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Greenwich Engineering Graduates are Finalists in National Business Innovation Competition

On 28 October 2019 engineering students, graduates and postgraduates will compete for a prestigious Engineers in Business Competition award and a share of a £10,000 prize pot. 


Ten teams from UK universities have been short-listed to pitch their business innovations at the Champion of Champions Grand Final at the Royal Academy of Engineering – the awards ceremony will be attended by Lord Sainsbury of Turville, the patron of the Engineers in Business Competition (EIBC).


Amira Eltokhy (PhD in Engineering), Mohamed Said (PhD in Science); Basel Barakat (PhD in Engineering) and Katherine Alvarez (Computing with Software) make up the Rapid Bio-Labs team, which aims to help medical researchers in their war against diseases through digital cell counting - this is a fundamental process that medical researchers have to perform but is currently costing them an average of 6 hours a day. Rapid Bio-Labs’ innovation is an artificial intelligence software solution which would allow researchers to upload a picture of their microscope plate and have the number of cells instantly, giving them more time for research.


The Engineers in Business Competition inspires engineers to gain business skills through their university enterprise competitions. They then harness their combined engineering and business skills to create innovations that can change people’s lives and improve the lived environment. 


Rapid Bio-Labs won its university heat of the Engineers in Business Competition receiving £3,000 to assist with the development of its innovation. The team then entered the Engineers in Business Grand Final and won a place in the Champion of Champions Final, where they will be up against other engineers with equally forward-thinking ideas. Will Rapid Bio-Labs walk away with the Gold for their novel idea?


Commenting on what inspired the idea, team leader, Amira Eltokhy said: “Rapid BioLabs was born out of the need to provide relief to the physical strains experienced by biology research experts so they may put their much-needed resources into more productive and inductive tasks towards the advancement of medical research.”


The Dragons’ Den Style competition will see each pitch team present and answer questions from the judges who are:

  •  Ana Avaliani, Head of Enterprise, Royal Academy of Engineering
  •  Tim Chapman, Director, Arup - Infrastructure
  •  Andrew Doe, a Sainsbury Management Fellow, a serial entrepreneur, a highly experienced e-commerce and digital leader and a non-exec director
  •  Kate Beresford, Head of Membership and Operation, Enterprise Educators UK 


The judges are looking for:

  •  Originality and viability of the idea
  •  How the idea helps to solve a real problem in society
  •  The benefits to the target audience/customer


In addition to the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, there will be two other exciting prizes:

  •  Lord Sainsbury Prize – Lord Sainsbury will award this prize to the team he believes has created a business idea that will have a big impact in society
  •  People’s Prize – the winner of this prize will be determined by the number of public votes based on the finalists’ videos which can be viewed on this website.


The Engineers in Business Competition supports and promotes the idea of a combined engineering and business education. In a world that is moving and developing so rapidly, these skills are vital in order to tackle challenging global problems and to make lasting positive changes to the way we live.


The Rapid Bio-Labs team believes that it is important for engineering students to learn business innovation skills – Amira said: “Learning transferable soft skills can have a great impact on the career prospects of students in addition to the technical knowledge already gained at university. One of the key things we learned competing in our university enterprise competition was teamwork and the resilience needed to complete the tasks at hand, which only improved team morale. Moreover, the opportunity to network with experts in different industries, supplied invaluable awareness that would otherwise not have been experienced by the students.”


For further information on Rapid Bio-Lab, contact Althea Taylor-Salmon at eibcompetition@eibc.org.uk.