How to engineer a business, and space for vision

Jason Ford

News editor

Engineers with an entrepreneurial streak would do well to attend a free event taking place in York tomorrow.

The IET event, entitled So you’re an Engineer – let’s make you into a businessman too, is said by organizers to be an interactive session where attendees will learn the basics of business practice and how best to build a business.

The event’s publicity material claims: ‘it is time to mobilise the essential skills that make our society run: those of scientists, engineers and technologists. The application of commerce, the building of businesses will free the individual and power our society out of this recession.’

Stirring stuff, and timely too given that a recent survey by Bosch found less than two per cent of respondents (1,347 UK adults aged between 18 and 45 years) regarded engineers as being involved in running businesses.

In correspondence with The Engineer, Peter Fouquet, president of Bosch UK, reminded us that engineers have been responsible for so much innovation and business growth.

The event in York is open to members and non-members of the IET and, although geared towards engineers and technologists, would benefit anyone who wants to run their own business.

Still with business and an event taking place tomorrow at Leicester University that aims to show how technologies developed for space programmes are informing medical practice on Earth.

Taking place at the Henry Wellcome Building, ‘Medical Imaging – Opportunities for Business’ is said by the organizers to be the first major event to be run by the Space IDEAS Hub, a business oriented team within the Space Research Centre at the Leicester University.

The aim is to showcase some of the technologies initially developed for space missions that are now helping improve patient care and discover new drugs. The event will also deliver a seminar  on how companies can develop their own products and access the expertise in the university to their commercial advantage.

The seminar will look particularly at technology that has been developed within the University’s Space Research Centre.

The university is developing small, high resolution gamma-ray camera for use in the operating theatre, intensive care units and at the patient bed side. According to the university, the new camera will greatly assist surgeons in the localisation of tumours and lymph nodes during surgery.

In addition, there will be sessions to help businesses develop their own products and markets with topics including access to funding, working with a university, marketing and social media and selecting export markets.

Medical and pharmaceutical advances are partially responsible for a pleasing aspect of modern life in Western European, namely that they are helping people to live a lot longer.

However, an ageing population is likely to present a number of challenges to health and social care services, but engineers are well placed to help.

Later Life: Quality Care Matters, which takes place tomorrow at London’s Barbican Centre, includes a panel debate entitled Dignity in Care.

Event publicity states that workable strategies exist for ensuring dignity and independence in later life.

Engineered innovations in telehealth and assisted living allow more elderly people to remain in their own homes for longer but finding long-term solutions that actually work and can be adopted across the board is essential. Click here to read about how an ageing society presents opportunities for today’s engineers.

Finally, Briefing brings you news of this year’s Venture Prize, an award to help scientists commercialise early stage research and exploit new ideas in the field of materials science.

The £25,000 Venture Prize has been donated by the Armourers & Brasiers livery company, a supporter of materials science education and research.

Applications are welcome from all British based materials scientists whether linked to a UK university department or working in industry.

The 2011 winners came from Sheffield Hallam University who developed a lighter-weight body armour with the potential to be used by British troops or the police service.

Clickhere to read Andrew Czyzewski’s coverage from last year.

Entries are open now and close at the end of March 2012.