgow) – rapid diagnostic kit to detect multi-drug resistant bacteria.
The ideas developed by the teams participating in Biotechnology YES build on existing technology which is in the public domain or are based on hypothetical scenarios