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Elevate is a ground-breaking entrepreneurial competition supporting students to develop innovative ideas that benefit the UK’s economy and society. The competition is open to all students and presents an unrivalled opportunity to turn an innovative concept into a fully funded start-up. Elevate seeks to support entrepreneurship in its truest form. Students were encouraged to think big, embrace their creativity and develop innovative ideas which demonstrate their capacity to deliver commercial and societal value.
First Prize Winner: Lyster Surfcraft - Duncan Lyster, Engineering Physicist - £1,000 Engineers in Business Prize

Duncan used his engineering expertise to design a sustainable surfboard using a new technique which he is currently patenting. Duncan has been making surfboards for over four years as a hobby but began looking at business opportunities in the last two years. The business aims to reduce the environmental damage of the surfing industry while providing a beautiful product that works exceptionally in the water. Duncan has been developing the boards, so they are now comparable in weight and build time to a standard polyurethane (PU) foam board. His EIB award will help to fund the patent process and allow him to focus on market access and future development.
Second Prize Winner: Feast of Mind - Alicia Bird, Engineering Geologist - £750 Engineers in Business Prize

Ordering food abroad when there’s a language barrier is difficult at the best of times, but now imagine you have allergies, or you’re a strict vegan or you have other important dietary requirements. This is a problem that I, and a lot of people I know, struggle with every time they go abroad, and Feast of Mind is the simple, effective solution.

A deck of cards that explains your dietary requirement in every language you will need with the use of professional translations, intuitive icons and simple instructions. Starting with a product for vegans needing European languages I want to expand to cover every language, every diet and every allergy.

Alicia said, "Don’t risk allergic reactions, don’t take google translates word for it, don’t assume all cultures understand your diet and don’t trust your GCSE French knowledge, just order using Feast of Mind translation cards."
Third Prize Winner: Minviro - Robert Pell (left) Postgraduate Mining Engineer; Dr Xiaoyu Yan (middle-left); Nick Russil (middle-right), Jim Williams (right) - £500 Engineers in Business Prize

Mining eco-design technology has been developed to allow environmental optimisation of mining operations. The research and technology developed predict the environmental impacts of mining and mineral processing operations during the planning and development stage of a project. The technologies use predictive life cycle assessment, a method to quantify the environmental performance of a product or process following internationally recognised standards (ISO 14044), with two specific applications.

The first technology incorporates life cycle assessment within mineral processing simulations to directly calculate global warming or other impacts without the need for additional software or life cycle assessment specialists.

Secondly, we have developed an approach to integrate life cycle assessment into long-term mine planning. This enables the carbon emissions or other environmental impacts to be constrained in the mine plan and the economic cost of reducing these environmental impacts to be calculated. Hence simulations can be made predicting future carbon tax scenarios, allowing mining companies to assess the most economic and environmentally sustainable mine plan.

The technologies developed have been proven to be feasible through the publication of the methods and the technology in a peer-reviewed academic journal. We have also worked alongside a mining company to apply the methods with a project partner.

Mining companies are under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint and water consumption for their projects. Customers and companies who use these raw materials, such as electric car manufacturers demand a low carbon and responsibly sourced product.

Our technologies help mining companies identify environmental impacts, and present how these impacts can be reduced during the planning and developments stages of a mining project. Predictive environmental information generated during the development stages of a mining project has value by reducing the financial risk of the operation and can be used as a marketing tool to sell the ore/metal product.

Minviro's technology has been featured in a detailed article in Impakter.

Positive Feedback

We see great value in the competition and have seen clear benefits to the students here this year. With the University’s commitment to our student entrepreneurial activity, we are positive of a greater reach in the coming years.
Dr Andy Hale, Lecturer in Engineering and Entrepreneurship