Thea Armourers and Brasiers' Company is, through the Gauntlet Trust, one of the leading supporters of materials science education and research at schools and universities in the UK, providing funding for grants, prizes, teaching support, industrial placements, conferences and research. The Company wishes to deepen the impact and reach of its activities by providing funding for the commercialisation of materials-related intellectual property of value which may have been in part generated through its grant giving activities. This is be achieved by providing direct financial support of the commercialisation of promising research via the provision of an annual Armourers and Brasiers' Materials Science Venture Prize.
The benefits to the field of materials science generally include:
The scheme is focused on an annual prize of £25,000 in the form of an investment into the enterprise and is judged on a competitive basis by a committee of commercial, financial and scientific experts.
This prize is intended to enable the winner to fund a significant commercial advancement of the project to a stage where a business may be created to exploit this technology. The Armourers and Brasiers' Prize is becoming a significant factor in enabling the commercialisation of promising materials-based technologies in the UK by providing funding which is otherwise very difficult to source, to high potential researchers. Over time, it is hoped that the prizewinners will go on to create materials-based enterprises of significant commercial potential. The prize is directed at projects with a specific commercial objective that should be specified in the application: for example a market study or the creation of a prototype that can be shown to customers, rather than general R&D.
The winner is announced at the annual Armourers and Brasiers' Forum in Cambridge, in June each year. In June 2012 the Venture Prize was awarded to Isis Innovation and the University of Oxford for their project 'Low cost, earth-abundant, transparent conducting oxides'. More information about this exciting new technology is available here.
Detailed timings for the 2013 competition will appear on this page in September 2012, but are likely to be as follows:
Although there can only be one winner, all applicants benefit by entering a competition process which has been specifically designed to encourage and support participating materials scientists who have new and exciting ideas with commercial development potential.
It is anticipated that the majority of applicants will probably be closely linked to the major UK university departments engaged in materials research. However, applications are also welcomed and positively encouraged from those materials scientists working in the industrial and commercial sectors. It is axiomatic that there is little point in taking new technical ideas into an open competition unless the intellectual property involved is protected.
If this is for you then please apply. Applications should be submitted on the Venture Prize Application Form which will be available in September 2012 on this page or by: