IPO announces £750k funding for student enterprise projects

Wednesday 19-11-2014 - 17:01

The Intellectual Property Office (the Government agency responsible for the UK’s Intellectual Property framework) has recently launched a new student enterprise competition which offers universities the opportunity to bid for their share of a £750k prize fund.

The ‘StudentshIP Enterprise Awards’ aims to complement the government's enterprise agenda and the burgeoning student enterprise culture by encouraging the practical application of Intellectual Property (IP) skills by HE students working in collaboration with HEIs and/or businesses. It offers individual prizes of between £10k and £100k for projects deliverable from April 2015 to March 2016.

The competition will recognise and reward student-centric projects that support the use and understanding of IP in student enterprise activities and increase the number of IP savvy graduates leaving HE. The IPO are keen to see projects that are genuinely student focussed bringing students, university staff and businesses together in an enterprise setting. Projects can be staff led with students as part of the team or student led with staff involvement/oversight but in all cases students must be a fundamental part of the project. 

This competition is a first for the IPO, as they have supported university-business collaboration through their ‘Fast Forward Competition’ for many years (providing £2.7m in funding to 44 projects) but this year their approach has changed. Based on engagement with key enterprise groups they recognised the role of IP in enterprise activities and the importance of student enterprise to HE and the UK as a whole. After extensive consultation with the enterprise community they shifted their focus away from Knowledge Exchange to supporting innovative student enterprise, launching the ‘StudentshIP Enterprise Awards’ in October this year.

The ‘StudentshIP Enterprise Awards’ is just one part of the IPO’s university engagement strategy which has seen them work with HE and industry to improve the knowledge and awareness of IP among both students and academics. Much of this work has been centred on embedding IP into the university curriculum as well as into professional accreditation standards, with the role of IP in enterprise activities a common theme. 

As well as this work and the support offered by the competition, the IPO are also working with HE partners on an online IP toolkit set to be launched in March 2015. The toolkit will provide teaching resources to help academics incorporate IP into university courses and also provide students with a level of IP knowledge and awareness needed to capitalise on their enterprising business proposals.

How to apply
The IPO would like to encourage all those working within student enterprise to speak to colleagues and students and consider whether their next enterprise project could be eligible for IPO funding. 

The application form and guidance/T&C documents can be downloaded from

Entries can be submitted electronically to the following e-mail address or by post at :

StudentshIP Enterprise Awards 2014
C/O Matthew Larreta (GY05)
Freepost CF 4185
NP20 1ZZ


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