The Rt Hon Vince Cable, Secretary of State for BusinessInnovation and Skills, visited The University of Manchester Incubator Company (UMIC) on Thursday 21 October 2010.
He was given a tour of the world-class business incubation resources in the Core Technology Facility.
Dr Cable met with the Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University Professor Rod Coombs, Clive Rowland, CEO of The University of Manchester’s Intellectual Property Commercialisation Company (UMIP) and UMIC Incubation Manager Tony Walker.
He also met Mark Ferguson, CEO of Renovo, the world leader in scar prevention and reduction research, and Andrew Gooda, Manufacturing Director of Nanoco, a company at the forefront of nanotechnology.
During the tour of two of the most exciting companies in the North West, Dr Cable found out how the University identifies and supports innovative research commercialisation potential, and nurtures and develops spin-out companies and licenses technology.
Clive Rowland, CEO of UMIP, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State and honoured to be seen as an exemplar of university technology transfer. We were able to illustrate some genuine examples of enterprise; in particular, the role of UMIP in selecting inventions and managing proof of principle and early-stage projects through to company status and licences.
“Nanoco is now a £200m business and Renovo is valued at £59m after ideas were taken from the lab with support from the University and through entrepreneurial leadership, to create award winning spin-out companies.
Our model and facilities are all about converting ideas into commercial reality and the work is crucial to maintaining the high profile of the University and the relevance to society of its associated commercial exploitation activities.”
UMIC is the facilities management and business support service provider for The University of Manchester. The company is entirely owned as a subsidiary of the University, and provides state-of-the-art facilities and top-quality business support services for start-ups.
UMIC aims to help Manchester and the region deliver high levels of economic growth through the creation, development and attraction of competitive, high-value and profitable businesses within a culture of enterprise and innovation.
UMIC is the sister company to The University of Manchester Intellectual Property Ltd (UMIP), the managing agent of The University of Manchester for intellectual property commercialisation.
World class facilities are available for technology and biotechnology-based businesses. Companies in UMIC’s facilities have raised in excess of £100m in venture capital, with several now listed on the London Stock Exchange or AIM markets.
For further information please contact:
Jon Keighren, Media Relations Manager, The University of Manchester
+44 (0)161 275 8384
Northwest-based water treatment specialists nets £100K
Northwest based company, Arvia Technology, has scooped first place in sustainability in a competition designed to support innovation at the ‘Innovate10’ event in London.
As the winner in their category, Arvia, a spin-out from The University of Manchester, was awarded £100,000 to further their development of a chemical and waste-free, low carbon approach to recycling domestic grey-water.
The ‘Competition for Disruptive Solutions’ which was run by the Technology Strategy Board, was open to technologies which have the potential to alter a market dramatically through ground-breaking innovation.
The aim of the competition is to stimulate ideas that could provide solutions to challenges in the market, and over 500 companies entered, by submitting two-minute long video pitches outlining their proposals.
These entrants were thoroughly assessed, with twelve finalists selected and invited to pitch their projects to an expert panel of judges in a forum at the Innovate10 event on 12th October.
Iain Gray Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: “This is the first time that we have run a competition in this way, with early stage video pitches and the final stage being decided by a live panel of judges and members of the audience and we are very pleased with the outcome. My congratulations go to all the winners who went up against significant competition to clinch the £100,000 award. We are now looking forward to keeping track with the winning projects and watching some excellent innovation projects take shape.”
Arvia Technology pitched their award winning technology for the destruction of organics in water and wastewater. The aim of their project is to investigate the disinfection properties of the process for the treatment and reuse of grey water within domestic and commercial applications.
Arvia has a patented material called Nyex® which removes organic pollutants from water. These pollutants are then destroyed using low power regeneration, leaving no waste for disposal. The treatment and regeneration process takes place on-site and is up-to 90% more cost-effective than conventional techniques.
Martin Keighley, Arvia’s CEO, said: “It is a thrill and an honour to win what is a unique and fiercely contested competition. The big challenge for Arvia, as it for any business developing disruptive environmental technology, is breaking into the mainstream.
“Only through mass adoption can we make a difference on a large scale, particularly when it comes to grey-water, as we’re potentially talking about billions of homes and businesses worldwide. This award and the funding that goes with it is another important step in achieving this.”
Martin concludes: “The reaction to Arvia’s technology has been phenomenal, with recognition, awards and inroads made across a broad range of markets including: groundwater remediation, nuclear decommissioning, swimming pools and drinking water treatment.”
More Information on the Innovate10 awards can be found at www.innovateuk.org
A Proof-of-Principle project supported by the UMIP Premier Fund has been boosted by the award of a Nobel Prize for the background science.
The prize was given to Professor Andre Geim and Dr Konstantin Novoselov, both at The University of Manchester, for their research on Graphene.
Graphene is a flat layer of carbon atoms tightly packed into a two-dimensional honeycomb arrangement. It is so thin it is practically transparent, but as a conductor of electricity it performs as well as copper, and outperforms all other known materials as a conductor of heat. It also has some unique structural characteristics. UPF’s project is developing applications of Graphene in composite materials in areas including instrumentation, electronics and packaging. The project is being led by Dr Ian Kinloch, Professor Robert Young, and Nobel Prize winner Novoselov, all based at the University.
The commercialisation project is being managed by UMIP with commercial input and financial support from MTI Partners.
David Ward, Managing Partner at MTI, commented: “We congratulate Prof. Geim and Dr Novoselov on their outstanding achievement in winning the Nobel Prize for Physics.
“MTI is delighted to work alongside the University to commercialise and create direct economic value from the practical application of the world’s leading science.”
Dr Mark Rahn, Investment Manager, continued: “Although many of those real-life applications of Graphene are still some time away, our PoP project is also exploring possible “early wins” in the market, which is exactly the commercial emphasis that MTI likes to see in its PoP investments.”