UMI NEWS 3
UMI3 The University of Manchester Innovation Group Issue 1, Dec 2012
WELCOME TO THE FIRST ISSUE OF UMI3 NEWS… Through our bi-annual newsletter we will keep you informed of the most recent activities of our Intellectual Property commercialisation division (UMIP) and our Innovation Centre (UMIC). We have selected a number of interesting articles ranging from our regular UMIP Premier Fund (UPF) update, to the latest developments of University innovations as well as news of events and new initiatives taking place within our Innovation Centre.
I hope you enjoy this issue and encourage you to explore the possibilities of working with us – whether you are an academic with a discovery, a company looking for an innovative solution or an entrepreneur looking to invest in the results of world-leading research.
Clive Rowland, CEO UMI3
UMI3 ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM Since its launch 12 months ago, our Entrepreneurship Forum has gone from strength to strength encompassing initiatives such as: > Social Enterprise
> Open Innovation
> Digital Accelerator (IQuBIT)
Social enterprise ideas tree Since November, we have been actively seeking entrepreneurial staff, students and recent alumni (graduated within the last 12 months) of the University to enter our Social Enterprise ‘Lite’ Competition. This builds on the success of the pilot competition run in association with the
Faculty of Humanities earlier this year and the subsequent announcement that the University had been chosen to be one of the 56 partner institutions in the HEFCE/UnLtd Higher Education Support Programme. The Social Enterprise ‘Lite’ Competition which has acted as a soft launch for our main competition (details below) has offered awards of up to £500 to kick start new ideas. By hosting an inspirational workshop to give potential applicants the opportunity to sit in the ‘Hot
Seat’ and outline their ideas we sparked a flurry of interest and stimulated the audience to submit applications. We will shortly be announcing the winners of this competition and will be actively monitoring the progress of these ideas once they start in the New Year.
We will also be accompanying this with an active events calendar to assist potential applicants to develop their ideas. Further information regarding submission dates, workshops and events can be found at here
From January 2013, our main Social Enterprise Competition will go live giving applicants from across the campus the chance to win up to £5000 to support entrepreneurial solutions to social and environmental problems.
UMI3 The University of Manchester Innovation Group
UMI3 ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM Open Innovation Our Open Innovation events aim to seed collaborative relationships between the external community, whose interests lie in entrepreneurship and innovation, with the University’s world-class academic and research community. As a result, we have played host to a series of major pharmaceutical and healthcare companies including; Reckitt Benckiser, Shire Pharmaceuticals, GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Lilly and Philips. Each event is based on companies sharing information, across all aspects of business and research, giving academics and innovators an insight into the companies’ specific areas of interest
and a platform to explore potential collaborative opportunities with technology sourcing directors. In the coming months, we will be bringing you more major corporate names from industries such as healthcare, retail and utility to name but a few. In addition to this, we will continue to engage with the investor community and bring you unmissable events such as the recent London Stock Exchange- The Funding Escalator event; follow the link to view the videos from the day. http://bit.ly/THbbe6 If you are interested in participating in future events, please contact: Dr Laura Etchells firstname.lastname@example.org 0161 606 7264
Open Innovation events
‘Entrepreneur-in-Transit’ Scheme The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and UMIP are collaborating to enhance the innovation output of the University’s extensive research base. The partnership aims to fasttrack innovation by embracing the business acumen of entrepreneurs and business alongside its creative academic researchers and intellectual property to build and share value through company formation and licensing. The ‘Entrepreneur-in-Transit’ (EIT) scheme works closely with, but independently to, the ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ (EIR) scheme already undertaken by the STFC. The EIT complements its current activities in the commercialisation of intellectual property and builds new capability to 2
enhance technology commercialisation outputs. This scheme integrates with UMIP infrastructure and mechanisms to inject additional entrepreneurial flair and domain expertise. Entrepreneurs work alongside UMIP’s venture team within identified Schools to align closely with the academic innovators. The first EIT scheme at the University is in the School of Physics and Astronomy which has a very strong link with STFC via its big science projects. Dr Rich Ferrie, Director of IP Commercialisation and Head of UMIP, comments: “Our partnership provides the foundations of the new EIT scheme and will enable creative innovation teams to form between our academics
and external entrepreneurs and businesses at a much earlier stage than our standard process. In principle, this should allow us to respond to the needs of the market in a more agile way and direct our innovation activities at better validated commercial targets, priming our IP for earlier and more successful commercialisation. We are sending out a signal that UMIP is literally “open for business” and willing to share value with those seasoned entrepreneurs who are willing to share risk with us along this exciting journey.” Ian Tracey, who runs the STFC EIR programme, said: “We have demonstrated the importance of matching investment ready
management, to our world class science to increase the Economic Impact of our science base and to increase the ease by which investment money can be obtained. There is every reason to work with UMIP in scaling this up across their innovation landscape and cocreate new research based enterprises.” For further information about UMIP’s EIT scheme, please contact: Tony Walker, Head of Sales and Marketing, email@example.com 0161 603 7780
UMI3 ENTREPRENEURSHIP FORUM IQuBit - UMI3’s Digital/IT Accelerator Got a new digital/IT idea? Talk to us about it.
We are shortly to open IQuBit (I-cube-it) our new accelerator aiming to inspire, invent and innovate a new generation of software, social networking and digital ventures. IQuBit will support ideas for information and communication technology based products and services created by researchers, students or recent alumni from the University. Ideas do not necessarily have to have any initial Intellectual Property to be considered for support, but should
demonstrate clear links to the University. Ideas might include web-based, mobile apps, social networking, gaming, cloud-based, software etc. Typically these types of ideas do not require patents, research facilities, large immediate investment or Proof-of-Concept funding and can be built early on ‘lean start’ up principles. IQuBit will offer qualifying entrepreneurs and founders: > Prestige on-campus location in our Innovation Centre.
> Well-equipped communal start-up facilities. > A vastly experienced Advisory Panel led by Imran Hakim, UMIP Entrepreneur-in-Residence, other seasoned funders and successful tech entrepreneurs. > Commercial mentoring external expertise to validate early-stage technology and help shape ideas.
> Co-operation with other like-minded businesses to promote collaborative knowledge exchange. So if you have an idea, or perhaps are already underway but would like to be based in a supportive environment, or just curious to find out more then please contact us for an informal and confidential discussion please contact: Ellie Sagar firstname.lastname@example.org 0161 606 7265
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY COMMERCIALISATION DIVISION www.umip.com
UMIP Premier Fund Update... OUR SEED FUND RUNNING SINCE MARCH 2008 In the last six months more UPF portfolio companies have secured substantial further investment both from the UPF and from other investors. Bioxydyn (lung imaging) secured £1M, Cable Sense (cable management) secured £800K and one of our external investments Eykona also secured a significant sum. It is now the case that every single one of our investments has secured investment from additional investors. This is important for two reasons. The first is obvious, the money, but the second is equally important. The second reason is validation. Venture Capital, like many other professions such as medical or military, involves making decisions based on incomplete information. Whilst it might be possible to be sure that a product will work, it is never possible to be sure that there
will be a market for it. It is never possible to be sure that the business model is right or the financial model is right. These judgment calls are sometimes quite subjective early in the life of a technology company and it is important to us to know that other investors agree with them and back that judgment up with further capital. That has now happened in every investment we have made. Another forum for the validation of our judgment is the labour market. Senior executives when they join a business make their judgment on viability as they want to avoid being associated with a failed business. Most of our portfolio companies have made a recruitment at board level in the last six months.
Unfortunately, the investment phase of the UPF finishes in March 2013. After that the UPF can still make additional investments in existing portfolio companies, but cannot add any new ones to the portfolio. This is the normal business cycle for a VC fund manager and UPF’s manager, MTI, is now fundraising for the successor to the UPF. This is a significant challenge in a difficult market, but what we do is exactly in the centre of the UK’s economic strategy – supporting innovators to create jobs, wealth and growth.
Mark Rahn Investment Manager MTI Partners (Managers of the UMIP Premier Fund)
That strategy was further strengthened by many measures in the Chancellor’s autumn statement, in particular the consultation on ISAs investing on AIM that could bring much needed liquidity to the market.
Please click here to view UMIP’s Portfolio of Technologies
Our Commercialisation Executives are your first point of call for any questions you may have should you have an idea or observation and are wondering if it has potential value. Our Commercialisation Executives are faculty specific:
Mugdha Joshi Technology T: +44 (0) 161 306 8513 E: email@example.com
Mr Sandeep Singh Technology T: +44 (0) 161 306 8832 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arnaud Garcon Medical & Human Sciences T: +44 (0) 161 603 7757 E: email@example.com
Dr Siobhan Daniels Technology T: + 44 (0) 161 306 8813 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gill Shuttleworth Life Sciences T: +44 (0) 161 603 7738 E: email@example.com
Dr Hojjat Azadbakht Technology T: +44 (0) 161 306 8528 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Syder Technology T: +44 (0) 161 306 8512 E: email@example.com
If you are working on research that you think has commercial potential, we would be pleased to hear from you.
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LATEST UMIP LICENSING NEWS
EASY-CARE COTTON about the challenge of developing an environmentally friendly crease-resistant finish for cotton which would be attractive to the textile industry and comparable to existing formaldehyde based products in terms of performance and price. The novel processing technology which was created came as a result of an intensive 2-year R&D programme.
Earlier this year, we assisted Professor Chris Carr and Dr Muriel Rigout, from the School of Materials, to license their textile processing technology to Beyond Surface Technologies AG. The technology provides an alternative to fossil-based raw materials currently used in textile processing and involves the replacement of
Earlier this year, we assisted Claire Mitchell from the Department of Human Communication and Deafness within the School of Medical and Human Sciences to develop her software package for individuals with motor speech disorders into So2SpeakTM - an app now available for download from the Apple Apps Store.
formaldehyde-based glyoxal resins, which are widely used in easy-care finishing of cotton shirt and trouser fabrics. There is a growing market and a keen demand from consumers for crease resistant cotton garments and a broader range of crease resistant products. Having recognised this trend, the research team here set
So2SpeakTM is an iPad and iPhone app which allows speech and language professionals to design tailored programmes for any patient who would benefit from oral motor exercise therapy, such as individuals suffering from a neurological condition (e.g. stroke) or following surgery. The idea, which received UMIP Proof-of-Principle (PoP) Funding, resulted from clinical work which indicated that paperbased oro-motor exercises were not always clear and easy to follow and had a potentially limited effectiveness. Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are already using app and iPhone/iPad technology with their patients so this seemed a natural transition. The app is a simple and intuitative tool to use and allows the SLT to design, implement and adapt oro-motor exercise programmes as quickly and easily as possible. Following completion of the patient assessment, the SLT can work with the patient to agree their overall goals and the frequency and duration of their individual programme.
Both the University and Beyond Surface Technologies AG believe that this leading-edge approach, based on sustainable biochemistry, will ultimately revolutionise easy-care finishing technology and replace conventional chemistries.
as well as biochemical technologies and Beyond Surface Technologies AG is a dynamic company ideally placed to bring these to market.” Matthias Foessel, Managing Director of Beyond Surface Technologies AG concludes “This rapidly advancing development can benefit the entire textile value chain, from raw material to consumer. The new technology will help both to enhance the environmental compatibility of textile processing and to eliminate concerns about the potential health hazards associated with formaldehyde.”
Professor Chris Carr and Dr Muriel Rigout, commented: “Here at the University we are developing innovative technologies that emphasise the use of renewable raw materials
Claire comments: ”The drive in the NHS is to provide a better quality health service for less time and money. Using an app to support therapy meets both these requirements. I am really keen for people to hear about this app as I feel it will improve the quality of intervention for people needing these exercises. Future apps from So2SpeakTM will build on the same features we have used in this one to provide high standards of therapy to people.” So2Speak showcased its app to over 12,000 delegates at the annual American SpeechLanguage-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention which took place in November in Atlanta. TM
For further information, please see www.so2speakapp.com or visit the Apple App Store to download. If you are an employee of the University and have an idea for an app, please contact: Dr Ed Maughfling: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to discuss possible IP protection before you publish. Contact your UMIP Commercialisation Executive first.
LATEST UMIP SPIN-OUT NEWS
STORM® SKILLS TRAINING CIC A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
We assisted Dr. Gill Green from the Institute of Population Health to launch STORM® as a Community Interest Company (CIC). STORM® (Skills-based Training on Risk Management) is a skillsbased model of self-harm mitigation training. STORM® began as a research project in the mid 1990s to test the effectiveness and feasibility of a suicide prevention training programme created by Professor Linda Gask and Professor Richard Morriss. In 2003, Professor Gask and Dr. Green created the STORM® Project, a not-for-profit venture within the University, which has successfully disseminated STORM® training to provider organisations in the UK and internationally.
The STORM® Project has also created new IP from its research, creating a self-injury mitigation module to form a complete selfharm mitigation training package. As a result of this success, STORM® Skills Training CIC has been incorporated. “From a solid foundation and a well-established brand we are now moving on and are looking forward to building the business further with increasing revenues to fund our social impact work in the community,” explains Dr. Gill Green. STORM® Skills Training CIC offers training to frontline staff and volunteers across all industry sectors, including healthcare, social care, education and criminal justice services. The training is also aimed at staff with responsibility for the mental health and wellbeing of the workforce, such as those working in Human Resources and Occupational Health.
Dr. Green commented: "Setting up STORM® as a Community Interest Company in this way is quite unique, and it is thanks to colleagues within the University and UMIP, and the incredible support from UnLtd, DLA Piper and Ernst & Young that we have reached this milestone. As a notfor-profit Social Enterprise, STORM®'s mission is to challenge the fear of mental illness and distress, and to encourage open and honest lines of communication for people who are in psychological pain to access help and support.”
Green leading up to this event, and we are confident that configuring STORM® as a Social Enterprise is the right model to progress this activity. Gill and the team will ensure STORM® CIC is able to re-invest its surplus into complementary areas such as suicide postvention and emotional distress, to maximise the impact of this training approach. We now look forward to helping other colleagues from the University who wish to apply their research outputs in this way.” www.stormskillstraining.co.uk
Rich Ferrie, Director of IP Commercialisation and Head of UMIP, commented: “UMIP has worked closely with Dr Gill
On Thursday 1st November, STORM® Skills Training CIC celebrated its launch at an event hosted by UnLtd and DLA Piper at their Manchester office.
2-DTech Ltd moves into Innovation Centre
2-DTech, University spin-out and supplier of fully- characterised, high quality graphene and other 2D materials, has just moved into high specification laboratories at the University’s Innovation Centre (UMIC).
Located at the centre of the hub where graphene was isolated in 2004 by Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov, 2-DTech is committed to helping customers make use of graphene’s extraordinary properties which have the potential to revolutionise many technologies.
2-DTech can work with customers’ research teams on a partnership basis, exploring possible uses of graphene or can act in a consultancy capacity, undertaking research and development on customer’s behalf. 2-DTech are also happy to test and analyse customers’ own research work as well as supplying fully characterised graphene and other 2D materials from the product store on their website which will be launched in January.
telecoms and defence. Further information about 2-DTech will be released in early 2013.
Graphene’s applications are virtually limitless. Sectors to which graphene is particularly suited include electronics, aerospace, automotive, energy,
UMIP PROOF-OF-PRINCIPLE (PoP) AWARDS One of the significant added value aspects in technology transfer which attracts seed funders and licensees is Proof-of-Principle funding. To add value, we manage, for the University, a ‘Proof-of-Principle’ account for projects with good potential. We encourage you to find out more and make an application. Applications are reviewed throughout the year. To find out more, please contact your UMIP Commercialisation Executive listed on the fifth page of this newsletter. To illustrate the diversity of projects awarded since the last issue of our newsletter, please see below:
Dr Harmesh Aojula (School of Pharmacy) Novel Short Peptide Therapeutic against Small Cell Lung Cancer > Licensing PoP May 2012
Dr Kimberly Mace (FLS) Behavioural changes in cell type using protein transduction > Licensing PoP May 2012
Drs. Erin Baggaley, Lesley-Ann Turner (School of Materials) and Profs Paul Bishop (Institute of Human Development) and Sandra Downs (School of Materials) Novel treatment for age-related macular degeneration > Licensing PoP July 2012
Drs Cath O’Neill and Andrew McBain (MHS) SkinBiotics > Licensing PoP May 2012
Prof Roy Goodacre (School of Chemistry) and Dr Mat Upton (Institute of Inflammation and Repair) Point of care infection diagnostics and treatment decision support > Venture PoP July 2012 Prof. Brian Derby (School of Materials) and Dr Chris Ward (School of Dentistry) High Throughput Cryopreservation of Cells by Inkjet Printing (Cryoprinting Process) > Licence PoP Sept 2012
Dr. Adam McMahon Wolfson Medical Imaging Centre (MHS) A PET imaging agent to monitor beamenergy deposition. > Licensing PoP July 2012 Professor Brian Derby, School of Materials (EPS) Inkjet Printing Nanocarbon Structures for Display, Energy Storage and Electronics Applications > November 2012 Prof R Freer, Prof I Kinloch, Prof P Xiao, School of Materials (EPS) Nanostructured Composites for Thermoelectric Power Generation > November 2012
GRAPHENE/ADVANCED MATERIALS PROOF-OF-PRINCIPLE CALL 42 Expressions of Interest were received in response to the call for proposals to the £1M Graphene/Advanced Materials Proof-of-Principle (PoP) Fund which was launched to academics here in the autumn of this year. Entries were submitted from a range of schools and departments ranging from Materials to Physics and Astronomy to Pharmacy. The fund, launched by UMIP and The UMIP Premier Fund (UPF), managed by MTI Partners, was aimed towards all of our researchers or project teams with an interest in the production and applications of graphene, as well as other innovative materials, which might ultimately result in
economic benefits and have reached the IP development stage. Heather Thompson, UMIP’s Director of Licensing, commented: “The interest in this PoP call from our academic community has been fantastic and demonstrates the breadth of ideas across the institution. Via UMIP’s thorough evaluation process, we have uncovered at least ten exciting innovations which we are evaluating further, of which two have been recently funded.” We shall provide an update on the progress of these projects in the next issue of the UMI3 newsletter in the summer.
PROOF OF PRINCIPLE FUNDING CASE STUDY:
AN INTERVIEW WITH DR MICHAEL INGLESON Dr Ingleson met with one of UMIP’s Commercialisation Executives who assessed the patentability and commercial potential of the methodology for use in the Organic LED (OLED) market and UMIP Proof-of Principle (PoP) Funding enabled further strengthening of the patent and the investigation and development of possible commercial routes into that market. This led to a collaborative project with a leading global organic electronics company.
We met with Dr Michael Ingleson from the School of Chemistry to find out more about how UMIP Proof-of-Principle (PoP) funding has helped him to add value to the commercial potential of the novel methodology he has developed for the synthesis of a wide range of industrially important boronate esters. Boronate esters are used extensively by the fine chemical, organic electronic, pharmaceutical and agrochemicals industries, predominantly in carbon-carbon bond forming reactions where they are the preferred feedstock to ‘stick together’ two halves of a molecule. Typical applications would include in the synthesis of fungicides, pharmaceutical compounds and organic LEDs for use in displays. Despite the immense importance of boronate esters to these industries a simple, robust and inexpensive method of synthesizing the desired wide range of boronate ester starting materials does not exist. The new Manchester developed methodology enables the synthesis of a range of important boronates which are not readily accessible using traditional approaches, creating novel compounds with improved properties.
In addition to this, UMI3 project manager, Dr Laura Etchells, assisted in identifying the commercial potential within the fine chemical company sector and in November, Clare Wood, UMIP Licensing Manager, secured a non-exclusive licence with a specialist contract manufacturer based in the UK. The company will synthesize two specific compounds under a short term licence for onward sale to a leading chemical supplier selling a wide variety of research reagents and materials. Dr Ingleson comments: “Without UMIP PoP funding these industrial collaborations would simply not have happened. Furthermore, research funded by the PoP assisted in developing our understanding of this methodology to a level where a second generation process could be developed. This improved process is both more economical and has wider scope.” Please see our IP Awareness Resource at www.manchester.ac.uk/ipresource for a valuable insight into the types of IP which can be used to protect novel ideas/inventions along with a series of guides and booklets which you may find useful.
Download the following guides and booklets from www.umip.com
A Guide to UMIP Case Studies of Licensing Case Studies of Spin-outs
8 Years of Positive Impact
IP & Confidentiality
Licensing IP Workbook Academic Materials and Publishing
Hard copies available from: email@example.com 9
AWARDS UMIP AWARDS AT THE FLS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM We would like to acknowledge the dedication of researchers involved in technology commercialisation activities through the introduction of awards and prizes for commercial success. At the Faculty of Life Sciences Research Symposium in September, we sponsored the "Most Promising New Innovation" award and co-sponsored the award for The "Best New Industrial Collaboration."
IL1-‚ release in the central nervous system. The “Best New Industrial Collaboration” award was won by Dr Kathy Hentges Gurney for her industrial collaboration with Syngenta on studying developmental toxicity pathways to inform their product development process. UMIP Commercialisation Executive, Dr Arnaud Garçon, presented the prize of iPads to both winners.
The “Most Promising New Innovation" award was won by Dr David Brough for his UMIP Proof-of-Principle funded project which focused on a new approach to inhibition of
MANCHESTER TEAM TRIUMPHS IN COMPETITION TO BE BIOTECHNOLOGY STARS OF THE FUTURE place in the December final. CosmoClear’s product provides a unique alternative to the treatment of oily complexions as it is safe, natural and effective The competition, hosted by UMIC on day one and organised jointly by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the University of Nottingham Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI), is open to bioscience researchers and aims to help them commercialise their ideas.
A Manchester team has secured a place in the final of a national competition to find the entrepreneurial bioscientists of the future. Enzomax beat off stiff competition from 15 other teams from universities and institutes around the UK in the Biotechnology Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Biotechnology YES) 2012 competition. They will fly the flag for Manchester later in the month in London at the UK finals where the winning team will collect £1,000, an invitation to attend the BIA Gala Dinner
Enzomax (Matthew Styles, AnnaWinona Struck; Sarah Shepherd; Brian Law; James Leigh) have a proprietary platform technology, known as Enzomax SHIELD™, which they use to deliver cost-effective solutions for maximising the performance of enzymes in industrial biotechnology.
The North West heat was held over three days at UMIC’s Core Technology Facility and Manchester United Football Club. Regional professionals, including representatives from UMIP and our network of advisors and professional associates offered mentoring sessions to the researchers during the competition. Teams also attended workshops and seminars to hear advice and received tips on how to develop their ideas into commerciallyviable opportunities.
Enzomax will be joined by CosmoClear (University College London) who also secured a
Each team was required to present an idea that is based on a hypothetical biotech idea.
and the opportunity to attend the premier regional US Business Plan Competition at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
On the final day of the event they presented their concept to a judging panel of biotechnology and business experts. Dr Rich Ferrie, Director of IP commercialisation and Head of UMIP, commented: “This competition is a key part of the annual schedule of events at Manchester. It gives young bio scientists an opportunity to learn about business creation from a range of seasoned professionals, all of whom give their valuable time for free. This year’s competition attracted teams from right across the North of England, and even from London, and it was a pleasure to Chair one of the panels of judges and witness for myself how much the teams had learned in such a short period. We now wish the winning teams the best of luck for the UK Finals where they have every chance of overall success.” www.biotechnologyyes.co.uk
AWARDS ARAGO CROSS-ARM TECHNOLOGY WINS NATIONAL INNOVATION PRIZE final development of this technology with deployment of the ICA orders already secured on the transmission system, commencing in 2014.
Cross-arm Spin-out, Arago Technology Ltd was presented with the Power & Energy Award at the IET Innovation awards ceremony, which was held in November at The Brewery, London. Arago was also ‘Highly Commended’ in the Emerging Technologies category. The company was awarded the prize by the judges in recognition of its work in developing the Insulating Cross-arm (ICA), which has the potential to enable electricity network operators to increase transmission capacity of existing lines. The ICA, which has been developed over the last 4 years, can be retro-fitted onto existing electricity pylons allowing voltage and / or current upgrade and may reduce the height of new build electricity pylons.
Arago’s revolutionary insulator was developed by engineers here in a joint venture with EPL Composite Solutions Ltd. The Insulating Cross-arms have been installed for over 2 years on pylons in some of the most stark and remote areas of the UK to test their resistance to extreme weather and since May ’12 they have also been continuously energised and monitored at voltages required for the 400,000 volt transmission network at a coastal site in northern Scotland. Tests have also been carried out at the University’s High Voltage Laboratory which has subjected them to lightning strikes of more than 1.4 million volts. Arago is currently seeking further investment to complete
David Gardner, Director of Transmission for Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc said: "This innovative technology has the potential to deliver a cost effective way of increasing the power carried on our transmission network. We have worked closely with Arago to help develop the technology to the stage it has reached today and we are delighted to see that Arago have received this recognition for this work."
We have supported this project right from the early laboratory concept, so we are delighted to see it win the award.” Project funding to-date by National Grid, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, and UMIP’s Proof-of-Principle fund, managed by MTI Partners, totals £2.5m.
Robin MacLaren, designate chairman for Arago said: “Winning the IET Award confirms that our innovative technology is world class and has the potential to deliver real solutions for society. We are very proud to have won this award and look forward to supporting the development of Transmission networks throughout the world to support the connection of new low carbon generation, and upgrade existing infrastructure.” Ian Welch, innovation manager for National Grid, said: “Innovation will be vital for energy network companies as we meet the challenges from the huge changes underway in how we generate our electricity.
MANCHESTER WINS THREE AWARDS AT THE 2012 NORTHWEST BIONOW AWARDS Over 280 people from the Northwest’s biomedical sector gathered on 29th November at the 11th Northwest Biomedical Awards at Mere Golf and Country Club, Cheshire. This prestigious awards dinner celebrates key achievements from companies and individuals who have made a significant contribution to the biomedical sector during 2012. The University of Manchester winners were:
Healthcare Project of the Year
Biomedical Project of the Year
Service Company of the Year
University spin-out, Phagenesis Ltd, PhagenyxTM
University of Manchester, Microsensor (Drs Curtis Dobson, Gordon Barker, Jane Bramhill, and the University of Manchester Microsensor consortium)
> Phagenyx™ system delivers calibrated electrical stimulus to the throat to patients who suffer from dysphagia – the inability to swallow safely - a debilitating condition that affects stroke patients.
> Euprotec is a specialist CRO dedicated to the provision of infectious disease, respiratory and allergy biology services.
> The development of a medical device to detect infection that is dangerous to human health more quickly and cost effectively than conventional laboratory based methods.
INNOVATION CENTRE DIVISION www.umic.co.uk
NEW ARRIVALS… We have had a successful year seeing several new tenants move into our Incubator Building and Core Technology Facility with the help of Marie, UMIC’s Contracts and Customer Liaison Executive. Recently we welcomed 2-DTech Ltd into a laboratory within the Incubator Building. 2-DTech is a spin-out from the Condensed Matter Research Group led by Professor Sir Andre Geim and Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov. With the rise of graphene and other two dimensional materials, 2-DTech has been established via the University’s HEFCE innovation fund, to deliver high quality, fully characterised graphene and other two dimensional materials as well as graphene consultancy. The last 12 months have seen many new tenants in both buildings as well as expansion from existing tenants: Long-standing virtual tenant and spin-out, Ai2 Ltd now have a laboratory within the Incubator Building and an office within the Core Technology Facility.
Ai2 develops innovative technology to prevent infection on a wide range of commonly used medical devices like urinary catheters, stents and wound dressings. Their products are proprietary human protein-like substances which safely and cost-effectively inhibit bacteria, fungi and viruses. www.a-i-2.com
Additionally, the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, the School of Medicine and MAHSC (Manchester Academic Health Science Centre) have also taken some office space on the first floor of the Core Technology Facility. MAHSC - is a partnership between The University of Manchester, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, NHS Salford (Salford Primary Care Trust), Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. The seven
founding partners of MAHSC combine excellence in academia, clinical service delivery, research management and education to serve a population that has some of the poorest health in the country. www.mahsc.ac.uk
Meet Marie… Finally, long-standing tenant and spin-out, Nanoco Plc have expanded and have taken space on the first floor of the Core Technology Facility. Nanoco Plc is a world-leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials with applications in electronics, solar energy, bio-imaging and counterfeit protection. Nanoco has become the first company in the world to ship production-level quantities of Quantum Dots and can easily configure them to meet custom performance specifications. www.nanocotechnologies.com
Marie Sutton is UMIC’s Contracts and Customer Liaison Executive. Marie’s role involves managing the induction of new tenants, client liaison services and sub-contractor contracts and performance across UMIC’s facilities. Marie explains: “The Innovation Centre allows me to work with a variety of tenant companies across our 3 facilities from Web Designs at North Campus Incubator to Stem Cell Research at the Incubator Building. Working as a contracts manager is a very diverse and enjoyable role which has given me the opportunity to work across many different exciting sectors.”
CONFERENCING AND EVENTS UPDATE… have hosted over 500 meetings and events and have welcomed a wide range of clients to the CTF including: BP, Shell International, Microsoft, the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, Sigma Aldrich and The Royal College of Pathologists to name but a few.
Our Conferencing and Events facilities are in the heart of Manchester’s vibrant academic and business community within the Core Technology Facility (CTF), an environment in which
ideas spark and innovation and enterprise meet. There has been plenty to keep the our Events team busy recently. Over the last year, we
To celebrate our focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, we've renamed all of our meeting rooms in the Core Technology Facility to honour innovators and entrepreneurs with close links to Manchester and the University. As well as serving the external business community, the CTF is
also growing in popularity as a venue for University departmental away-days and workshops, with organisers highlighting the location as ideal for their events and offering all the benefits of being away from the workplace while still being within easy reach of the University campus. To find out more about UMIC Conferencing and Events, please visit the website: www.umic.co.uk/conferencing/ core-technology-facility/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
F2G LTD COMPLETES $30 MILLION FINANCING ROUND TO FUND PRE-CLINICAL AND CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ANTI-FUNGAL COMPOUNDS Spin-out, F2G Limited, an antifungal drug discovery and development company, announced in September the completion of a $30 million equity financing round in which two new investors (Advent Life Sciences and Novartis Bioventures) joined the existing syndicate (Sunstone Capital, Merifin Capital, K Nominees, and Astellas Venture Fund). These funds will be used to select a clinical candidate from the F3 series of advanced preclinical analogs and proceed to first in man studies. The F3 series represents a proprietary group of compounds with highly potent and selective
activity against Aspergillus species and other moulds, which act via a totally novel mechanism. Aspergillus infections are a serious threat in immune-compromised patient populations and result in a high rate of mortality even with the most effective treatment currently available. Dr Richard White, chairman of F2G, commented, "We are delighted to welcome two top tier investors into F2G. We now have a first class international syndicate, including the venture arms of two major pharmaceutical companies."
Dr Raj Parekh of Advent and Dr Anja König of Novartis Venture Funds will both be joining the Board of F2G. Raj Parekh, General Partner at Advent said, "The F2G molecules show a compelling and novel profile and have the genuine potential to be first and best-in-class agents for the treatment of invasive aspergillosis, which remains a serious unmet medical need. We look forward to working with Richard and the team to bring these molecules to an early clinical evaluation." www.f2g.com
FOLLOW-ON LIGHTING AGREEMENT Nanoco Group plc (AIM: NANO), a world-leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other nanomaterials, announced in October that it had signed a follow-on joint development agreement with one of the world’s largest lighting companies. This agreement follows the successful completion of a joint development agreement with the same lighting company, announced in August last year. The objective of this follow-on agreement is to finalise the
design and manufacture of a light emitting diode (LED) light incorporating Nanoco quantum dots for retro-fitting in commercial, residential and other settings. LED lighting has many advantages over traditional lighting including long service life, reduced power consumption, compact size and shock resistance – but its colour performance is one factor that has limited its adoption. Current methods for producing white light from a blue LED tend to be weak in red wavelengths, creating the two problems that
the light lacks warmth and fails to show true colours. Nanoco’s quantum dots can transform blue LEDs so that they produce white light with a high colour rendering index (CRI), thereby showing true colours in domestic and office environments. In addition, as Nanoco quantum dots are tunable, any warmth of light can be produced.
agreement and to be working with one of world’s largest and most innovative lighting companies. Our quantum dots have the potential to unlock the many advantages of LEDs, creating a major commercial opportunity for Nanoco.” www.nanocotechnologies.com
Michael Edelman, Nanoco’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re delighted to have signed this product development
TB PARTNERSHIP WITH BECTON DICKINSON FOR THE SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION OF GENEDRIVE™ MOLECULAR POINT OF CARE PLATFORM Spin-out, Epistem (AIM: EHP), the biotechnology and personalised medicine company, has announced that it has reached agreement with Becton Dickinson (BD) for the supply and distribution of its Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) test on a global basis (excluding India and the Indian Sub Continent) using its Genedrive™
platform. The TB supply and distribution agreement includes an upfront payment of $1m with further milestone payments of up to $3m, alongside escalating supply volumes over the next 5 years. Genedrive™ provides a major advance in next generation molecular diagnostic testing by providing a rapid, low cost, simple to use ‘Point of Care’ device with high sensitivity and specificity. Genedrive™ aims to
provide a ‘gold standard’ identification of TB and antibiotic resistance testing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has publicly recommended that nations incorporate new rapid molecular tests for tuberculosis into their disease testing programs. The Genedrive™ platform and TB test have recently received CE-IVD registration and regulatory submissions are now in preparation for the Indian market.
Globally, nearly 10 million cases of TB are reported annually and over $1bn dollars is spent annually on diagnostic testing, with India and China having the largest numbers of TB sufferers. Epistem’s Genedrive™ platform has applications across a wide range of bacterial, viral and fungal and somatic mutation diseases for which the Company is developing a menu of diagnostic tests. www.epistem.co.uk
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