YES Competition – Winners 2019!

The winning Hydroroot team: Rebecca Bennett, Jack Fitzpatrick, Ross Mulhall and Lewis Fisher.

Students take home ‘best consideration of IP strategy’ prize at Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) competition.

Congratulations to Rebecca Bennett, PhD student in the Institute of Integrative Biology, Jack Fitzpatrick, PhD student in the Institute of Integrative Biology, Lewis Fisher, PhD student in the Institute of Infection and Global Health and Ross Mulhall, PhD student in the Department of Chemistry who were all part of the successful team that won the 2019 Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) award for ‘Best Consideration of IP Strategy’ 2019. The competition was held at the Royal Society in London on 10 December.

The winning team, Hydroot, was supported by the Newcastle-Liverpool-Durham BBSRC DTP and was made up of PhD students from the University of Liverpool. They pitched a hypothetical business plan on how to reduce water consumption in the agricultural sector. Their leap of imagination was to genetically modified a root-associated bacterium which produces a water-retaining organic matrix around the root allowing better water retention in the soil leading to a decrease in water usage.

The Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) is an initiative to raise awareness of the impact of commercialisation of ideas among PhD students and post-docs. It provides a basis for participants to prepare an oral business plan for a company based on a hypothetical but plausible idea, based on real markets and financial data. The YES competitions receive financial support from BBSRC, Glaxo Smith Kline, MRC, NERC, Syngenta and University of Nottingham Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.