Spotlight

London's universities say ‘OpenSME’ to new support for capital's small businesses

A group of London's universities are launching a new collaboration – OpenSME – that seeks to make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access the expertise and knowledge they offer.

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UCL Awards for Enterprise 2012

The UCL Awards for Enterprise 2012 took place on Thursday night at The Bloomsbury Theatre.  It was a great event and a wonderful showcase for innovative and inspirational entrepreneurship across all sectors from students, academics and corporate partners.

At this year’s event we celebrated UCL and the Olympics in London and the legacy and impact of both. In attempting to build new businesses and enterprises in London, UCL shares the same goals as the Olympics in London: legacy, social and economic impact and success.

To achieve this we share the same principles of private and public collaboration and both our entrepreneurs and our athletes show inspiring determination in their pursuit of excellence and will be honoured and rewarded for their endeavours.

In their fifth year, the Awards recognised the exciting new business ideas of student and graduate entrepreneurs.  One winner was Old Bond offering the world’s first spinning animated ads on bicycle wheels. You can read their full success story here

These Awards are one of a kind – UCL is the only university in the UK to celebrate enterprise on campus, and the entrepreneurialism of our staff, students and graduates in such a high-profile manner.

Timothy Barnes

Director of UCL Advances Timothy Barnes, the university’s centre for entrepreneurship, said “Supporting students and graduates setting up their own businesses is central to UCL’s aim to make entrepreneurship a core part of the university experience for students. We offer funding, business boot-camps and free office space to give them the best chance of their businesses blossoming and becoming the stand out successes of tomorrow.”

UCL Awards for Enterprise 2012

The Awards also saw the successes of UCL’s academic staff recognised, with two awards sponsored by UCL Business PLC – the university’s technology transfer company – presented to Professor David Selwood for his contribution to the commercialization of pharmaceutical research, and to Professor Neal Skipper and Dr Chris Howard for their research into developing commercially-viable methods to produce carbon nanotubes.

2012 UCL AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE

The importance of corporate partners in supporting the work of UCL and in commercialising research produced by the university was also acknowledged, with Corporate Partner of the Year Award going to mining conglomerate BHP Billiton and Small to Medium Enterprise Partner of the Year Award going to TAP Biosystems for their work in commercialising research from the Institute of Ophthalmology.

The Awards also marked the announcement of new UCL Sports Stars Bursaries for budding sportsmen and women who are studying at UCL and also compete at an international level in their chosen sport. The Bursaries will enable 75 athletes over the next three years to reach their world-class potential, and aim to highlight the similarities between those that excel in sport and those that excel as entrepreneurs: dedication, commitment, perseverance and the benefits of high quality training and support.