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SAN share (Madrid) Positivo_GB 3.553 | 0.37% | 17:35

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards winners announced

  •  Six Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award winners unveiled
  • I-Solarlite from University of Liverpool won £20,000 Postgraduate prize
  • The bank also announced 1,500 internships for university students to work in SMEs
  • Santander Universities Global Division will fund UK universities with £32million in the next 3 years
  • 2,000 new international mobility grants for UK and international students

London, 25 June 2013. Student entrepreneurs from across the UK were last night recognised and rewarded at the third annual Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards ceremony held at London’s BMA House.

The 10 shortlisted entrepreneurial projects competed for cash prizes ranging from £1,000 for third prize in the Undergraduate category to £20,000 for 1st prize in the Postgraduate category. The six winning entries were selected by a panel of judges consisting of representatives from several UK universities and business schools and Santander.

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards
During the event Steve Pateman, Executive Director and Head of Banking, Santander UK announced the winners of the third Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. Three undergraduate and three postgraduate business plans received cash prizes of up to £20,000 after being selected from projects submitted by universities across the country.

The undergraduate winners were:
First prize: University of Strathclyde: V. Design. An innovative knee protector branded as the Raptor Knee Protector. Specifically designed for joiners and floor layers, it was later realised through extensive market research that the product has market appeal to all trades, DIY and Gardening markets. Focused on comfort, practicality and protection, the technology used within the design could be taken and transferred to numerous other protective products.

Second prize: Imperial College London: Energy in motion. A not-for-profit social enterprise that targets areas of Africa with relatively high levels of rural bicycle ownership with a two-part solution consisting of a dynamo and a Portable Electricity Device (“PED”). The stored energy can then be used to power Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps or charge mobile phones. This versatile product will serve as a direct substitute for kerosene, helping households to reduce lighting costs by 80-85%.

Third prize: Loughborough University: Asap Water Crafts. The company designs and manufactures electric-propelled, small and personal watercrafts for close to shore or inshore rescue. The motor-assisted craft is an alternative rescue aid to powered rescue vehicles, such as a jet ski. Asap water crafts are cheaper to buy, more cost effective to run than a jet ski and can be launched immediately by one person, as well as being charged using solar energy.

The postgraduate winners were:
First prize: University of Liverpool. i-Solarlite: I-Solarlite aims to harness solar renewable energy on a large scale with the aim of providing electricity to the quarter of the world’s population who currently operate without electricity in developing countries like India and Africa. The main form of solar RE solutions includes solar PV modules and solar embedded appliances like solar lamps and heaters.

Second prize: University of Glasgow.  Robomotic Ltd: Robomotic is a technology company that develops innovative solutions for the market of assisted living.  Their flagship product is called EMMA (Elderly Mobile Monitoring Assistant), a platform that combines telecare, telehealth and home automation in a holistic manner. 

Third prize:  University of Sussex. Vortex Sport Design. Start up that aims to provide aerodynamic drag feedback to professional cyclists during competitive sporting activities.  Through the Vortex Aerodynamic drag sensor Vortex Sports design aims to provide the benefits of wind tunnel testing to athletes on a standard bicycle on any road.

Emilio Botin said: “At Santander we are fully aware of the fact that the unemployment rate among young people has been on the increase in the past few years. To counteract this trend we need to foster entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial attitudes in university students. The quality of the entries in the current edition has been extremely high, which shows the great potential these entrepreneurs have for the UK economy.”

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards, now in its third year, is funded by the Santander Universities Global Division and aims to support and encourage university students to pursue their business ideas. The competition is open to students from all 66 UK universities partnering with the Santander Universities Global Division. (For a list of these universities go to:  www.santander.co.uk/universities). The applicants submitted their business plans following a call for entries issued in March 2013.

The event was attended by representatives of the most important governing bodies in the UK higher education sector who also attended the fifth Santander Universities UK Vice-Chancellors Meeting held at London’s BMA House (25 June 2013) and organised by Santander’s Universities Global Division. 

Emilio Botin, Chairman of the Santander Group, Lord Burns, Chairman Santander UK and Ana Botín, CEO Santander UK welcomed prominent figures from the financial, academic and political scenes including David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science and Professor Sir Eric Thomas, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol.

During the awards ceremony Emilio Botin also announced the ‘3,500 campaign’ through which the bank will increase the funding provided to UK universities in the next 12 months reaching a total of 3,500 students with the aim to “help them achieve their hopes and dreams”. 

Internships
In 2012 Santander Universities UK benefited over 1,000 students and researchers with scholarships and awards, giving 500 students their first job experience by helping them find a job at an SME.

After filling all the offered placements in the internship scheme launched by Santander last year, Emilio Botín announced an increase in the number of positions offered in the next 12 months, trebling last year’s figure from 500 to 1,500 university students finding a job at an SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) for a period of three months. Santander and several SMEs have joined efforts to fund this initiative.

Santander Mobility Awards
The campaign’s main objective is the promotion of scholarships offered to UK and international students in UK universities. The scholarships are at the core of the Santander Universities activity, promoting internationalisation by allowing international and UK students to further their studies abroad. The number of scholarships will double from 1,500 last year to 2,000 this year.

Santander promotes these initiatives through its Santander Universities Global Division, whose activities form the backbone of the bank’s corporate social responsibility programme. The bank maintains a stable alliance with over 1,020 academic institutions worldwide. In the UK, Santander collaborates with 66 British universities and Higher Education institutions, with agreements focused in promoting international exchange, entrepreneurial activities and the mobility of students and researchers.  

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