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Queen's University Belfast

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Queen’s University Belfast’s Dragons’ Den, competition is one of many initiatives organised by Enterprise SU, the entrepreneurial arm of Queen’s Students’ Union which helps students develop enterprise skills and start their own businesses. Dragons' Den competitors learn a wealth of business skills including pitching, marketing, finance and legal issues.
Winner: Movetru - Naomi McGregor, Product Design Engineering - £4,000 total award including £1,000 Engineers in Business Prize

Suffering an injury can cause an individual both physical and mental anguish. Injuries are not a straight path to recovery. Instead these journeys are filled with numerous doctors’ appointments, meetings with physiotherapists, and long, painful months. With this in mind, Naomi designed Movetru: a suit that would track misalignment throughout the body without hindering movement, providing industry experts with indepth movement analysis and providing clients with daily recommendations for improvement to prevent injury or recover at a faster rate.
Winner: Forest Track - Peter Gilleece, Mechanical Engineering - £4,000 total award including £1,000 Engineers in Business Prize

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest problems facing the world today. Plastic waste can be found in snow in the arctic and in the deepest parts of the ocean. Peter’s business innovation reduces the plastic waste by creating a new material made from 100% chicken feathers which can replace single use plastics. This will reduce the amount of plastic being used and reduce the amount of waste produced by the poultry industry. Peter’s aim is to create products with a completely sustainable lifecycle that will not cause any further damage to the environment.
Winner: Material Evolution - Elizabeth Gilligan, PhD Candidate and Thesis Co-Supervisor in both Structural and Environmental Engineering - £4,000 total award including £1,000 Engineers in Business Prize

As the world continues to progress so does our need to build. We are on the verge of an enormous construction boom. The next few years will be crucial in creating sustainable materials for construction. The world is expected to spend $90 trillion by 2030 on construction. Material Evolution offers a way to start to solve this problem with its multifunctional material. The business is redesigning waste to create new materials. The first product is a Bio-receptive concrete - concrete that can sustain plant growth. Concrete is the second most used material in the world after water. It equates to 8% of our global CO2 emissions. Material Evolution’s concrete is made from 90% recycled materials meaning that the system reduces concrete’s carbon consumption by up to 85%.

Positive Feedback

The Engineers in Business fund contribution to our prize pot not only makes our programme more attractive to students encouraging applications, but also inspires young engineers to submit their applications, meaning the calibre of students and ideas alike is much improved competition-wide.

At QUB, we love having Engineers in Business involved, because our Dragons’ Den competition gives the students a chance to show off their innovations outside of the classroom, and understand that there are wider opportunities for our students outside of being employed at large companies. Having Engineers in Business involved in this competition adds a level of Engineering ‘legitimacy’ to the competition, and enables students to
foster a healthy spirit of competition between their classmates.

Francesca Morelli, Enterprise Support Officer, Queen's University Belfast