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£500,000 Available for University Business Innovation Competitions

Engineers in Business Fellowship (EIBF) helps universities to inspire more engineering students and graduates to participate in business innovation competitions by providing cash prizes and mentoring by business leaders. 


Since the Engineers in Business (EIB) prize fund was expanded two years ago following generous funding from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the number of participating universities has risen from four to 32, and EIBF still has more than £500,000 to support up to 50 universities through to 2021. 


Engineering skills are greatly augmented by business education. For this reason, EIBF encourages engineering undergraduates and graduates to participate in university enterprise competitions through the prize fund. This helps to increase the level of participation, enabling engineering students and graduates to gain more commercial education and to develop business ideas that can solve problems in society.


UK universities that run business ideas competitions or engineering courses that incorporate business/entrepreneurial modules are eligible to apply for a £3,000 EIB prize fund.  


Universities can apply for a prize fund if they meet the following criteria: 


Existing enterprise competition: have an enterprise competition or engineering module that engineering undergraduates, graduates, alumni and researchers can take part in - the prize fund would be incorporated into the existing competition/module. Prizes can be awarded to teams comprising only engineers or multi-disciplinary teams including engineers. Ideally prizes are awarded to first, second or third prize winners.


University Assessment: the competition must be able to rank and identify winners as part of the university’s standard assessment process. 


Promote the Prize Fund/Tracking: commit to promoting the prize fund to engineering students/graduates etc and track the number of participants year on year.


To apply universities should contact the EIBF office to request an application form, or download the application form from the website.


Winners of the individual university competitions can enter their innovations into the EIB Champion of Champions Final which takes place in October 2020. This gives university winners the opportunity to showcase their innovations and compete for a share in a £10,000 prize pot as well as other prizes


Entrants in the EIB Champion of Champions Final 2020 are required to submit a short video, Business Model Canvas and poster explaining/promoting their innovation. The innovations will be judged on their originality; how the idea addresses a need in society; clearly defined target audiences/benefits to end-users; viability of the ideas and the quality of the presentation materials.


Ten finalists will be selected to attend the Awards Ceremony in London where they will present their innovations to a panel of judges and invited guests, including EIBF’s settlor, Lord Sainsbury of Turville. 


The prizes at the final are awarded in the following categories:


Start-Up Business – Winner: £3,000 

Start-Up Business – Runner-Up: £1,500

Big Ideas– Winner: £3,000 

Big Ideas – Runner-Up: £1,500

People's Vote – £1,000 


For further information on Engineers in Business Prize Fund for universities, contact the EIBF office.