• We are catalysts for innovation, commercialising next-generation technologies developed by

    The University of Manchester’s world-class research base

    • £360m+ invested by venture funders

    • 40+ spin-out companies created

    • 7,500+ licences and IP partnerships concluded

    • 4,000+ invention disclosures received

    • £115m+ IP and R&D revenue generated for the University

  • We are catalysts for innovation, commercialising next-generation technologies developed by The University of Manchester’s world-class research base

    • £300m+ invested by venture funders since 2004

    • 40+ spin-out companies created

    • 4,800+

      licences and IP partnerships concluded

    • 3,700+ invention disclosures received

    • 1,300+ jobs generated across various industry sectors

    • £105m+ IP and R&D revenue generated for the University

Author Archive

Grafine Ltd. exhibits at Chinaplas 2019

Grafine Ltd., supported by Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd., is exhibiting its research and development capabilities at Chinaplas 2019, the world’s leading plastics and rubber trade fair.

Chinaplas 2019, the 33rd International Exhibition on Plastics and Rubber Industries, is being held this week, from 21st to 24th of May, at the China Import & Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou, PR China. Grafine is exhibit in stand 9.2D55, as part of the British Pavilion.

Grafine Ltd. has been awarded a Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) Exhibitor Grant by the Department of International Trade in support of this exhibit.

Grafine, a University of Manchester spin-out company, offers a range of technical development services to manufacturing companies from around the world who wish to profit from the performance benefits that graphene can add to their products.

Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, co-founder of Grafine, and University academic, will be on hand, supported by Dr. Shanshan Huo, Senior Project Engineer at Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd.

Dr. Vijayaraghavan leads the Nanofunctional Materials Group, and is responsible for developing the graphene-enhanced rubber used by inov-8 Ltd., in their range of award-winning G-series and G-grip shoes.

Grafine is supported by UMI3 Ltd., the University’s tech transfer organisation, and Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the University.

Dr. Vijayaraghavan said: “Chinaplas is widely recognised by the industry as one of the most influential plastics and rubber exhibitions in the world. It is therefore an excellent opportunity for Grafine and the University of Manchester to expand the scope of applications of graphene-enhanced elastomer materials through seeking and establishing development partnerships with a range of international industries”

“Grafine and the University of Manchester have embarked on an ambitious journey to impact a range of sectors such as automotive, aerospace, sports & leisure, medical and infrastructure through the application of graphene-enhanced elastomer materials”.

Chinaplas 2019 will feature over 3,500 exhibitors from 40 countries, and is expected to attract over 180,000 visitors over 4 days.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of UMI3, said: “Grafine Ltd is at the forefront of 2D-materials enhanced elastomer development. The business is able to deliver new formulations to industry which can significantly enhance the performance of existing products and even create new applications. Grafine is currently partnering or negotiating commercial deals with customers across the globe operating in a wide range of industrial and consumer markets. I am delighted that, Manchester based, Grafine is now generating sales revenue and I am very confident that the team are going to make a major impact in the rubber and elastomer sector.”


UMI3 Ltd reveals partnership with Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre

The University of Manchester’s innovation company, UMI3 Ltd, has become the latest partner of the multi-million-pound Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

UMI3 is the fifth Tier One partner of the GEIC, which opened in December 2018.

The GEIC specialises in the rapid development and scale up of technologies using graphene and other 2D materials.

This new collaboration will see University graphene subsidiary Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd manage a technology development laboratory on behalf of UMI3. The facility will be available for all University graphene spin-out companies to use.

Tier One GEIC partnership benefits include access to world-leading expertise and experience along with specialist equipment to aid projects which will accelerate product and process development and market entry.

Andrew Wilkinson is the CEO of UMI3, the technology transfer company which leads the commercialisation of The University of Manchester’s innovations and IP to create global social and economic impact.

He said: “We’re delighted to announce that UMI3 is the latest Tier One member of GEIC, the world’s leading 2D materials development and scale-up facility.

“Commercialising science is fundamental to economic growth. This technology development laboratory, managed by Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd, will help facilitate the proactive approach of the graphene ecosystem in Manchester.”

The GEIC, housed in The Masdar Building on the University’s north campus, complements the National Graphene Institute’s (NGI) international research focus by concentrating on multi-faceted industry-led applications development. The key areas within the new building include pilot productions, characterisation and material development in composites, energy, solution formulations and coatings, electronics and membranes.

Some of the world’s biggest and most influential companies are working with The University of Manchester on graphene applications.


University of Manchester Innovation Company holds Innovation Showcase

Investors, industry representatives and entrepreneurial academics among the 100 plus people in attendance

“Through collaboration, through partnership – and with investment and strong links to industry – only good things happen”. So says Dr Martino Picardo who facilitated discussion and interaction throughout the successful day long Innovation Showcase held on Wednesday 3rd April at The University of Manchester Innovation Centre, UMIC.

From l to r; Mark Dearden, Paul Bishop, Alex Casson, Curtis Dobson, Martino Picardo

Over 100 people came together – from an invited audience of entrepreneurial academics, investors and industry representatives – to learn more about developments at the University in Vision Sciences, Bioelectronics and MedTech. There were demonstrations of new technologies, tours of MedTech laboratories, presentations by researchers and budding entrepreneurs as well as roundtable discussions and networking with the University’s technology transfer company, UMI3.

Curtis Dobson, Professor of Translational Biology at the University commented: “The University of Manchester carries out an astonishingly broad programme of research, with numerous world renowned teams eager to help companies pursue their R&D goals.

“Events like the Innovation Showcase offer a fantastic opportunity for the University to engage with industry and further its mission to make a positive impact in the world.”

Mary Canning, Associate at Epidarex, a specialist life science venture capital group, who attended the Innovation Showcase commented:

“We like to work closely with top universities and the Innovation Showcase was very helpful in pointing out where The University of Manchester’s strengths lie. We’ve had a good relationship with UMI3 for the last couple of years. They’ve pitched a number of projects to us and there’s a very exciting pipeline.”

She added: “I’d also say that academics shouldn’t feel that they have to have a perfect business plan before they talk to industry or talk to investors, because if the technology is exciting enough, people will want to help and give advice.

“We like to engage directly with academics, even long before they need funding so we can give them some input and then talk again later on.”

Mark Dearden took part in the Plenary Panel. Mark is VP of Strategy & Marketing at LG, a global leader in the life sciences sector, serving customers in healthcare, applied markets (including food, agbio and the environment), research and government.

Mark commented: “Innovation is critical to our agenda as a company. We track the vitality of our portfolio, which is a measure of revenue generated from new technology.

“The diversity of perspectives from such a broad range of attendees in the Innovation Showcase was really engaging.”

BioElectronics demo showcase

Networking in the Street

University of Manchester technology set to lead fight against anti-microbial resistance

Professor Douglas Kell and colleagues have developed novel technology that identifies the most effective antibiotic to kill organisms in urinary tract infections

Increasing pressures on health services have led to the over-prescription of commonly used antibiotics, more instances of mis-prescription and subsequently, the emergence of antibiotic resistance and an increased reliance on antibiotics of last resort. This novel technology is set to play a vital role in the fight against anti-microbial resistance.

Professor Douglas Kell

Professor Douglas Kell has developed technology using flow cytometry which detects and counts individual bacteria in a urine sample, and can determine which antibiotic is the most efficient at killing those particular bacteria. The most effective antibiotic can then be prescribed to the patient.

Professor Kell believes the ‘precise technology’ could be deployed as a portable instrument in GP clinics and hospitals.

Professor Kell said: “What we’ve been able to do for the very first time is to provide a very rapid method that will enable us to determine whether a particular antibiotic is going to kill the organisms in the urinary tract infection or not. The method is sufficiently rapid that the results would be available in the time before an individual would leave a doctor’s surgery.

“Typical modern methods have often relied on discovering the genotype of the organism that is there and the sequence of DNA. But that doesn’t actually tell you whether or not the organism is susceptible, in the sense of stopping it growing, to the antibiotic in question.”

Antimicrobial resistance or AMR – which occurs naturally over time and usually through genetic changes – is the ability of a microbe to resist the effects of medication that once could successfully treat the microbe. Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes referred to as superbugs. AMR is widely seen as one of the greatest threats to society.

Professor Kell added: “The common occurrence is that a patient will turn up at a GP clinic with a urinary tract infection or a suspected urinary tract infection, and the doctor would like to give an antibiotic.

“Quite often, one doesn’t know which is the right antibiotic that will cure the infection.

“What would be desirable is to have a test that could tell you which antibiotic is going to work on a timescale of say thirty minutes or less so that the patient gets the right prescription before they leave the GP’s clinic. This is what we have been able to achieve”

A paper has been published on this technology which you can view here:

Microbiology Society Journals | Very rapid flow cytometric assessment of antimicrobial susceptibility during the apparent lag phase of microbial (re)growth



You can also view an introductory video to this technology here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLWKd9opVQA


Collaborate to Innovate event, City Labs 1.0, Manchester, May 1st

Collaborate to Innovate, hosted by the University of Manchester, will showcase the benefits of academic-industry collaboration for furthering biomedical research, providing an informed insight into potential funding streams and highlighting opportunities to fulfil your innovation potential. The schedule will include:

*        Key funding representatives from SBRI, Innovate UK, KTN, and ERDF will provide detail and guidance on current and forthcoming funding opportunities.

*        University of Manchester collaborative funding opportunities arising from internally managed funding schemes (devolved from the BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC and Wellcome Trust).

*        Case studies to provide in-depth and first-hand experiences on the mutual benefits of collaborative research from both academic and industry perspectives.

*        The research and innovation network, particularly in the greater Manchester area, will be highlighted through speakers from Manchester Science Partnerships, Bionow, Health Innovation Manchester and the Catapults.

*        One-to-one sessions with the speakers.

*        Facilitated networking – to maximise the potential for making connections, a live attendee list will be maintained in the run up to the event, providing a means for the Business Engagement team to connect interested parties with one another.

The event will take place on the 1st May, 8.50am – 3.00pm, at Citylabs 1.0, Nelson Street, Manchester. For further details and to register attendance please follow the Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/collaborate-to-innovate-tickets-56348606198

For any queries please contact Kate Meade, Business Engagement Officer (kate.a.meade@manchester.ac.uk) , telephone number: 07717224977)