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Well Done GSNI!

The Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI) has achieved the runner-up title in the prestigious 2010 Environment YES (Young Entrepreneurs Scheme) competition.
Friday, 17 December 2010

The competition is run by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the University of Nottingham's Institute for Enterprise and Innovation.

It encourages young researchers working in natural environmental sciences to propel their research into the commercial sphere by developing skills in marketing, finance and intellectual property.

The GSNI team of four, impressed a panel of investors with their hypothetical company, Tellus Technologies, when they presented their business idea for their invented product, WellSite. Aiming to improve the success rate of groundwater exploration by using technology, Wellsite assists drill operators in selecting the site that has the best probability of groundwater being struck, thus increasing success rates of water well drilling from 50% to 75%.

Tellus Technologies won their regional heat which was held in Edinburgh gaining them a place in the semi-final held in the County Hall, London. They subsequently made it to the final two on the day and went through to a head-to head final, eventually finishing as runners up.

A number of additional prizes were also available, with a member of the GSNI team winning the award for the ‘Best Presenter’.

Commenting on their success, Paul Wilson, ‘Managing Director’ of the Tellus Technologies team said: “The standard of competition this year was particularly high and it is a tremendous achievement to have finished second. After winning the regional heat in Edinburgh, the GSNI team demonstrated how well it could compete against top teams from across the UK in the final head-to-head pitch to ten venture capitalists.

“The competition has shown us how it is possible to change research ideas into a business which brings value to others.”

Melanie Wrigley impressed the judges and was awarded the prize for “Best Presenter” out of both the Environment and Biotechnology YES competitions. Melanie said: “I am honoured to have been given this recognition, as we were competing against a number of esteemed universities and research organisations. We presented a very strong, coherent pitch and to win the award for ‘Best Presenter’ provides further recognition for the team’s hard work.”

The winning team consisted of Paul Wilson, Melanie Wrigley, Claire McGinn and Orla Gallagher.

Notes to editors:

  1. This is the fifth year that Environment YES (run by the Natural Environment Research Council) has been run in parallel with the longer standing Biotechnology YES competition (which is run by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council).
  2. Finalists participate in a Dragon’s Den style pitch, seeking investment in their hypothetical company. Each team presents a product that is imaginary but can be based on actual research if desired.
  3. Best presenter was sponsored by University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation.
  4. For media enquiries, please contact DETI Press Office on 028 9052 9297. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.