In addition to this, Gareth Crapper – research manager at AkzoNobel – has been mentoring the team and provided key feedback to guide their R&D going forward. "Eliminating formaldehyde emissions is a current challenge in several of our market sectors and this technology was not on our radar until the Emerging Technology Competition," says Gareth. "We’re keen to evaluate it, and then help the team to develop routes to commercialisation."
The team also benefited hugely from the intensive two-day entrepreneurial training course, provided to all shortlisted entrants of the competition. The course – run by the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School – gave the team new insights into identifying customers, crafting their business model, putting together their entrepreneurial team, and raising financial capital. "The course in Cambridge was fantastic," says Rebecca. "They stressed the importance of customer feedback which we will use in developing our technology further."
Once the group have built their formaldehyde testing facility they will begin performance testing on their prototype. The results from these tests, as well as feedback from AkzoNobel on the material’s suitability as a paint additive, will help them decide whether to set up as a spin-out company or look for licencing opportunities with industry.
Either way, it seems clear the technology has a bright future ahead of it.
Emerging Technologies Competition 2017
This year’s competition is now open for entries and closes on 13 March. Forty shortlisted entrants will present their technologies to panels of industry experts at Chemistry Means Business, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s flagship event for the chemistry-using industry in June 2017. We are welcoming entries in the categories of: health; energy and environment; food and drink; and materials and enabling technologies.
Find out more and apply now, on our website.
Read more success stories from our winners here.