Emergency response ideas shortlisted in Business Competition

Issue date: 11 January 2005

ISSUE DATE: 11/01/05

Innovative ideas to improve disaster training and emergency response facilities in the South West and abroad are among plans shortlisted for the latest round of the University of the West of England’s 2004/5 business plan competition. There is also an emphasis on personal safety with plans for devices to detect spiked drinks or the presence of inflammable gases in domestic settings.

Other ideas range from a reverse hearing aid (worn by the snorer’s partner) to turn down the volume of the snores, and low-cost biofuel made from used cooking oil, to the popular robot wars challenge game played remotely over the internet.

In all, ten plans for businesses of the future have been shortlisted out of a total of 28 initial entries. For the first time, a new social enterprise award is on offer, sponsored by Bristol-based ethical bank Triodos, Bristol City Council, Business West and UWE. There are three prizes in all, worth a total of £25,000 - as well as the social enterprise award, there is an open prize and a prize specifically for students.

All staff and students from UWE are eligible to enter, either individually or in teams, for the annual business plan competition which is now in its fourth year.

The competition’s sponsors are: UWE, Baker Tilly, Osborne Clark, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Bristol City Council (Social Economy Bristol), Business West and Triodos Bank. All shortlisted entrants receive mentoring and financial and business advice to enable them to turn their brainwaves into marketable business plans – and are now eligible to go forward to the final of the competition which will take place in May.


Editor’s notes

• The shortlisted teams that have been chosen to go through to the final stage are:
1. SAVE-T-STRAW – device to detect spiked drinks
2. ARIES (Avon Response to Incidents and Emergencies Service)
3. The Mobile Biodiesel Company
4. Low cost battery operated inflammable gas detector for domestic use
5. Virtual silence – device to ‘turn down’ the sound of snoring
6. eRobot Wars – buying time to play remote robot challenge games
7. Dietary requirements – working out the nutritional requirements of recovering patients
8. START LIVING – Skill transfer and rehearsal training for disasters in the UK and abroad
9. National Directory of Quality Builders
10. Introduction to animation – workshops in all aspects of animation skills for school children

These shortlisted teams are attending a ‘meet the sponsors’ event on 12 January at Osborne Clark Solicitors.

• UWE’s Business Plan Competition is now in its fourth year and is organised by UWE’s Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies.

• For further information contact Nick Markovits on nick.markovits@uwe.ac.uk tel: +44 117 32 82763

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