The appearance of Britain's pavements could be transformed thanks to a new non-stick chewing gum developed by Revolymer, winners of the University of Bristol's £30 000 New Enterprise Competition. At the University's annual Enterprise dinner last night Revolymer won the top prize beating off tough competition from seven other finalists.
Professor Terry Cosgrove has developed a new polymer which would make chewing gum much easier to clean off the streets, thereby saving the taxpayer millions of pounds in cleaning costs. Similar techniques in controlling adhesiveness will be applied to other materials in coating surfaces in hospitals, medical devices, and for anti-graffiti paints and industrial coatings.
Second Prize was won by Null Hypothesis - the journal of unlikely science, a new monthly publication that offers a unique, fresh and humorous view of science. Despite only being in the shops for a few months it has already won widespread acclaim and was called the "Private Eye of science" by the Daily Telegraph.
BbPod a sound system for the nursery that is controlled by the baby and, based on the pattern of usage is able to adapt to the baby's preferences, won the third prize. Ashley Berlin won the Undergraduate Prize for his Cargo Measurement Systems, an idea he has already built a prototype for after developing the idea during a work experience placement.
All the winners and finalists received support from the competition judges and sponsors, Business West, Deloitte, Fortis Bank, Osborne Clarke, STMicroelectronics and the Bristol SETsquared centre.
The University of Bristol's Director of Enterprise, Dr Neil Bradshaw commented: "This year's competition was the highest quality so far. We were delighted to have so many staff, postgraduates, students and alumni entering and are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors for their continued support."
In addition to the New Enterprise Competition the 250 guests at the Wills Memorial Building dinner got the chance to meet some of the early-stage technology businesses based in the University's SETsquared centre on Park Row, as well as hear presentations on two leading University-Industry research collaborations: 3C Research and ongoing work with British Energy.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Eric Thomas said: "Our annual Enterprise dinner showcases the full range of the University's Enterprise activities: from entrepreneurship training and support; to technology transfer and new company acceleration. I am delighted we are able to share our success with our partners from the wider business community."
The New Enterprise Competition is part of the University of Bristol's commitment to combining its excellence in research and innovation with a vibrant enterprise culture. The University is working with government, industry and other partner organisations to encourage the growth of knowledge-based businesses in the South West.
In particular, Bristol has joined forces with the universities of Bath, Southampton and Surrey to establish a unique partnership to encourage enterprise, build new businesses and work more effectively with industry. As research-intensive universities, these enterprise activities derive from their research base, although support is also available to entrepreneurs from outside of the universities. With a combined research staff of 6,400 and research budget of £266 million, the resulting contribution to the UK 'knowledge economy' is far greater than could be achieved individually. The partnership offers:
* Enterprise training and education
* Support for new businesses from within and external to the universities
* Access to innovative research that could lead to new products and processes
The New Enterprise competition is sponsored by Business West, Deloitte, Fortis Bank, Osborne Clarke, STMicroelectronics and the Bristol SETsquared centre.
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