Winner of the Emerging Technologies Competition 2013
Case study: September 2016
We interact with encapsulated products throughout our day - in fuels in our transportation, flavourings in our food, fragrances in our toiletries and in the medicines we take. Aqdot, who spun out of Cambridge University in 2013, operate in the rapidly growing encapsulation market, which is currently valued at £4bn. Their technologies encapsulate and protect valuable active products (cargos) in a variety of applications. Uniquely, by using a range of triggers, the cargos are released when and where required.
In 2013, Aqdot had demonstrated successful proof of concept with their platform technology. They entered the competition to gain exclusive access to the competition’s partner companies, enabling them to carry out essential market research with multinationals from a wide range of fields.
Aqdot received support from GSK, Croda and P&G. The companies gave guidance on a range of topics: from new laboratory techniques and chemical regulation, to building a commercialisation plan and identifying potential customers. In particular, they helped Aqdot to clarify the markets they should initially focus on.
Working with the partners helped to focus our minds on particular market sections that our technology really brought a benefit to. It helped to inform the direction of our technology development and saved us a lot of time.
With support from the partners, Aqdot carried out substantial market research and, as a result, they started developing products for the household and fragrance sectors.
“The breadth of the markets these mentors deal with has been very valuable in terms of helping us identify the order of our [commercial] approach so when we take the platform technology forwards, we’re doing it in a stepwise and focused way,” says Tim Wright, Chief Executive Officer of Aqdot.
Aqdot have been growing fast. In the three years since the competition they’ve doubled their number of employees, received almost £9m in equity investment and acquired new lab space. They are working closely with multiple customers to provide tailored encapsulation solutions and are involved in several collaborative projects. In parallel, they have been developing their scale-up and manufacturing capability.
What’s next for Aqdot?
Aqdot is focusing on getting their technology to market and hope to have their first product on the shelf in early 2017. Watch this space...