Environment Agency Innovation Competition

Are you a student or post doc studying in the North of England? Have you got an idea on how we can help communities at risk of flash flooding?

You will have seen over the last few weeks how devastating flooding can be and how the impact can be, and is, being felt by communities for weeks and months after the rain has finished falling and the tides have receded.

Whether it be flooding from rivers, the sea or from flash flooding, the risk to communities and businesses is often significant. Across the country around 215 communities have been identified by the Environment Agency as being at risk of flash flooding, with 125 in the North of England alone.

This years’ University Challenge competition is your opportunity to present your innovative ideas or solution to the issue of flash flooding to the Environment Agency and CIWEM. We are always keen to improve our ability to mitigate the impacts of flash flooding and both the Environment Agency or our partners may look to help develop or deliver your idea within a local community or suitable area.

The competition is open to students and post-docs within the North of England. As well as being a great experience and addition to your C.V. the competition and following presentation ceremony is great opportunity to present your idea to industry professionals and possibly attract interest or funding to your idea and provides an excellent networking opportunity for your future careers. This could be your opportunity to directly help local communities using the ideas you present, but be quick, the competition closes on Friday 14 February.

Please visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/143191.aspx for more information on the competition, and details on how to enter. If you have any specific questions, please email flashfloodingchallenge@environment-agency.gov.uk

Kind regards,

The Flash Flooding Challenge Team

NuBlue E-Commerce For Growth Workshop

If you’ve been selling on-line for a while and are looking to invest significantly into your ecommerce strategy, you need to know what you’re doing. This is a no-commitment workshop, teaching you the ins and outs of the serious ecommerce world, delivered by people who live and breathe e-commerce every day.

This workshop, which will be delivered by NuBlue, will start by exploring the strategic side of ecommerce, planning priorities and the important aspects for building your on-line store. In the second half, we will look at cart optimisation, up and cross selling, analytics and much more.

Who should attend?

Existing ecommerce businesses who are looking to grow their online platform and/or make more of what they already have

Retailers with significant ambition to exploit the online channel to grow their business

This workshop is aimed at established online businesses only.

FREE to Chamber Members. Tea and coffee provided.

If you wish to register please book here by Thursday 13th February . Places are very limited to 1 per company.

Members Price: £0 +VAT Associate Members Price: £0 +VAT Non Members Price: £0 +VAT

Technology start-ups to receive helping hand at education technology event

Jisc is offering five technology start-up companies the opportunity to showcase their innovative products and services at its inaugural Digital Festival.

The Jisc Digital Festival is a two day event that will take place at the ICC Birmingham from 11-12 March 2014, and is designed to showcase and celebrate the best in digital technologies and explore the future trends that will impact education and research. The festival will include keynotes from renowned education experts such as Sugata Mitra and Diana Oblinger.

In launching this bursary, Jisc is offering start-up companies free exhibition space at the event, a two day exhibitor pass for two people, as well as a demonstration slot to highlight what their company offers. To be considered for the bursary, applying companies have to be UK-based start-ups, have less than ten employees, and offer a technology product or service that is innovative, primarily targeting UK higher education, further education and/or skills sectors.

The Jisc Digital Festival will bring together delegates that represent HE and FE including, senior managers, academics, library professionals, policy makers, learning technologists and others.

Andrew McGregor, deputy chief innovation officer at Jisc said:

“One of the most exciting things about the Jisc Digital Festival is the sheer diversity of people who will attend; people from a variety of higher and further education institutions and commercial organisations with many different roles and titles. This makes this bursary a fantastic opportunity for educational technology start-ups to meet potential customers and network with experts in digital technology.  Jisc’s role is to use digital technology to improve education and research so the chance to meet and support people who have established companies that are seeking to use technology in new, exciting ways is always an intriguing prospect.”

The deadline to apply for the Jisc start-up bursary is 31 January 2014. See full eligibility details.

For anyone interested in attending the Jisc Digital Festival on the 11 and 12 March, the early-bird delegate rate applies until 31 January 2014. See full information on tickets.
Join the conservation on Twitter using the hashtag #digifest14.

Contact: For Jisc press enquiries please call the press team on +44 (0)203 697 5817 or email us.

Tech Strategy Board opens competition to find UK’s most “digitally innovative” start-ups

A national competition giving digital start-ups the chance to win a share of £225,000 funding and work with some of the country’s leading brands has launched today.

Hosted by IC Tomorrow, a division of the government’s Technology Strategy Board, the “Digital Innovation Contest: Cross Sector Exploration” aims to support the development of early-stage businesses with new ideas to grow the digital industry.

Made up of nine challenges across three themes; retail, events and analytics, the competition invites entrants to provide creative solutions for a range of real-life digital strategies.

The nine winning businesses will be awarded up to £25,000 each and will be granted the opportunity to partner with major companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, SYCO Entertainment, Procter & Gamble, and Argos, to help implement their business models.

The competition will run in London with the finale held in April.

Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC tomorrow, said: “This competition is an exciting opportunity for start-ups looking to see their ideas come to life.

“Our main objective is to pair today’s burgeoning tech-talent with established businesses and organisations so they can share insights on adapting to, and making the most of, a continuously developing digital economy.”

Digital operations director of SYCO Entertainment, Jim Leedham, added:

“We believe that there is a real opportunity to build a product which can pick out and monitor potential talent in the plethora of digital content that is created every day – we can’t wait to see the results of this challenge!”

The deadline for entries is Wednesday 26 February, to find out more about the “Digital Innovation Contest” click here.

Innovations Skills HC 2014

Innovation Skills at HC 2014 Manchester, 19th-20th March

‘Models’ and ‘Prototypes’ and ‘Part-solutions’ – A focus on genuine socially-driven support for early stage healthcare solutions with further development potential.

1. Innovation Education Mornings

FORMAT: Enterprise Education Drop-in Clinic

On-the-hour, 10 minute high level presentations on key skills, followed by 50 minutes of mentoring support from 2 subject-matter experts – experienced entrepreneurs and pro bono mentors.

Three themes per morning:
10 am. Financial Modelling – Valuing and presenting your service – to users, partners and investors.
11 am. Marketing Planning – Understanding the customer – and the buyer. Building a robust route to market strategy.
12 pm. Building the team – Finding timely help to turn your idea into a full product and business.

2. Technology Development Afternoons

FORMAT: Total ‘User’ Feedback Gathering

2-4 pm.

Three tables of stakeholders ready to give input to developers in short 15m doses:
Scope: Up to (8 x 3 =) 24 business ideas.

Three sorts of panel input:
Patient panel – test your idea on patients to assess appeal and useability issues.
Technology specifier panel – determine where your technology will need to integrate and connect to be able to scale.
Compliance panel – discover what legal and process hurdles your technology will need to jump to be useable within the NHS, and who might be able to help.

3. Investor Demo Sessions

4.15-5.15 pm

Up to 6 business concepts per day will be invited to give 5 minute pitch, with 5 minutes feedback,
Panel to include a Clinician, a Patient advocate, a Technologist, an Investor and an NHS ‘Buyer’.
Each to give 1 minute feedback to each idea.

Three ideas will receive BCS-mentored development support, The overall winner each day receives a small cash grant/award for commercial technology development.

4. Follow through

Option to access presentations and materials after the event, and to contact and receive peer feedback on developments and ideas.

Many thanks much more on this subject soon

Wendy Dearing
Head of Workforce & Organisational Development

Gweithlu a Datblygu Trefniadol/Workforce & Organisational Development
GIG Cymru Gwasanaeth Gwybodeg/ NHS Wales Informatics Service
Ffon/Phone: 07795503316
E-bost/E.mail: wendy.dearing@wales.nhs.uk

Calling hungry entrepreneurs – 2014 Cupcake Challenge!

You are invited to the next Lancaster ‘Young’ Professionals Network (LYPN) on Thursday 13th February 2014 at the Storey in Lancaster.

Join in the LYPN’s the first event for 2014 and get creative with our Cupcake Challenge, back by popular demand! It will be a great way to meet new people and ultimately gain new business in relaxed environment. You will also be enjoying drinks and tasting the delightful NICE deli boards.

Venue & time – NICE Bar & Restaurant, The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Cost: Members £12 +VAT, Non Members & Guests £12 +VAT.

Don’t miss out, book now by emailing events@lancaster-chamber.org.uk or visiting www.lancaster-chamber.org.uk/events to meet like-minded young professionals working in the district and be provided with the opportunity to gain new social and professional business contacts.

New wave of funding for Social Entrepreneurs

We are delighted to announce that we are continuing to award funding up to £5,000 for aspiring social entrepreneurs at Lancaster University.  The next deadline for applications is 31st January 2013 following a launch event on 23rd January.

To find out more attend our upcoming Launch Event – Thursday 23rd January, 12.30pm, Bowland North Seminar Room 7. Places bookable via TARGETconnect.

Please direct your enquiries to enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 592674.

More on UnLtd

Micro-Tyco competition prepares to launch

Starting with just £1, how much money could you raise in 30 days? 

This is the Micro-Tyco Challenge, aimed at harnessing and developing entrepreneurial spirit in students.  Teams of five will receive a micro-loan of £1 and using their ingenuity and creativity work against the clock to transform it into as much money as possible.

What happens to all the money raised?

The money is converted into more micro-loans for entrepreneurs in the developing world, aimed at helping the world’s poorest people work their own way out of poverty with dignity, giving them a hand up, not a hand out.  Typically, a micro-loan of just £150 can transform over 20 lives in a  meaningful way by starting new businesses that create employment.

What can my team win?

Apart from the warm feeling of helping to make the world a better place there are a number of incentives in place for those aspiring to take their entrepreneurial skills further, including internships, private dinners with influential business owners and networking opportunities at key employers such as Deloitte’s.  And of course t-shirts, trophies and badges for runners-up!

How do we raise money?

The only limitation really is that all your activities should be legal.  Other than that, it’s down to your team’s skills, experience, creativity, contacts, powers of persuasion and bartering abilities!  Prior to and during the competition you’ll be sent video links from the global Micro-Tyco Mentors who will provide tips and advice for the challenge.

How do I register?

You need to find a team of five and register quickly as the clock is ticking.  The deadline for registration is 24th January.  The challenge will start on 1st February.  To register, visit www.micro-tyco-registration.com.  For more information, contact enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk.

Social Enterprise Workshops

Starting next week, the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Enterprise Centre is hosting a series of three open workshops (on Wednesdays) introducing and developing the idea of social enterprise. These are being run by Mandy Naylor, a board member of Shared Future. The sessions will both demystify social enterprise as an activity and also offer routes (including potential funding) for the development of new social enterprises.

  • Mythbusting Social Enterprises: Weds 22nd January, 12:45-16:00, FASS MR2 13
  • Express Route to Social Enterprise: Weds 29th January, 12:15-15:30, FASS MR3 13
  • Funding for Social Enterprises: Weds 5th February, 10:00-13:00, FASS MR3 13

For more information, please download the attached Word document or contact Katarina Pardula via k.pardula@lancaster.ac.uk or on 01524 510814.

 DOWNLOAD: FASSECworkshops.docx

Funding for Social Enterprise-type projects – Catalyst Launchpad

Catalyst (Citizens Transforming Society: Tools for Change) has an open call for citizen led innovation projects (deadline 31 Jan 2014), awarding up to £10,000 funds for its last round of Launchpad projects http://www.catalystproject.org.uk/get-involved/. Projects must be citizen led, investigate a societal challenge, involve Lancaster academics and have ambitions to develop new digital prototypes.

Contact Debbie Stubbs, Catalyst Project Manager for more information on 01524 5510351.