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Ingenuity supports the creation of start-ups that find innovative and sustainable solutions to tackle the UK’s biggest challenges. Ingenuity works in partnership with industry, education, and communities with lived experience.

The Ingenuity Programme works with under-represented groups, as well as students, academics, and those interested in creating social and environmental impact. Ingenuity and its partners are committed to exploring the big issues society faces, focusing on creating prosperity, building community, improving health and tackling climate change, to help drive the recovery. The programme is delivered via annual Challenge Summits, an online insight and learning platform, a national business plan competition, and an investment readiness programme with significant support.

This year’s Ingenuity Programme was supported by a grant from Engineers in Business Fellowship (EIB). Six prizes were awarded to students from the University of Nottingham, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Portsmouth. The winners of the EIB prizes from the University of Nottingham are featured here.

First Prize Winner: Unitopia - Lewis Hughes, MEng Architectural Environment Engineering - £1,500 Engineers in Business Prize

Unitopia works in partnership with universities and councils to deliver community-focused projects aimed at alleviating food poverty and environmental impact. Engineering graduate Lewis Hughes plans to use the financial support from EIBF to invest in the pilot studies of the business, without which they would have struggled to get the business off the ground.

Lewis said, "The money will help to fund the pilot projects our team is now preparing to undertake. In association with the football club mentorships, also won through Ingenuity, initial projects are being proposed which will form a great start to the business journey. These will bring valuable experience as well as useful connections for our team while feeding and benefiting the local community."

Second Prize Winner: Motto - Georgina Wilson, MEng Product Design and Manufacture, £1,000 Engineers in Business Prize

Motto is an impact-led freelance platform centred around creating a community of skilled individuals seeking environmentally and socially conscious work.

The EIBF funding will enable designer, Georgina, to develop an MVP to begin building the online community. Georgina said, "The EIBF prize will provide me with the support I need to help me channel the skills I have learned during my Product Design Engineering degree into a commercial and business application. This will help me drive Motto forward and further enhance my understanding of business and technology in the start-up world."

Third Prize Winner: GOAB Bio Engineers - Ebenezer Owusu, MSc Advanced Materials £500 Engineers in Business Prize

The GOAB Bio Engineers has produced durable composite boards from plastic waste and wood shavings that help to reduce plastic waste that goes to landfill sites.

Lead Engineer Ebenezer Owusu intends to use the financial support to purchase a plastic shredder, UV sterilising box and a milling machine. Ebenezer said, "The generous support from the Engineers in Business Fellowship will enable us to purchase vital equipment to produce and test more samples to be able to transform our idea into a viable and sustainable business venture."

Positive Feedback

Engineers in Business Fellowship is a founding partner of Ingenuity and we are pleased to be working together this year to not only highlight entrepreneurial engineering excellence, but also shift the focus towards business with purpose. As with previous years, we have found that female engineers are leading the way, for example using AI to address the health inequalities being experienced by women across the UK, demonstrating that when more diverse groups of innovators look at society, engineering will be used in even more impactful ways to create a greener and more equal society.

Steve Chapman, Director of Ingenuity