Celebrating innovation success in Yorkshire

Sixty-five clinical and academic researchers from the region’s universities have now completed their training on the Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowship (YEF). The £2.3M programme, funded by Yorkshire Forward, ran from 2007 and provided the Fellows with business training and mentoring to help them realise the commercial potential in their research in the bioscience, healthcare and chemical sectors.

Each Fellow was assigned a senior business mentor with relevant industrial experience, which enabled them to be linked in to industry contacts and benefit from the mentor’s sector knowledge. Extensive training was provided in a series of workshops on topics such as leadership, financial management and intellectual property.

During the course of the Fellowship, the YEF team have also provided a range of events for the participants, including a poster networking event and an investor awareness event, attended by representatives from financial schemes and investor organisations from the region.

Highlight results from the scheme include:

– A return on investment to the participating universities of £4.1M in levered funding.
– Twenty-two Fellows achieved further grant funding, including nine awards from the Yorkshire Proof of Commercial Concept Fund.
– Eight new businesses already established or expanded by Fellows, including Chromocyte Ltd and spin-out companies, Avoco Medical Ltd (University of Hull) and Aptuscan Ltd (University of Leeds).
– ShieldAll™, a CT foetal shield developed by Fellow Gareth Iball, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, with the backing of Medipex Ltd, was placed on the market earlier this year.
– Enterprise Fellow, Alex Oboh, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, was an award winner at the Medipex 2010 NHS Innovation Awards for his novel obstetric forceps.
– Sort:Ed an interactive board game for training student nurses, developed by Karen Currell of the University of Huddersfield, is due to be launched in June.
– RescuPod™, a medical emergencies kit for dentists, developed by Kate Taylor of the University of Leeds was launched in May.

The final event at Harewood is intended to showcase the success of the programme to local businesses and potential investors and provide a networking opportunity for those involved in the programme.

YEF Director, Dr Suzanne Emmett, commented: “The outputs from the YEF scheme demonstrate the immense achievements made by our Enterprise Fellows in terms of their scientific research and in the business learning from the programme. Such programmes represent a fantastic opportunity for individuals, as well as for the economy of the local region.”

The scheme followed on from an equally successful pilot programme, the Bioscience Yorkshire Enterprise Fellowship, and programme managers YTKO are hopeful that a new bid for funds to run a similar scheme starting in 2011 will be awarded.