10 Engineering Student Innovators Compete in the Grand Final for a Share of £10,000 Prize Fund

After receiving a thrilling and diverse range of entries, Engineers in Business Fellowship (EIBF) has selected the Champion of Champions for its first Grand Final Awards Ceremony on 28 October 2019 at the Royal Academy of Engineering.


Ten university teams were chosen from 26 entries from across the British Isles – they will present their innovations to a panel of esteemed judges in a bid to win a share of £10,000, mentoring from a Sainsbury Management Fellow and a comprehensive CV-package from sponsor, Purple CV.


EIBF inspires engineering students and graduates to engage with their entrepreneurial instincts. EIBF supports universities’ existing enterprise competitions, providing each with a £3,000 prize fund which they use to encourage specific engineering graduates and undergraduates to participate in their business innovation competitions. This helps to increase the level of commercial education students and postgraduates receive and for the university to reward those who develop the most exciting and viable ideas. 


The EIBF prize fund has been tremendously successful. The number of universities participating has increased from 4 to 27, with repeat and new applications continuing to be processed. To date, the EIBF-supported university competitions have embraced 3,300 participants, a combined undergraduate audience of 116,000 students have received the core messages on the value of business education and on average, there is a 25% uplift in engineering participation due to the promotion of the £3,000 EIBF prize fund.


Having crowned their local winners, universities entered their prize-winners and other participants in their enterprise competitions into the Champion of Champions Grand Final. Entrants submitted a poster and a short video explaining their innovation and these were judged on the following criteria: (a) originality, (b) viability of the idea and how well it was communicated, (c) clearly defined target audiences and (d) the benefits to those audiences.


The finalists at the Champion of Champions Grand Final are:


  • University of Nottingham: Sustainable Water – Affordable solar water pumps to provide water supply in developing countries
  • University of Exeter: Lyster Surfcraft – Sustainable surfboard using a new technique which is being patented
  • University of York: Sign – App which can take written and spoken language input and translate it into sign language, advancing equality of opportunity between deaf and hearing people
  • University of Hull: Natural Fibre Plastics – Sustainable alternative for plastic
  • University of Nottingham: Proodle – Platform that allows universities to transform their international student recruitment process into a personalised mobile app experience
  • University of Greenwich: Rapid Bio-Labs – Software using artificial intelligence that delivers rapid, accurate automated cell counting services to laboratories
  • University of Surrey: Breadcrumb – Mobile app that reduces food waste and recommends recipes made from ingredients already in the home
  • Queen’s University Belfast: Stand created BOLD, a discrete safety alert system integrated into a piece of jewellery which can be used to alert safe contacts if the wearer feels in danger
  • UCL School of Management: Medulla – Web-based medical platform for doctors and medical staff that takes electronic health records to the next level
  • University of Nottingham: ExpHand – 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children aged 3-10 that can be adjusted to grow with a child 


The finalists each have six minutes to present and answer questions to win over the judges, who are:


  • Sainsbury Management Fellow, Andrew Doe, CEO, Chief Digital Officer, Startup Mentor & Advisor driving eCommerce Performance & Digital Transformation
  • Ana Avaliani, Head of Enterprise, Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Tim Chapman, Director, Arup - Infrastructure
  • Kate Beresford, Head of Membership and Operation, Enterprise Educators UK and Director of Kate Beresford Associates


There are prizes for the top three innovations: Engineers in Business Gold, Silver and Bronze of £3,000, £2,000 and £1,500 respectively. The Gold Award winner will also receive a Sainsbury Management Fellow as a mentor and a CV package from Purple CV. All other prizewinners will also receive a Purple CV package.


There will also be two other prizes: £2,500 for the Lord Sainsbury Prize - Lord Sainsbury, the EIBF Patron, will award this prize to the team he believes has created a business idea that will have a big impact on society. The second is the People’s Prize of £1,000. The winner will be determined by public voting wich is taking place on this website. Voting closes at midnight on 27 October 2019.


While the Champion of Champions Grand Final heats up, Engineers in Business Fellowship continues to encourage more universities to make an application for funding their competitions. EIBF is aiming to grow its university partners from 27 to 50 and to award £700,000. If you are a university interested in making an application visit the applications page or email us.


Read the finalists stories: