100 young women take over BioCity

BioCity, the pioneering life science incubator and business collective opened its doors to 100 young women from local schools on 8 October 2019, to celebrate the tenth annual Ada Lovelace Day.

Co-created and supported by Nottingham Trent University (NTU), BioCity, Ignite!, and STEM Hub, young women were invited from across the region to take part in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based activities, all led by women in industry.

BioCity-based HGF, Sygnature Discovery, Azotic Technologies and XenoGesis, alongside event partners Rolls Royce, The British Army, Twycross Zoo, and Boots, ran interactive experiences allowing the students to gain insights into the world of STEM.

The ‘Drug Discovery Game’ by BioCity, Sygnature Discovery and XenoGesis let students experience for themselves the process of creating new drugs and the business that goes on behind them.

Students also looked at food scarcity and the use of sustainable fertilisers by way of extracting DNA from a banana, through the ‘Future Food’ workshop with Azotic Technologies.

Founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson in response to a lack of female visibility within STEM, Ada Lovelace Day is now recognised internationally. Events are held on the second Tuesday in October every year, specifically designed to increase the visibility of women in STEM and create new role models for those considering career options.

Gemma Cann, BioCity’s Marketing Director said: “Every day, we at BioCity work with women who are taking on global health and environmental challenges. They are the real-life role models who prove that careers in STEM are attainable for women. The young women we have met today could be the very people who are solving the problems we don’t even know we have yet. Connecting the two, the pioneers of today with those of tomorrow is crucial.”

Megan Shore, Communications Executive at Ignite! told us: "This has been a great opportunity to showcase the wide variety of careers in STEM beyond the obvious and expected. We've been able to challenge young pupils' perspectives and open their eyes up to new paths".

NTU’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Biggs commented: “Engaging with students is so important for the future of STEM. Events of this nature have a significant impact on how young women think and feel about STEM, and can ultimately inspire them to make a real difference through a career in STEM.”

After a morning of hands-on experience, students from across the region were brought together and set a challenge to create a marketing campaign to encourage and inspire other female students within their school.

The young women designed cross-channel campaigns and presented their ideas to the entire group. Ideas included the introduction of women’s rights-focused assemblies, practical activities for primary schools, drop-in sessions with women in industry, the use of social media influencers, hashtags and entire weeks dedicated to STEM in schools.

Common across every campaign was a desire to communicate the attainability of STEM, inspired by the women they met. As one student eloquently put: “It’s ok to be interested in what you are interested in, not what you think you should be.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was awarded University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 87% satisfaction score in the 2019 National Student Survey.

    A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 87% satisfaction score in the 2019 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

    About BioCity

    Home to more than 200 companies, BioCity is a pioneering life science incubator and business collective. Where ideas become reality, investment flows and businesses succeed.

    Not the typical business incubator, BioCity takes a holistic approach to business support. Offering entrepreneur coaching, investment, flexible lab and office space and PAYG services within a UK-wide business collective.

    Founded in 2002 by the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, BioCity originated in a former BASF Pharma research facility in Nottingham city centre.

    In 2012 BioCity acquired the MSD research facility in Newhouse near Glasgow to create Glasgow, BioCity. This was closely followed by a second site in Nottingham, MediCity, which is located on the Boots campus and is a collaboration with Walgreens Boots Alliance. In 2016 the Newhouse site was further expanded to create Glasgow, MediCity. BioCity also operates at Alderley Park, Cheshire, Aberdeen and Newcastle.

    The company has made 30 investments in early stage companies and has delivered a healthy growth in portfolio valuation. Funds are deployed from its own cash reserves and from a joint venture vehicle with AstraZeneca which BioCity manages.

    In 2017, BioCity was identified as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies in the Financial Times’ FT 1000 report. The BioCity model of ‘support from inception to incorporation’ initially challenged the industry standard but quickly became the industry leader due to the unprecedented survival rates of BioCity based businesses.

    About Ignite!

    Ignite! is a small Nottingham based charity that promotes creativity in learning through work with schools, youth groups and communities. Ignite! has been delivering programmes in Nottingham since 2007, with flagship projects including Lab_13, Community Curiosity labs and the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity.

100 young women take over BioCity

Published on 12 December 2019
  • Category: Business; Current students; School of Social Sciences

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