A team of postgraduate students from the College of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee has won the Scottish round of the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) qualifying them for the finals in London in December. Biotechnology YES is an innovative competition developed to raise awareness of the commercialisation of bioscience ideas among postgraduate students and postdoctoral scientists. This is the first time a Scottish team has made it through to the finals.

Team members Anna Kelner, Dun Jack Fu, Alistair Davies, EleniKarinou, Alexander Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff called their virtual company BioVita, which offers large supermarkets the potential to extend the shelf life of fruit in grocery stores by removing a plant growth hormone responsible for ripening. This would literally save tons of fruit that is wasted by supermarkets and consumers every year.

The team pitched their business plan to a panel of business, finance and academic representatives taking the role of venture capitalists. BioVita is one of two teams from each workshop are selected to progress through to the Biotechnology YES Finals in London on 10 December 2012.

Biotechnology YES is organised jointly by the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI) and the Business and Innovation Unit at Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).