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Still time to enter ICT Pioneers competition

30 May 2012

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) is inviting PhD students to enter its ICT Pioneers competition, which aims to recognise those who are able to communicate and demonstrate the excellence and exploitation potential of their research.

ICT Pioneers is a unique partnership between EPSRC and key stakeholders offering five cash prizes of £2,000 with a chance to win a bonus prize of £1,000. It is the second time the competition is being run after last year’s success and is open to all second- and third-year UK postgraduate research students in ICT-related subjects. (ICT-related subjects include but are not restricted to Electronics, Communications, Computer Science and Human-Computer Interfaces and Photonics.)

PhD students do not have to be funded by the EPSRC to participate in this competition. The deadline is 12 noon, Wednesday 13 June 2012.

The 2012 competition is being sponsored by BCS, HP, EPSRC, Imagination Technologies, ARM, the Institution of Engineering and Technology and BT. The BBC has also confirmed its support for the competition.

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton and one of the first computer scientists to undertake serious research in multimedia and hypermedia, said: ‘This exciting competition is searching for the most innovative thinking amongst the UK’s postgraduate ICT students. It provides a fantastic platform for them to connect with some world-leading companies and demonstrate how valuable their research could be to industry.

‘ICT Pioneers grows the confidence and insight necessary to be able to clearly communicate not only the exploitation potential of their research but also what they as an individual have to offer – so valuable in a highly competitive world.’

Last year’s winner of the Connected World category Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan,a Research Fellow at Girton College in the University of Cambridge, said: ‘Winning the award has benefited us enormously. The competition provided a focus for our research on the invention and, as a direct result, we were able to create PervasID Ltd, a Cambridge University spin-out to exploit our invention commercially. Winning this prestigious award has enabled us to extend our research and attract investors, customers and partners around the world. We believe that the ICT Pioneers Award will act as a springboard to our company's future success.’

In this first stage of the competition, applicants need to demonstrate how their research is pioneering, how it will be of potential benefit to industry, either in the UK or further afield, and show their personal contribution to the research.

Applications can be submitted in up to two of the following competition categories:

  • Technology Everywhere
  • Innovation for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Transforming Society
  • Information Overload

More information is available from EPSRC.

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