technology

Wet Wet Wet!

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Now there are two types of leak on a boat. There is the leak below the waterline where seawater enters the boat and there is the leak above the waterline where rainwater enters the boat. One might imagine that the former is the more serious but this is seldom the case unless it is a catastrophically large leak. Seawater leaks do no more than accumulate a little water in the bilge and generate some damp. They can be managed by occasional bilge pumping. Rainwater leaks however are the real enemy that transform life afloat from mild hardship to abject misery. Everything gets soaked. Books soak up water and expand like toilet rolls that have been accidentally dropped down the loo, computers, radios and televisions commit hari-kari in hours, bedding doubles in weight and mugs taken from the shelf are found to be already filled.

Eddie’s boat had both kinds of leak.

It was just about possible to find a position where one could sleep without being dripped on by moulding one’s body into the right shape and not moving all night. Even then you have to be prepared for the ‘stealth leak’. This is the leak that accumulates on a ledge or other interim surface and builds until its pregnant meniscus rises to the limits of captivity, the surface tension ruptures and a torrent of cold water descends onto the sleeper/computer/book below. A joy to experience.

I thought I could withstand this existence for three nights a week but the combination of discomfort, lack of sleep and too much driving meant that every time I returned to the boat my resilience was eroded. The damp was permeating my body and it felt as though I had entered an accelerated aging programme. The boat was turning me into Eddie.

It was clear that I would have to make alternative arrangements, but there was another problem – trouble was brewing in paradise.

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A New Technology Business Incubator

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A brand new initiative to help aspiring technology businesses in the North East has been set up at the Wilton centre in Redcar.

Check out The Journal Article on this new Innovation Accelerator.

The article states: “The Innovation Accelerator is specifically aimed at entrepreneurs looking to commercialise a scientific innovation and will give them unique access to the business intelligence, services and experience that will give them the best chance of success.”

Intel Challenge 2010

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What is the Intel® Challenge? http://www.intelchallenge.eu/

The Intel® Challenge Europe is a regional business plan for university students. In collaboration with prestigious education institutions and entrepreneurship organizations across Europe, Intel is excited to launch the Intel® Challenge Europe this year.

The goal of Intel® Challenge Europe is to contribute to the entrepreneurial movement and help generate interest and development of technological projects with the potential to become major business opportunities. By advancing technology entrepreneurship, Intel® Challenge Europe can support projects that can create value-added production chains and result in job creation.

The winners of this regional competition will be invited to participate in the final round of the competition at the Intel®+Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge (IBTEC) in November this year at the University of California at Berkeley.

What will you be doing 10 years from now?

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Future-proof careers?

It’s an impossible question, I know!  There was an interesting  article in last Saturday’s Guardian speculating on the “future-proof” and “at risk” jobs ten years for now. It’s worth a look!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/jan/09/jobs-of-the-future

Happy New Year 2010

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Happy 2010 Researchers,

Hope you have had an amazing Christmas break!

So not only is it a New Year it’s also a New Decade so if like us you are full of  resolutions and the determination to put them into practice, why not check out the Vitae website as a good starting point to get you revved up and ready to go.

Happy New Year

Also if you are a girl then you might like to attend the following event:

Girl Geeks January Event with fantastic and inspirational speakers for the evening…networking opportunity to kick start the new year.

Places are limited and selling out.

The Girl Geeks January event is in proud association and support with Yahoo! Developer Network and Newcastle Science City

Girl Geeks is a north east based, fun and friendly professional community for women and girls interested in technology, science, digital, innovations, entrepreneurialism, creativity and computing.  We hope you will come along and join our fun networking opportunity for like-minded women to get together, network, dine, drink and discuss all things geek.

January Event Details:

Date & Time: Thursday, 14th January 2010, 6pm for 6.30pm start.

Venue: Discovery Museum, Newcastle Upon Tyne http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/discovery/

Format: Warm welcome, introduction to the evening and update, buffet dinner, talks from guest speakers, shared experiences from a few Girl Geeks members, conversations, networking. 

Speakers:

We have a great line up of speakers for the evening:

Sophie Davies-Patrick, Head of International, Yahoo! Developer Network will be coming to the region especially for the Girl Geeks event! Sophie will be talking about her exciting career to date, her role at Yahoo! as well as introducing Yahoo! ‘s Developer Network. 

Sophie started the Yahoo Developer Network in the UK, dealing with everything the YDN supports in the US but extending it out to Europe, Asia, Canada and South America. She knows the markets, empowers the right people to talk to other right people and to their outside contacts about Yahoo and in general keeps the US aware of what the outside world is up to.

Joscelyn Upendran is co-founder & CEO of lovle and is also the Public Project Lead for Creative Commons – England & Wales which role means she is responsible for raising the awareness about Creative Commons. love is a learning and training software & services company. lovle’s software  enables individuals and organizations to quickly and easily find and legally remix, repurpose and collate learning content while keeping track of copyright licences. Prior to founding lovle, Joscelyn worked as a commercial lawyer in private practice for a number of years before she commenced a career in higher and further education, training lawyers and accountants.

Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organisation that provides free, easy to use legal tools and licences that give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple standardised way to pre-clear copyright to their creative works. CC licences let people easily change their copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.” Some e.g of use of CC licences: MIT; The Whitehouse; Yoko Ono; Gwen Stefani; OpenUniversity; Wikipedia; Flickr

Location and Parking: http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/discovery/makingavisit/

Organised by: Girl Geeks (North East) http://www.girl-geeks.co.uk

Refreshments:

Food:  Extensive finger buffet and home baked cupcakes. Please inform us of any dietary requirements.

Drinks: Complimentary welcome drink

Attendees: Girl Geeks From across the North East! Boy geeks are welcome to attend if invited by a girl geek although on this occasion we do stress that there are limited spaces due to demand so more boy geeks = less girl geeks.

Cost: £10.00 per person

Booking: Please reserve your place and book your ticket for the November Girl Geeks event via the payment link on the contact page of the Girl Geeks website http://www.girl-geeks.co.uk/contact.html or Paypal payment to events@girl-geeks.co.uk

Please contact Mia Chapman (founder of geek girls) if you require further information. http://www.girl-geeks.co.uk

http://www.twitter.com/girl_geeks_ne  

mia@girl-geeks.co.uk  

+44 (0) 7817 858347

New Enterprise – making the difference, Tuesday 15th December 2009 , HASS Postgraduate Training Suite, 7th Floor, Daysh Building

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The Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework was developed and tested with employers of Newcastle University graduates to determine how important they consider specific skills to be to the future of their business. The results from the 131 organisations that took part show that over 80% of employers consider personal enterprise, the ability to respond to opportunities and initiate change in order to drive continuous improvement, very important or important. In addition 75% of respondents thought the same about commercial acumen, the ability to recognise, utilise and create opportunities in order to contribute to achieving organisational goals.

These results are supported by the recent CBI report ‘ Preparing graduates for the world of work’ (2009). “ Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework 2007 .

On the 15th December hear how current postgraduate research students, staff and graduates are developing and using enterprising and entrepreneurial skills to progress their career ranging from the application of bespoke training and experiential learning to the start-up of commercial and social enterprises from their research.’

‘Enterprising skills and entrepreneurial behaviour are widely recognised as important elements of success in a wide range of sectors and professions including research. What does this mean for you? How might you take advantage of the ‘culture of enterprise’ and the opportunities it offers to enhance your career prospects?

Idea Generation

Researchers say YES to Commercialisation

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Teams representing the cream of UK university talent have been competing in regional heats across the country for the past three months.

In the face of this stiff competition, three teams of postgraduate student and research scientists from Newcastle University have succeeded in being selected to compete in the BiotechnologyYes final this December.

Newcastle University teams are becoming regular contenders for the top prizes and we have high hopes for this year’s entries.

Last Year's Winners: Team Allez and Team Fybre having fun after the final

BiotechnologyYES is an annual competition, now in its 14th year, which aims to help the UK’s early career bioscientists gain the skills and contacts necessary to turn research into a commercial reality.

Young scientists competed for places in the final, mentored by a team of advisors including financiers, intellectual property experts and spin-out company heads.

In the running for prizes and fame this year, are:

  • Team Aquaestus (pronounced a-quest-us):

Miguel Angel Galindo, Jennifer Hannant, Joseph Hedley, Jonathan Pate and Andrew Pike. Their Product Bio-ad Pro was developed to conserve heat through the use of a biochemical obtained from a bacterium. Once added to liquid Bio-ad Pro maintains a steady equilibrium and dissipates heat at a slower rate compared to conventional cooling processes.

  • Team Atmosphane:

Andy Goodhead, Joseph Harwood, Ernest Chi-Fru and Carla-Leanne Washbourne. Atmosphane will exploit methane clathrates, using a novel bacterium and biostimulant, to provide low cost methane as an alternative to traditional fossil fuel.

  • Team Ecosphere:

Susan Fitzer, Mohammad Mehedi Hasan Khan, Helen Pagett, Rebecca Herdman and Liadi Kola Mudashiru. Ecosphere uses a second generation antibiotic called iBiotic2G to reduce methane from ruminants. Thus increasing cow meat yield and milk yield and lowering meat to market period. iBiotic2g has a molecular size too large for absorption in ruminant stomachs and therefore avoids resistance build up to antibiotics and passing this resistance onto humans.

All of these teams are sponsored by local business woman and entrepreneur Caroline Theobald whose company Connect North East specialises in bringing together high-tech companies and investors.

Watch this space in the New Year for an update on how our teams got on at the December 14th final in London!

 ‘When one of the judges got his cheque book out I knew we had nailed it.’ Jennifer Hannant; Aquaestus 

‘At one point I thought this was a real business, but it wasn’t.’ Jonathan Pate; Aquaestus

 ‘Environment YES demonstrates the numerous career paths available to research scientists, presenting entrepreneurship as a realistic long-term occupation’ – Carla-Leanne Washbourne; Atmosphane

‘It was very intensive during the Oxford workshop, it was hard work but altogether a very enjoyable and beneficial experience. Plus the food was good!’ – Rebecca Herdman; Ecosphere