Innovation Challenge For Budding Entrepreneurs

Thu, 29/03/2001 - 01:00

Budding inventors and young entrepreneurs are being encouraged to enter a new business competition to find the most innovative technology ideas in County Durham.

The NETPark Innovation Challenge 2011 was launched with East Durham College’s Business Academy to coincide with last week’s Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Teams of students aged 14 and above are being urged to enter business plans showing how their ideas could be used in high tech commercial industries or products.

The best teams will then be in with a chance of winning a trip to watch the live version of the hit television series The Gadget Show in Birmingham.

The students’ business plans can range from an idea for an eco-friendly, low carbon product, such as the technology used in the Nissan Leaf electric car, to technology around printable electronics.

The challenge is open to teams from schools and colleges across County Durham and will be judged within two categories – best team aged 14 to 16 schools and best team post-16 or 6th form/FE colleges.

Ray Sharp, Enterprise Manager at East Durham College, said: “We’re encouraging all budding scientists and entrepreneurs to come up with their best ideas and use their business plans to show how they would work in a commercial market.

“We’re expecting to see some really exciting results which will showcase just how innovative the students can be and what talent there is for the future in County Durham.”

The competition is part of Project C, the ongoing outreach and engagement programme for the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in, Sedgefield, County Durham which aims to raise aspirations and make people aware of careers in science, engineering and technology.

Catherine Johns, Director of Innovation Development at County Durham Development Company (CDDC), which manages NETPark, said: “There are so many fantastic opportunities available for young people in the science and technology industries and this competition gives a real chance for them to show just how innovative they can be.”

The winning teams will pitch their ideas at a final, which will be held at The Lubetkin Theatre at East Durham College in February. The closing date for entries is Friday 27th January 2012.