We are very proud of the achievements of our 64 winners, who have been selected from hundreds of applicants over the last nine years.
In that time our winners have gone on to raise a combined total of over £172m in equity investment and grant funding, one has announced a £28m trade sale. We’ve also seen the winners expand overseas, enter commercial contracts, conduct clinical and industrial scale trials, and collectively double their number of employees.
Read about all our winners’ cutting-edge technologies below and some of their success stories.
If you are interested in collaborating with – or investing in – any of our winners please get in touch.Contact us
Alivion: Handheld methanol detector for food control and medical diagnostics
Methanol poisoning causes blindness or even death. Yet, methanol detector for diagnosis by breath analysis or screening of beverages are not available. Here, a handheld, nanostructured sensor is presented for highly selective methanol detection in less than 2 min. This device enables on-site analyses by distillers, authorities and health professionals.
LSF: Fast electrochemical process to recover used hydrocarbons
LSF has a developed a unique chemical recycling process, fast electrochemical process, to convert used hydrocarbon containing feedstocks and produce circular outputs that can used to make new plastics, rubbers, chemicals and other industrial products.
MetalloBio Limited: A ruthenium antimicrobial platform technology to treat multi-drug resistant infections
MetalloBio have developed a novel ruthenium platform technology with application potential as a systemic antibiotic and as a coating for medical devices.
The compounds that underpin the platform are more active than clinical antibiotics, have a novel multi-modal mechanism of action, little-no-emergence of resistance and represent a new antimicrobial class.
Porous Liquid Technologies: Porous Liquid Technology to enable low energy CO2 Capture
Porous Liquid Technologies is a unique technology enabling ultra-efficient CO2 capture by combining low cost, readily available porous liquids and solids to create an easily recyclable/regenerable liquid, with high CO2 capacity.
These liquids display huge cost advantages and thermal stability over current technology. Physisorbed gas can be released at low energy by simple temperature/pressure swing.
Bio-Sep: Ultrasonic conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to high value chemicals
Bio-Sep Limited’s technology (BioSep+) converts lignocellulosic biomasses efficiently, cleanly and economically into cellulose, sugars and lignin. They use recoverable solvents which demands less energy by employing ultrasound to break the chemical bonds, producing quality separated products for use as platform chemicals in a wide range of industrial and domestic applications.
Gaussion: Magneto-electrochemistry for fast-charging lithium-ion batteries
The MagLiB patent-protected technology employs bespoke magnetic fields to enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries. They have scaled from smart-watches, to mobile phones, and now towards electric vehicles. Testing has demonstrated charging time reductions of up to 67 %, a substantial improvement that will aid the transition to low-carbon technologies.
Somnus Scientific: Point-of-care blood propofol measurement for sedated and anaesthetised patients
Somnus has been established to fulfil a recognised unmet need in global healthcare and is utilising its novel state-of-the-art biosensor technology to develop innovative point-of-care intermittent and continuous sedation and anaesthesia monitoring devices. They will make propofol-based sedation and anaesthesia safer for patients and more cost effective for healthcare.
Sphera Encapsulation: Multilayered particles for turning lipophilic substances into water-soluble powders
SpherAQ are high-quality encapsulates, totally soluble in water, that can be consumed without the addition of any flavors or aromas - a cutting-edge technology developed by Sphera Encapsulation in order to overcome the major challenges related to the intake of bioactive lipophilic ingredients, such as oils.
Chromosol: organic lanthanide gain materials for photonic integrated circuits
Chromosol Ltd have developed an approach to building optical amplifiers and lasers directly onto silicon chips. This will allow for the future integration of electronic and optical communications systems resulting in greater data transfer rates using reduced power consumption.
Hoxton Farms: mathematical modelling for cultivated meat production
Hoxton Farms are using mathematical modelling and machine learning to build a novel and scalable technology for expanding and differentiating adult stem cells to make cultivated meat products (meat grown from animal cells in labs).
EnsiliTech's novel ensilication technology exploits the growth of protective silica nanoshells on the surface of vaccine components, to prevent degradation which can lead to vaccine spoilage.
Once applied, vaccines can be stored and transported without the need for cold chain infrastructure, preventing wastage, improving shelf-life and increasing vaccine accessibility globally.
Viridi CO2: tuneable catalysts for CO2-derived polymer feedstocks
Viridi CO2 have engineered heterogeneous, high-surface area, porous catalysts capable of transforming CO2 into polyurethane feedstock materials. Utilising lower temperatures and pressure than those currently available, this process provides a route to reduced petrochemical reliance by harnessing a synergetic relationship between adjacent active sites to insert CO2 with high efficiency.
Hexigone Inhibitors: A disruptive, globally unique way of tackling corrosion.
Our infrastructure is under daily stress from the elements which can cause costly damage that needs repairing or replacing to avoid structures breaking or, at worst, collapsing. Hexigone Inhibitors manufactures 'chemically intelligent' corrosion inhibitors that protect products for longer - helping to make our communities safer and more sustainable.
Refeyn Ltd: Revolutionizing bioanalytics by weighing molecules with light
Mass photometry enables accurate mass measurement of single molecules in solution, in their native state and without the need for labels. This proprietary technology allows the quantification of biomolecules in minutes and using only very low amounts of sample - opening up new possibilities for bioanalytics and research into biomolecular functions.
Cambridge Photon Technology: A new material to increase solar panel power output
Cambridge Photon Technology are developing a photon multiplication film (PMF) that will raise the power output of solar modules by as much as 20%. PMF does not require manufacturers to make significant changes to their designs or processes, and provides the simplest and most cost-effective way of significantly boosting module power.
Thermulon: The first building insulation that's energy-efficient, fire-proof and sustainable
Current insulation materials are either low-thermal-performance and non-combustible (mineral wool) or high-performance and burn (phenolics). Thermulon has designed a novel continuous chemical process combining new techniques to synthesise complex nanoporous insulation materials at scale. The first high-performance and non-combustible building insulation material to meet increasing energy efficiency and fire regulations.
Majico: Low-Power Digital Water Kiosks
Majico are developing hyper-local water kiosks. Our kiosks harness nanomaterials to create water purifying, storing and dispensing systems that are small-scale, low-power and affordable. These kiosks will be used by water vendors in Tanzania, allowing them to produce and sell clean water into their own communities.
Mimica: Next-generation food expiry label that reduces food waste
Mimica Touch is a next generation food expiry label that both reduces food waste and improves food safety. It provides accurate, real-time indication of the product's freshness. The label is low-cost enough to be deployed any package across the supply chain, from production to the consumer's fridge.
Rosa Biotech: Barrel array diagnostics and sensing
Rosa Biotech have developed a sensing platform that mimics the mammalian olfactory system. We computationally design barrel-shaped proteins which produce distinctive colour changes in response to a huge variety of analytes. By using barrel arrays, we create characteristic fingerprints that are interpreted by machine learning to make commercial and clinical predictions.
RUBYnanomed: Non-invasive monitoring of cancer progression
RUBYnanomed has developed a precise cancer snapshot tool, the RUBYchip®, a microfluidic device for isolating all types of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) from unprocessed whole blood. In this way, RUBYnanomed offers a non-invasive and real-time snapshot of cancer progression to oncologists.
nanoHEX: Keeping cool without heating the planet
Oxford nanoSystems have developed a new evaporator which is 70% smaller than a traditional unit. This new unit requires 70% less energy and uses 70% less refrigerant. 1kg of the common refrigerant R-23 does as much damage as 14.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide, nanoHEX can remove our need for these refrigerants.
AquAffirm: Simple rapid affordable test for arsenic in drinking water
AquAffirm has developed the first enzyme electrochemistry-based test strips for rapid measurement of arsenic in drinking/irrigation water. This addresses a problem affecting over 140 million people in 70 countries, including Bangladesh, where tens of thousands die annually. Using patented disposable test-strips & electronic-reader, the web-enabled test will revolutionize arsenic mitigation management.
Oxford BioTrans: Novel range of biocatalysts for new approaches to selective oxidation
Oxford Biotrans has developed a proprietary, highly productive enzyme-driven oxidation platform. This technology can replace traditional synthetic routes to many fine-chemicals using low-impact, aqueous based biotransformations. OBT has taken this technology to commercial scale with our first product, a flavour and fragrance, natural nootkatone, and is now developing the pipeline.
Aqualution: Optimising health, welfare and productivity on dairy farms
Aqualution have isolated and replicated the molecule the mammalian immune system produces to fight infection. A safe and extremely effective biocide, it can be produced in-situ from electricity, salt and water. It replaces most of the chemicals used on dairy farms and delivers improved hygiene, cow welfare and productivity.
University of Birmingham: Polycarbonate resin inks for 3D-printing of shape-changing resorbable medical devices
Univeristy of Birmingham have developed a series of degradable resin inks for 3D printing biocompatible and degradable minimally invasive medical devices. The materials incorporate non-inflammatory, resorbable species, to produce a porous tissue scaffold and marker, in order to support post-operative healing and long term aesthetic restoration after surgery.
University of Bath: Smartwound - an infection detecting wound dressing
Smartwound is an infection detecting wound dressing that gives a clear colour change as a wound becomes critically infected with pathogenic bacteria. The detection of infection is based on understanding how bacteria behave in wounds, and how they switch from being non-pathogenic to pathogenic at the 'critical colonisation threshold' wounds.
Micropore: Fully scalable equipment for manufacture of precision particles and microcapsules
Micropore has developed the only process for making particles and emulsions with extremely narrow particle size distributions that is scalable to industrially meaningful product volumes. This brings both operating economics & formulation performance benefits across a many diverse sectors including food, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, household products, cosmetics, & many more.
HexagonFab: Sensor Platform for Fast and Sensitive Biomarker Detection
Available methods for biomarker detection are either not sensitive or not fast enough. Our sensor platform based on novel nanomaterials is both. It can be adapted for a range of different biomarkers. With our partners we have demonstrated detection of allergens, which is a major challenge for food producers.
Cranfield University: Ammonia separation and crystallisation reactor
Cranfield University have developed an innovative process for the selective separation of ammonia from contaminated fluids. This enables process intensification over the state-of-the-art, and further provides simultaneous transformation into a high purity crystalline fertiliser product. These combined facets enable reduced processing, lower costs and new value streams to be realised.
Echion Technologies: Novel electroactive material for automotive Li-ion batteries
Echion Technologies is a University of Cambridge spin out that are seeking to commercialise high-performance Li-ion batteries for the automotive market. The technology relies on an advanced nanomaterial to replace the standard material used for the negative battery electrode (graphite). This material significantly improves energy density, power density, cycle life, safety, and cost compared with commercially available batteries.
Nanomerics: Molecular envelope technology for brain drug delivery
Nanomerics Ltd’s molecular envelope technology (MET) is a nanoparticle technology that enables drugs to be targeted to areas of pathology. The technology wraps around drug molecules and “sneaks” them through biological barriers such as membranes. For example, Nanomerics' MET can target drugs to the brain to treat pain.
Parkure: An in-vivo phenotypic drug discovery platform for Parkinson's disease
Parkure Ltd use genetically engineered fruit flies to discover new drugs for treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The cost-efficient procedure allows testing of more drugs than ever before in a living organism, overcoming the obstacles that have stopped traditional approaches from finding a cure.
CleanGrow: Probe to simultaneously measure multiple nutrients in water
Currently if someone wants to measure the ionic nutrient content of soil, compost or liquid fertiliser they have to send a sample to a lab. CleanGrow Uk Ltd have developed a probe which contains six solid state ion electrodes, each capable of measuring a different ion, including magnesium, nitrate and phosphate.
Green Lizard Techologies: Novel purification of vegetable oils using a vitamin based technology
Green Lizard Technologies Ltd have developed a novel, vitamin-based technology for the purification of vegetable oils. The technology reduces various impurities and eliminates carcinogenic compounds such as 3-MCPD. The vitamin can be regenerated and reused in further oil purification and contributes to significant reductions in process intensity and provides safety and security for consumers.
Imperial College: BionGel: An electrically conductive gel for high resolution implantable bionics
Imperial College London have developed a new electrode material for use in medical devices and diagnostics. BionGel is a soft, flexible gel-like material which has superior electrical and mechanical performance when compared to conventional metal electrodes. It can be applied to existing devices and customised to interact with specific body tissues.
Sensor Coating Systems: High-definition thermal mapping using luminescence memory materials
Sensor Coating Systems Ltd’s thermal history technology will replace current industry standard thermal paints and offers very significant advantages in power generation, aero engines and automotive. The technology is robust and non-destructive, thereby enabling multiple tests of components used in the development process.
MOFgen: metal-organic frameworks for medical device coatings
MOFgen Ltd, from the University of St Andrews, develops and manufactures highly porous metal-organic framework materials for applications in healthcare. MOFgen focuses on materials that deliver active agents for coating urinary catheters, cardiovascular devices and advanced wound therapies.
University of Liverpool: Air filtration technology for the removal of formaldehyde
Porous organic cages are a class of materials that can be used to selectively remove low concentration species. The University of Liverpool has shown that it can efficiently remove low concentration formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, from the air. The team proposes that this material can form the basis of an domestic air filtration technology.
SweetGen Ltd: Abiotic wastewater fuel cell for water remediation and electricity generation
SweetGen Ltd’s abiotic fuel cell-like system produces electricity from low quality fuels dissolved in wastewater streams from different industries with the additional benefit of cleaning the water.
Sci-Tron: Novel material paradigm for high resolution electron beam lithography
Sci-Tron’s electron beam lithography resist materials will enable the fabrication of masks for the next generations of semiconductor manufacturing processes, unlocking the development of more complex, higher performance integrated circuits (ICs) with lower power consumption. Benefits of advanced ICs include the possibility to add more computing power and 'intelligence' at lower cost.
Ulm Univeristy: Advanced infrared breath diagnostic devices
Ulm University is using substrate-integrated hollow waveguides to facilitate the development of label-free miniaturised breath diagnostic devices, based on mid-infrared sensing technology. This allows quantitative determination of volatile organic biomarkers in exhaled breath within minute sample volumes, with high time resolution, and with inherent molecular selectivity at trace levels.
Eksagon Group Ltd: Novel membrane electrode assembly for direct-methanol fuel cells
Graphene is impermeable to all gases and liquids; however, it has been found to be highly permeable to thermal protons. Eksagon Group Ltd’s membrane electrode assembly will be re-engineered to offer high proton conductivity, chemical and thermal stability, and impermeability to hydrogen, water and methanol.
CyanoGuard: Portable cyanide detection kit for food safety control
CyanoGuard has developed innovative quick tests for toxic cyanide in food and blood. The test tube technology combines efficient and easy-to-handle indicators for cyanide with solid-phase extraction and will improve environmental monitoring, food safety control and health care in remote settings and locations.
University of Nottingham: Synthetic dental biomaterials for repair and regeneration
Current materials for dentistry do not interface well with biological tissues. The University of Nottingham has developed therapeutic biomaterials for dental treatments by supporting native stem cells for tissue repair and regeneration. This approach could significantly impact the practice of dentistry and establish a new paradigm for dental treatments.
University of Sheffield: Block copolymer hydrogels for human stem cell storage
Human stem cells enter stasis when immersed in the University of Sheffield’s new block copolymer hydrogels. Normally, pluripotency is maintained either by proliferation, which is not feasible in transit, or by cryopreservation at 77K. The latter approach is both expensive and inefficient. These new cost-effective hydrogels enable convenient global stem cell transportation.
SensorHut Ltd: Chemical sensor technology for volatile organic compounds
SensorHut Ltd has developed a new gas-sensing approach based on a nano-structured optical element that adsorbs chemical substances so that they can be optically analysed to determine their chemical composition. The advantages are higher sensitivity, better selectivity and miniaturisation compared to conventional optical instruments.
HPNow: On-site hydrogen peroxide generation
HPNow has developed a proprietary technology to generate hydrogen peroxide from water and air, enabling on-site and on-demand synthesis of the chemical, dramatically reducing its application cost.
Univeristy of Warwick: Interface active polyolefins
The University of Warwick has developed new interface-active polymers through a patent-pending processes. These 'polymer soaps' contain polyolefin and polar segments which help one polymer mix with another (for example, for composite manufacture and recycling), and permit polyolefin surfaces to accept adhesives or coatings without the use of harsh and expensive treatments.
University of Ghent
The University of Ghent and Caloritum have developed an industrial chemical heat pump able to recover waste heat between 75–150°C and revalorise this up to a useful heat level of over 200°C. The patented technology, developed by Christian Stevens and colleagues, can be implemented in production processes ranging from petro- and chemical industry to food production and power generation.
Haemostatix has developed a new class of coagulant based on a peptide dendrimer. The dendrimer binds to fibrinogen, causing rapid clot formation. A lead candidate is being developed as a treatment for bleeding in surgery and trauma. There is a need for improved coagulants, particularly for trauma in developing countries.
University of Cambridge researcher David Fairen-Jiminez and his colleagues have developed a metal-organic framework material with uniquely desirable mechanical properties that can store huge amounts of gas, thus alleviating the need for highly energy-intensive compression in the gas industry.Gases are a $500 billion input to nearly every sector of the global economy; and storing, separating, and transporting gas all require energy-intensive compression.
InfinityPV has developed InfinityS: a polymer solar cell-based infinitely long 'busbarless' foil produced in large scale that makes light harvesting cost-and energy-efficient possible at any scale. InfinityS is user-friendly, flexible and highly adaptable and can thus be used as a standalone installation in urban areas.
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge has developed a new class of therapeutic metalloproteins that allows controlled and targeted delivery of carbon monoxide into tumours. The compounds, developed by Gonçalo Bernardes, led to strong immune-mediated tumour growth retardation in tumour-bearing mice.
University of Leeds
University of Leeds researchers Jayakrishnan Chandrappan and Matthew Murray have developed a patented femtosecond laser plasma-assisted functional material engineering method for the realisation of highly dense rare-earth doped materials targeting the global markets for data communication, green energies and bio-nano probes.
The National Institute of Chemistry
The National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia, has developed catalysts that enable efficient conversion of renewably and alternatively sourced methane and carbon dioxide into syngas. The patented innovation – delevoped by Ilja Gasan Osojnik Črnivec and Petar Djinović – provides a sustainable feedstock platform for existing added value chains in the pharmaceutical industry and synfuel sector, as well as for the production of commodity chemicals.
Cytofind Diagnostics exploits a proprietary, label-free circulating tumour cell detection method based on a combination of picodroplet-based microfluidic technology for single cell analysis, and the unique metabolic characteristics of tumour cells.
Seren Photonics has developed the world’s first commercially viable semi-polar gallium nitride wafers for use in high power LEDs. By using this crystal orientation, significant improvements in efficiency and fundamental LED performance can be achieved leading to a >75% reduction in the cost of light generated.
Catalytic Technologies have developed an eco-friendly titanium catalyst for the production of polyethylene terephthalate at lower energy cost. This can replace the current toxic heavy metal catalyst and produce lighter, clearer, and stronger plastic.
Econic Technologies develops novel catalysts that use carbon dioxide as a feedstock to manufacture polymers that contain up to 50% CO2 by weight. Econic’s catalysts can be used with captured CO2, replacing non-renewable resources and substantially reducing feedstock costs and increasing profitability.
MRC researcher Professor Jonathan Powell and his colleagues have developed IHAT: an innovative nanoparticulate iron supplement which mimics the iron core of ferritin and the iron found in the gut. IHAT efficiently treats iron deficiency anaemia without redox activity or detrimental changes to the gut microbiome.
University of Warwick
University of Warwick researcher Dr Matthew Gibson and his colleagues have developed a synthetic polymer inspired by Arctic fish, which significantly enhances the cryopreservation of donated human tissue. This technology will benefit tissue donations and medical diagnostics that rely on cell storage.
AQDOT has developed an inexpensive micro-encapsulation technology that can protect and deliver a wide variety of active ingredients. The technology has the potential to be applied to many industries, including household and personal care.
Biogelx offers designer hydrogels for studying cells in the laboratory. These gels provide an improved platform for cell studies because they are tailored to the specific needs of different cell types. The gels can be used for drug discovery, toxicology screening and potentially in the development of new cell therapies.
HydRegen, developed by Dr Kylie Vincent at the University of Oxford, uses enzymes on carbon beads to enable clean, selective chemical synthesis. The beads use hydrogen gas to recycle a biological component essential for many enzymes, overcoming one of the barriers to using biological catalysts in synthesis. Read the HydRegen case study.
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