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Double win for Brunel at Mayor of London's competition

Nanoshift's Kariem Ali and Hassam Ahmad, who won the Environment award, together with Cosi Care's Lauren Bell, who won the Creative Industries award

Brunel University London's talented students and graduates took home two of the three £20,000 prizes at the final of this year's Mayor of London's Entrepreneur Competition.

Engineering PhD student Hassan Ahmad won the £20,000 Environment award for his project NanoShift: a patented technology for producing nano-sized material from green waste. The material is capable of enhancing the properties of packaging products, and holds promise in various other applications, including insulation and energy storage.

Hassan said: "I am delighted to have won this award and could not have done it without the support of the staff at Brunel's Innovation Hub and my team: Professor Mizi Fan, Barry Read and Kariem Ali. I know I have my work cut out for me but I'll try my best to make this into a success and am confident in the support offered to us by Brunel."


Hassan Ahmad pitching his product to the panel of judges in City Hall

Kariem, who holds a masters in marketing from Brunel, echoed this: "What a journey to get this far and finally win. A big thank you to my family, Brunel, my lecturers and supervisor for all the effort they put to make us succeed in life. I'm excited and looking forward to getting this idea to the next stage with team NanoShift."

Product design graduate Lauren Bell won the £20,000 Creative Industries award for her project Cosi Care, a business dedicated to creating products that offer instant relief to children suffering with eczema.

Lauren said: "Winning the award is such a massive honour and the money will allow us to exhibit at the Allergy and Free From Show in London this year, work on our website and brand, refine the prototype further and take us to the next exciting stages. Winning an office space for a year was incredible too, and in such a brilliant location. A very exciting year ahead for Cosi Care!" 


Cosi Care's therapeutic turtle, designed to bring relief for children with eczema

More than 500 students entered the competition, which was open to all students and recent graduates from London universities to submit their smart ideas for one of three categories: Environment, Creative Industries and Tech.

Mike Herman, who leads entrepreneurship and innovation in Brunel's Innovation Hub, said: "We are delighted that the high standard of entrepreneurship at Brunel is recognised not once but twice with these awards".

Brunel has an established legacy of transforming students into entrepreneurs, and the success of its students and graduates in the Mayor of London's Entrepreneur Competition reflects this.

In 2015, design graduate Solveiga Pakštaitė won the Low Carbon award for Bump Mark, an expiry label which goes bad exactly when the food inside the package does. The following year, Carlton Cummins reached the final for Aceleron, developing technology to transform perceived end-of-life lithium batteries from the automotive and consumer electronics industry into renewable energy storage, and in 2017 Ehab Sayed reached the final for Triagomy, an affordable construction system.

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