Press release

£750,000 prize for turning innovative ideas into reality

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

2013 Fast Forward Competition awards a total of £750,000 in prizes for turning innovative ideas into business reality

Ten of the UK’s most innovative universities and two exceptional National Health Service trust projects were awarded a total of £750,000 for their ground breaking projects to turn ideas into business reality today. These projects will help to create new products and services for businesses, society and the wider economy.

A total of 12 entries from the Fast Forward Competition have been awarded prizes of between £12,000 and £90,000. They come from areas such as healthcare, design, clean technology construction and social enterprise, engineering and aerospace.

The competition is designed to encourage universities and public sector research establishments to collaborate on innovative approaches to knowledge transfer. This will also help develop university research to real world products and services.

One of the competition winners is the ITALIA project from Buckinghamshire New University. The project has been awarded £70,000 to bring together a variety of medical experts, university academics and Buckinghamshire County Council to develop new telehealth solutions which will connect patients and doctors through telecommunications technologies.

Lord Younger Minister for Intellectual Property said:

I am pleased to recognise and reward such a diverse range of projects. The winning projects have taken the best of UK research and academic knowhow and collaborated with innovative industries to capitalise on each others’ strengths.

It is vital for universities and industry to find new ways of working with different partners in new areas and supporting growth. These projects embody that mindset and I congratulate them on their success.

The competition was open to UK universities and Public Sector Research Establishments (PSRE) and saw over 77 entries. This is the third year of the Fast Forward competition which has provided £2 million in funding to 35 projects since the competition started in 2010.

Notes to editors

  1. For media queries, please contact Veena Mapara on 0207 215 5614.

  2. For emergency media calls out-of-hours please contact the duty press officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on +44 (0) 207 215 3505.

  3. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.

  4. The 2013 Fast Forward Competition awards prizes for projects that improve the management of IP and Knowledge Exchange (KE), thereby creating new companies or services which benefit both the UK economy and society. It aims to encourage Higher Education institutions and PSRE to work with businesses and local communities to develop innovative KE practices that set, test, develop or embed best practice.

  5. The IPO has run the Fast Forward competition for three years and in that time has awarded £2 million to 35 projects. Each project has won prizes of between £10,000 and £100,000.

  6. Further information relating to the Fast Forward Competition can be found at:

  7. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.