Tomorrow’s patents pending

2013 recipients of the Royal Commission for the Great Exhibition of 1851's industrial felooships.

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 has awarded funding to young scientists and engineers to encourage them to patent their inventions.

Eight recent graduates were awarded with £80,000 of funding each this week by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 which was founded by Prince Albert to stage the Great Exhibition and celebrate the achievements of British trade and industry around the globe.

The funding will support the graduates throughout industrial fellowships in which they will be tasked with developing innovative technologies into commercial opportunities.

The fellowships, which will run concurrently with the students’ PhD and EngD studies, should ideally result in patented technologies, products or processes.

These industrial fellowships are awarded annually by the Royal Commission to students who bid to have their research proposals supported. The fellowships form an important part of the organisation’s work to promote globally competitive British industry.

The 2013 Fellows were recognised at an award ceremony attended by the Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science who commented: “: “The Government is committed to ensuring that the UK is the best place in the world to do science. To achieve this we must support the development of scientific ideas into commercially viable and profitable technologies. These in turn drive the economy and keep the UK ahead in the global race.”

Winning proposals include:

  • A sports drink, which could significantly improve physical and cognitive performance
  • A ‘Laboratory on a chip’, which promises a wide variety of applications, including detecting antibiotic resistant infections
  • Plans for developing a fabric chimney up to 1000m tall, which could greatly reduce the cost of solar power generation

2013 Fellows are: 

  • Campbell Brown – working with Sharp Laboratories and University of Southampton to develop a ‘Laboratory on a chip’, for a wide variety of applications including detecting antibiotic resistant infections
  •  Jordan Conway – working with SIRAKOSS and the University of Aberdeen, to produce a material that mimics bone growth, to reduce the need for metal implants
  • Jethro Coulson – working with Renishaw and the University of Nottingham on a technique for measuring metal components at a microscopic level to maximize their efficiency, particularly within the aerospace industry
  • Stephen Greenland – working with Clyde Space and the University of Strathclyde to progress work on the first ever UK space agency commissioned nano-satellite
  • Brianna Stubbs – working with TdeltaS and the University of Oxford, to produce a ketone based sports drink, with the potential to improve performance by as much as two per cent
  • Patrick Cottam – working with Lindstrand Technologies and University College London (UCL) to research methods for developing a fabric chimney up to 1000m tall, which could greatly reduce the cost of solar power generation
  • Julian Hodgson – working with Passion Pictures and University College London (UCL) to develop artist friendly tools for fluid simulation in visual animation
  • James Dimmock – working with Sharp Laboratories and Imperial College London to develop high efficiency solar cells, which generate significantly more power than traditional cells through transforming the sun into a laser. James has been selected as this year’s ERA Foundation Fellow, an award for a candidate from the electro-technology sector made possible by a generous donation from the ERA Foundation.

The ERA Foundation, is a sponsor of the Royal Commission and supports its industrial fellowship initiative.

David Clark, executive secretary of the ERA Foundation, commented: “The Foundation is proud to be one of the supporters of the 1851 Industrial Fellowship Awards.

“These prestigious awards allow the ‘brightest and the best’ of our engineering talent in industry to enhance their qualifications even further to the very highest levels. UK economic competitiveness requires the nation to continue to produce world-class engineers, and the 1851 Industrial Fellowship Awards are helping to realise this ambition.”

Since they were established in 1990, the Industrial Fellowships have supported over 180 young scientists and engineers, plus numerous UK companies and universities, investing a total of over £12m in research.

The Commission counts 12 Nobel prizewinners amongst its alumni, including recent winner Peter Higgs.