Winner of the 2005-06 Research Councils' Business Plan Competition announced

Converting research into commercial reality

The winner of the Research Councils’ Business Plan Competition has been announced.

The judging took place at the Royal Society in London with a top prize of £25,000.

The winning team are:

Warwick Warp, a spin-out company from the University of Warwick. Warwick Warp is developing a unique software-based fingerprint identification system which is substantially more reliable and also faster than those currently available. Warwick Warp’s technology can be incorporated into identity cards and biometric passports – and so could help combat crimes such as identity theft, social security fraud, people trafficking and terrorism.

Minister for Science and Innovation, Malcolm Wicks, said:

"I congratulate Warwick Warp and all those short-listed for the competition because many of them have developed potentially winning ideas for areas which are crucial to our economy, our health and quality of life.

"Innovation depends on taking research right through to become fully-fledged marketable products and services. Competitions like this which help mentor and develop people to market and sell their research can only help us in striving to boost innovation in the UK."

UK research in science, engineering, technology and the arts ranks among the highest in the world. The aim of this competition is to help commercialise some of the best projects so that the whole of UK society can benefit.

The runners up:

  • From healthcare to video gaming - unlocking the potential of 3D imaging (Dr J Paterson, Oxford. Eykona Technologies Ltd).

  • Computer animated textures for clothing and interior design (Professor M Chantler, Heriot-Watt University. TotallyTextures Ltd).

  • Oral vaccination – aiding the global fight against disease (Dr V Ferro, Strathclyde University. Platform Technology for Oral Delivery of Vaccines).

  • Easier breathing – more effective treatment for respiratory diseases (MG Iobbi, Imperial College London. Medical Device for Patients with Respiratory Disorders Dependant on Oxygen Therapy).

  • Combating the software bugs that affect the reliability of consumer products Dr K McDonald-Maier, Essex University. Ultrasoc Technologies Ltd).

  • Speeding up pharmaceutical and cosmetic testing with new biosensors (Dr D Naseby, University of Hertfordshire. Biosense Technology).

Detailed outlines of the Business Plan ideas of the seven teams are available from the EPSRC Press Office (see contact details below).

This is the second time that all eight of the UK’s Research Councils have joined together to run the competition under the banner of Research Councils UK (RCUK).

The UK Research Councils invest more than £2.5 billion in research and training to support the development of new knowledge for the benefit of the UK economy and society. The Research Councils’ Business Plan Competition provides support, mentoring and training to develop high quality business plans to commercialise research carried out in UK universities and research institutions. Participants in the competition submitted business propositions from across the arts, biosciences, the environment, science and technology.


Notes for Editors

  1. Further details of the competition can be found at

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the partnership between the UK's eight Research Councils. Through RCUK, the Research Councils work together to champion the research, training and innovation they support. The eight Research Councils are independent non-departmental public bodies, funded by the Science Budget through the Office of Science and Innovation. They are incorporated by Royal Charter and together manage a research budget of over £2.5 billion a year. For more information visit

  3. The eight UK Research Councils are:

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The Department of Trade and Industry ( made a £50,000 contribution towards the training and mentoring for the competition.

An image of the winners is also available from the EPSRC Press Office, details as follows:

BPC winners.jpg: Caption: ‘The Warwick Warp team, winners of the 2005/06 Research Councils’ Business Plan Competition (from left to right: Dr Ederyn Williams, Dr Li Wang and Dr Abhir Bhalerao)‘.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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