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Engineering Innovation Connections

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What’s its purpose?

An opportunity for individual researchers or research groups to showcase their work to a knowledgeable audience who will give feedback and suggestions on how industrial relevance might be improved. It may also be a possible prelude to support, co-operation or investment.

The idea is to emphasise the importance attached to the work of individuals and teams and maximizing the speed and effectiveness with which their research could have a real impact, economically and socially.

It is also intended to provide ideas and examples for others to pursue in maximizing the realised value of their research.

The event is to support the Department’s Strategic Theme “Inspiring Research Through Industrial Collaboration”

What is it?

Two consecutive sessions from 2 pm to 7 pm on Wednesday 30 April, where Researchers will have the opportunity to showcase their work in two ways.

The first session will be practical – a display stand, and if appropriate a demonstration, where the audience will predominantly be ‘local’ academics.

During the second session, researchers will give a 5-minute ‘pitch’ to an audience of representatives from, inter alia, relevant industry, EPSRC , TSB, BIS , the RAEng, and Cambridge Angels.

All members of the audience will be invited to vote for their top 3 choices, and their choices will be aggregated into a collective judgement.

Liquid refreshments and nibbles will be available from 6.00pm and the prize-giving session between 6.30 – 7.00pm.

Who may enter?

Entries are welcome from all research staff from the Department of Engineering – academics, PhD students and post-Docs. Teams comprising similar students and staff from the School of Technology will be invited to enter in subsequent years. Click here to go to the on-line entry form

What’s the timetable?

You need to apply using the on-line form. The event itself will be held on Wednesday 30 April.

What’s its scale?

The event’s design is such that there will be time for approximately 15 presentations and thus 15 stands. Assuming more than 15 entries are submitted, the RAEng VPIs will exercise a review and feedback process to reduce the number to ~15 but will retain a ‘reserve’ list in the event of drop-outs.

What form will the assessment take?

Entrants or teams of entrants will be invited to make a presentation of their project to a Judging Panel in no more than 2 minutes with 3 minutes for questions.

The presentation may not be done using PowerPoint; the entrants or teams of entrants will need to rely on their spoken language skills to deliver a concise and coherent case. There will, however, be a facility to show short film clips and work with props such as prototypes and models, especially in the earlier session.

What help is available?

Entrants or teams of entrants will be expected to approach their supervisors or academic leadership for help and advice, and to use their initiative in seeking counsel.

Each entrant or team of entrants will be required to present to a screening panel arranged during the months of March and April. This mechanism will be used to manage the overall numbers, if necessary, and to give advice and feedback to the all participants.

What do entrants gain from competing for the award?

The prime learning experience to be gained is that of assessing a research activity for its value to, and potential exploitation by, society, and having the work critiqued by a knowledgeable panel who will be the kind of people with whom participants will need to work for and within their subsequent careers either as collaborators for research or in industry itself.

Not least, it may improve the researcher’s chances of playing a role in what happens next in developing their technology.

What will the audience gain from attending?

For the academics, it should be an opportunity to see what else is going on in the Department of Engineering, meet some relevant industrialists, support their protégés and possibly steer their research towards opportunities for further development.

For the external guests, those from the invited industries should have the opportunity to see research ideas of relevance to them; those from the ‘government and professional’ bodies will have an opportunity to see how their support is being applied, and see new ideas.

Everyone will be able to question the researchers on their work.

Who’s organising the Event?

The event is being organised by a team comprising the RAEng Visiting Professors of Innovation who are very keen to assist researchers to explore the potential value of their ideas, and the Director of Research’s office.

Where will it held?

The event will be held in the Department of Engineering building on Trumpington Street, Cambridge.

Do you have questions about Engineering Innovation Connections? Contact Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

This talk is part of the Collaboration Skills Initiative series.

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