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The Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award: 2014 award

05 Nov 2013

In association with Sir Andre Geim

The competition is open to all University students and recent graduates

The Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award, in association with Sir Andre Geim, is a £50,000 annual award to help establish new enterprises in graphene at The University of Manchester. The award aims to encourage the development of new graphene enterprises identified through the submission of a business plan by current students or recent graduates of the University.

Graphene, a two dimensional carbon material, is a game-changing UK discovery and its properties make it one of the most important breakthroughs in recent memory.

The competition is co-funded by the North American Foundation for The University of Manchester, through the generous support of one of the University’s former students, Dr Eli Harari, and his wife Britt, and the UK Government’s Higher Education Innovation Fund. The award judging panel will be chaired by Sir Andre Geim, Holder of the Langworthy Chair and Regius Professor at The University of Manchester who, together with Sir Kostya Novoselov, won the Nobel prize for Physics in 2010 for the isolation of graphene.

The 2014 competition is open to both individuals and teams. Teams can contain up to six people but at least 50% of the team must be students and/or graduates of The University of Manchester. Applicants can be undergraduates, PhD students, Postdoctoral Research Associates and alumni of the University who graduated in either 2012 or 2013.

The prize of £50,000 will be awarded to the individual or the nominated lead entrant of the team, who can demonstrate outstanding potential in establishing a new enterprise related to graphene and who now wishes to embark on an entrepreneurial career in innovation and commercialisation.

Applications will be judged on the strength of their business plan to develop a new graphene-related business.  The award then becomes seed funding to allow the candidate to take the first steps towards realising this plan.  It recognises the role that high-level, flexible early-stage financial support can play in the successful development of a business targeting the full commercialisation of a product or technology related to research in graphene.

Over the next six months a number of workshops and network seminars will be held to assist applicants with their submissions. Prospective applicants are encouraged to register their interest in the award by sending an email to Ivan Buckley at

The Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award 2014: Terms and Conditions

Please note that by submitting an entry for the competition you automatically agree to comply with all rules and regulations of the competition as described below. Please read and follow the instructions below.  Failure to follow and comply with these instructions will result in disqualification

1.    Current undergraduates, postgraduate students and Postdoctoral Research Associates of the University of Manchester and alumni of the University of Manchester who graduated in either 2012 or 2013 may enter the competition.

2.    There will be a cash prize of £50,000 for the candidate successfully chosen as The Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award winner 2014.

3.    Selection and announcement of the candidate receiving The Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award will be carried out in May 2014. The judging panel will be chaired by Professor  Sir Andre Geim. The decision of the judges is final.

4.    All entries must adhere to the following criteria:
a.    All applicants must submit an outline business plan submitting their plan to establish, manage and develop a graphene-related enterprise with the prize money.
b.    Applicants must also be able to offer a scientific and technical rationale for their proposed graphene enterprise.
c.    All entries should be no longer than 3,000 words and not more than 10 A4 pages. They should be emailed to by 12noon on Friday April  11th 2014 and attached as a Word file. No other formats (even PDF) will be accepted.
d.    Shortlisted participants will be asked to make a short formal presentation of their business plan before a panel comprising of business, financial and academic representatives.
e.    You can enter as an individual or as a team but the lead applicant must meet the criterion described in point 1 above. Teams can contain up to 6 people but at least 50% of the team must be students and/or alumni of the University of Manchester who graduated in 2012/2013. Eligibility will be checked using names and student/alumni ID number.

5.    Competition organisers, authorised administrative staff and the judges are the only individuals who will have access to your concept submission, pitch decks, business plan and, if required, presentation materials. These individuals regularly deal with confidential information in the course of their work and will treat the information contained in your entry with the same care and respect for confidentiality.

6.    If there is a conflict of interest between your idea and any member of the judging panel, those judges will be removed from the panel. In such cases, judges with a conflict of interest will not judge your business plan.

7.     If any part of your entry is regarded by yourself as truly proprietary or commercially sensitive, mark those particular pieces as ‘confidential’.

8.    All IP will be managed according to the University’s policy/code of conduct related to research. This is set out in the University of Manchester Intellectual Property Policy -    

9.    Note that the short description/summary of your idea that you include with your outline business plan may be used in public documentation relating to The Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award 2014.

10.    The successful recipient will receive significant levels of advice and information, at no cost, from the University and UMI³.  High-value services such as business administration support, legal, financial and IP advice (including reasonably assisting the entrepreneur to raise new funding from external sources), formal mentoring, and any workspace taken in the UMI³ innovation centre/accelerator will also be available by financial negotiation, as is the case for other early-stage business owners working closely with the University.

11.    The award will be made according to the following conditions:

a.    The award will be made in 3 equal instalments during the 12 calendar months following the award decision in May 2014
b.    Each instalment will be paid upon the production of suitable evidence that indicates a commercial enterprise has been started and that progress has been made in developing the technology or product in question;
c.    The cheque is made out to the lead entrant. How the money is shared out is up to you.

12.     The results will be announced at an Awards Ceremony in May/June 2014 and will be published on the University website.