October 24, 2016, by David Greenaway

Enterprise and Innovation at Nottingham

Today the Universities Minister, Rt Hon Jo Johnson MP opened our new Ingenuity Centre on Jubilee Campus. This new signature building, designed to echo the industrial heritage of the site, became possible when we were selected as one of four University Enterprise Zones, by the then Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (now BEIS).

That brought with it funding for the Ingenuity Centre, which will be the hub for Enterprise at Nottingham, a new partnership between The Haydn Green Institute, IP and Commercialisation Office and Careers and Employability Service.

The work we already do has a significant impact on our city, our region and on the UK as whole: 1 in 24 jobs in Nottingham are reliant in some part on the University of Nottingham. These figures are underpinned by our support for a thriving innovation and enterprise ecosystem through work with entrepreneurial students, alumni and academic staff, and with local SMEs. Photo 1 - Ingenuity Centre

The Ingenuity Centre will be home to a host of high value start-ups, investors, industry innovators, leaders and University staff at the frontier of supporting and developing enterprise.

The Centre will support a wealth of development programmes, networking events, competitions and will inspire the next generation of University entrepreneurs.

Vignettes of our different support programmes are highlighted below with weblinks.

Ingenuity student and alumni entrepreneurship competition 

Ingenuity16 established the Ingenuity brand as one of the biggest entrepreneurship competitions in the UK and took over 450 entrepreneurs through an intensive development programme of workshops, seminars and boot camps in the UK and China.

Photo 2 - One Third StoriesBusinesses benefitting include: One Third Stories who developed the Clockwork Methodology® and are working with major publishers to make it easier for children to learn new languages; Fanbytes are redefining online marketing to millennials with global brands and opinion makers ; and Porterlight design cargo bicycles for inner city use having recently signed a major deal with Deliveroo.

Photo 3 - PorterlightEntrepreneurship Education and Research  

The Haydn Green Institute provides world class entrepreneurial education to over 4000 students each year in the UK, Malaysia and China to develop the next generation of business leaders and innovators. The Institute also supports leading entrepreneurship and innovation scholars whose award-winning work impacts on policy and practice globally.

Young Entrepreneurs Scheme

Photo 4The Young Entrepreneurs Scheme is a family of business plan competitions for early career researchers, built on research pioneered by the Haydn Green Institute, delivered as a unique partnership with 4 Research Councils and industry sponsors including GSK, Unilever and Syngenta. Since 1995 over 5000 researchers have taken part and subsequently realised significant personal and societal benefits. Beginning with bioscience researchers, the scheme has grown to cater for environmental scientists, engineers, medical researchers, chemists and digital researchers.

 Spin Outs    

We currently have 27 successful spin-out companies in operation, employing 145 people and with more than £90 million in investment raised in the last 10 years.   Our companies span a wide variety of sectors having high value impact.

Monica Healthcare has developed a novel foetal and maternal heartrate monitoring system and recently signed a deal with GE Healthcare as their exclusive distribution partner in North America;

and Oncimmune has developed a technique for the early detection of cancer and recently floated on the London Stock Exchange.Photo 6 - Oncimmune


We also license new technologies arising from research to industry with over 100 deals concluded in recent years. Examples include the licensing of soda-lo, a salt substitute, to Tate and Lyle.Photo 7 - Soda-lo


In addition to the University‘s £350k per annum Innovation Investment Fund, we have a new Nottingham Ingenuity Fund, supported by alumni and friends of the University. To date this has amassed support of £1 million over the next 5 years to launch student and alumni opportunities on the path to success.

International Entrepreneurship  

The Ingenuity Lab runs one of the UK’s largest Tier 1 Entrepreneurship Visa programme and currently has over 70 active businesses. This has created a dynamic and truly international culture of entrepreneurship at UoN.

Business Engagement 

The Aspire to Grow Programme is a free business growth programme available to high growth business owners/senior decision makers from small and medium size enterprises. It was designed and launched using HEIF support and brings together student and academic enterprises with ambitious local small businesses.

Developing the next generation of entrepreneurs

A wide range of activities nurture and develop new talent. These include: practical skills for market assessment and forecasting, price setting, financial modelling; professional advice for financial, IP and legal matters, and coaching in other specialist market segments; strategic advice from many areas; space to work; and expert guidance from high value mentors selected from University’s alumni network of industry leaders

For more information about the entrepreneurial work that the Ingenuity Lab are doing, please contact the team on ingenuitylab@nottingham.ac.uk.

You can follow The Ingenuity Lab on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and on the Inside the Ingenuity Lab blog.

The Enterprise at Nottingham partnership is a unique offer to provide our budding and seasoned entrepreneurs with the support, guidance, skills and networks to be able to bring their ideas to fruition. The new Ingenuity Centre will provide the perfect location to help our distinctive entrepreneurial ecosystem to innovate and grow.

Professor Sir David Greenaway




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