Sponsorship agreement for College team in the Grassroutes Business Challenge

April 2011

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

A team of specialist students from the School of Sustainable Environments at Writtle College will be entering the Grassroutes Business Challenge in November this year. Sponsoring the team will be the world’s leading manufacturer of high efficiency fan and motor products ebm-papst UK Ltd, who have a regional branch close to the College in Chelmsford, Essex.

Robert Harness, Special Projects Manager at the regional branch of ebm-papst UK Ltd said: “We were approached by the Grassroutes Challenge team to get involved in the initiative, and after finding out that Writtle College would be entering a team of students’ we thought it would be a great idea to sponsor and support them as a regional Higher Education institution in our local area.”

Nigel Kirby, Project Co-ordinator in the Writtle College Business Development Unit went on to confirm Robert’s enthusiasm for the sponsorship deal: “This is an exciting competition and I am sure our team of specialist students will find the experience both challenging and rewarding, as well as being able to institutionally compete with leading Universities taking part in this year’s competition.”

The event has been described as a cross between televisions Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice as it offers potential industry employers the benefit of seeing how the students work in their teams problem solving and presenting information to a panel of experts. Employers have the opportunity to consider the students and how they might fit within their organisation before undertaking any formal recruitment procedures.

The Writtle College team will be made up of six undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Competing teams will be coming across the UK from food and agricultural Higher Education Institutions.

This year’s Grassroutes competition will be taking place on 22 November at the Royal Agricultural College, Gloucestershire.

About Grassroutes

The Grassroutes Challenge is an exciting competition in which some of the UK's top food and agricultural Universities are challenged to an intensive one day business competition.

The participating Universities are given a business challenge in the form of a case study, each team then have six hours to find a solution to their industry related problem before pitching it to a panel of industry experts.

The aim of the Grassroutes Challenge is to encourage a wider understanding of the business challenges now facing different sectors of the food chain - from field to table and exploring new ways to work together. The competition also aims to build practical relationships between businesses operating in food and agriculture and Universities in this sector, creating a strong alignment of long term interest. In addition to these aims, Grassroutes also helps to identify a pool of future management talent for this fast changing industry by engaging students with senior figures from the industry to solve real-life business problems.