Staff and students win national award for new ideas to transform society and the environment

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Three entries were chosen as award winners and they will receive investment and specialist mentoring support to make their ideas a reality.

  • 05 July 2021
  • 3 min read

Entrepreneurial staff, students and graduates from the University of Portsmouth have won awards at the 2021 Ingenuity Impact Awards for new business ideas that will transform society and the environment.

Three University entries (from five that were shortlisted) were chosen as award winners and they will receive investment and specialist mentoring support to make their ideas a reality.

The winning entries were:

Wild Lens in the Engineers in Business Fellowship Challenge Award

Using image and audio recognition, a team of current and former students developed Wild Lens, which builds a digital picture of ecosystem change and impact. Farmers, landowners and property developers will use Wild Lens to help them measure the positive and negative influence of their actions on natural ecosystems.

Robert Ball, second-year Innovation Engineering student and Chief Operating Officer of the team, said: “The award will let us advance our prototyping and build more devices to test in the field. This will hopefully let us test our project with some interested parties such as the Knepp estate or Portsmouth City Council.”

This is a fantastic result for Portsmouth to be represented on the national stage in our first year with the programme. It’s great to see our staff and current and former students come up with bold new ideas that will make a difference to the world we live in.

Dr Christopher Worrall, Innovation Director

• Rosaria Barreto for the following awards:
- Centre for Ageing Better Challenge Award
- Football Foundations Challenge Award (Albion Foundation and Nottingham Forest Community Trust)

Rosaria Barreto, a BSc (Hons) Exercise and Fitness Management graduate, created Mature Movers to redefine expectations of ageing by promoting physical activity after 60. A combination of virtual personalised group exercise and social interaction aims to make exercise easily accessible for older adults and to help tackle social isolation. The aim is to inspire older adults to move more so that they age well regardless of physical limitations.

• Simon Toh for the following awards:
- Health Challenge National Champion
- South Coast Champion (First Prize)
- Shakespeare Martineau Legal Prize (South Coast)

Simon Toh, a Consultant Surgeon at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust and Senior Lecturer in the University’s Faculty of Cultural and Creative Industries, developed an app called VELMA that ‘talks’ to patients with deep vein thrombosis via their smartphones to help them manage their condition.

Simon said: “Deep vein thrombosis kills 25,000 people a year in the UK, more than AIDS, breast cancer and road traffic accidents put together, and it affects all ages. It happens after illnesses like Covid-19 and following surgery. Most are preventable through simple measures that can be communicated directly to patients using this award-winning life- and cost-saving app.

“This award will allow me to work with Ingenuity for the next 12 months to create a social enterprise to scale-up the app and make it available to all NHS Hospitals within two years.”


The award will let us advance our prototyping and build more devices to test in the field. This will hopefully let us test our project with some interested parties such as the Knepp estate or Portsmouth City Council.

Robert Ball, Second-year Innovation Engineering student

Dr Christopher Worrall, Innovation Director at the University of Portsmouth, said: “This is a fantastic result for Portsmouth to be represented on the national stage in our first year with the programme.

“It’s great to see our staff and current and former students come up with bold new ideas that will make a difference to the world we live in.”

Ingenuity is a UK enterprise programme run by the University of Nottingham that has taken place every year since 2016. It looks at investing more than £400,000 in new ground-breaking business ideas that affect four different areas of our lives: prosperity, community, health and climate change.

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