A new Innovation Fund supports outstanding entrepreneurial students

The University of Bristol is celebrating a remarkable gift from the Wilkinson Charitable Trust which has established an innovation fund for entrepreneurial students. The Jim and Peggy Wilkinson Innovation Fund will award seed funding to support new student-led projects and will be managed through the University’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CfIE).

An esteemed engineer, the late Jim Wilkinson committed his career to improving projects in the energy sector. Jim followed an apprenticeship route to qualification and was passionate about research throughout his career. Jim worked closely with academics and technicians from the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Engineering.

In 2008, Jim established the Wilkinson Charitable Trust. The Trust supports projects not only in engineering, but also in other areas such as medicine. True to Jim’s passion for innovative ideas, one such project included supporting a Bristol PhD student in Quantum Information. After Jim sadly passed away in 2020, his philanthropic endeavours continue through the Wilkinson Charitable Trust, which has recently supported a new innovation fund in honour of him and his late wife Peggy.

The Jim and Peggy Wilkinson Innovation Fund will provide seed funding for University of Bristol students who are looking to develop a business idea. The funding will enable students to investigate the potential of their idea and help them establish their start-up enterprise.

Tom Ellson, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship said: ‘This Innovation Fund is a remarkable opportunity for students and recent graduates to apply knowledge and develop inspirational ideas. It provides much needed support for innovative new start-ups and scope for talented students to realise their ideas.’

The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship provides students with outstanding knowledge and experience in enterprise. Undergraduate and postgraduate students can combine their main subject degree with Innovation, combining collaborative learning with industry challenges so students can gain experience and build a portfolio.

Tom Ellson continued: ‘We are so grateful to the Wilkinson Charitable Trust for this generous gift, made in recognition of Jim’s passion for the latest in innovations and technology. The Innovation Fund will support the Centre’s bold new ways of thinking and learning and will inspire new projects that help enable powerful and impactful change for society.’

For information on the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, click here.

The University of Bristol is grateful to the remarkable support of alumni and friends, whose generosity has far-reaching impact. To find out more about the causes alumni and friends support, click here.

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