• 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

University start-up company, Third Floor Systems Ltd, selected to compete in prestigious Pitch@Palace competition

 Start-up anticipates finals

Following a successful pitch at the Pitch@Palace 10.0 Boot Camp held on 3rd October at the Judge Business School, Cambridge, University start-up company, Third Floor Systems Ltd, will now compete alongside 41 other entrepreneurs in the final at Buckingham Palace on the 8th November 2018.

Pitch@Palace was founded by The Duke of York in 2014 as a platform to amplify and accelerate the work of Entrepreneurs. Pitch@Palace 10.0 returns to a broad technology theme showcasing companies that have developed innovative technologies across a wide range of areas including Biotech and Medical Technology, Consumer Technology and Internet of Things, Industrial Technology and AI and Robotics.

Third Floor Systems (www.thirdfloor.ltd) was selected from among hundreds of applicants to take part in Pitch@Palace 10.0. The company is supported by our Innovation Optimiser Programme which empowers innovators from across the University to create start-up businesses.

Formed in 2017, the company develops and distributes StudentCRT, a software system for University staff that uses several types of student engagement data to quickly identify students who may be struggling with their mental health. Support and pastoral staff can then personally follow-up with those students before matters escalate for them. StudentCRT has been used in the School of Physics for 2 years and in the School of Mechanical Engineering (MACE) since January 2018. In both Schools the effect on our ability to identify potentially at-risk students and to support them through times of difficulty has been profound.

Dr Andrew Markwick, University of Manchester Lecturer and Founder of Third Floor Systems said: “We wanted to be sure we were doing the best we could to protect our students using the information we collect about them anyway, that’s why we created StudentCRT.”

Pitch@Palace provides Entrepreneurs with the chance to hear from leading industry experts and Pitch@Palace Alumni, as well as receiving support and mentoring. All are asked to Pitch their business to a panel of Judges, as well as senior business leaders, investors, and influencers from across the technology, investment and business communities.

At Buckingham Palace, the Pitch@Palace 10.0 winner and runners up will be selected from among the 42 companies by the Audience vote. All 42 Entrepreneurs will also take part in the Pitch@Palace People’s Choice Award, at peopleschoice.pitchatpalace.com. The Pitch@Palace People’s Choice Award Winner will also be named on 8 November, as voted for by the public.

Clin-e-cal announces investment from Catapult Ventures to advance its pipeline of innovative digital health respiratory applications

Alderley Park, UK – 3rd October 2018. Clin-e-cal, an innovative digital health company, today announced the completion of a new funding round to expand its development of a fundamentally new approach to training and compliance in respiratory medicine. The funding came from the GM&C Life Sciences Fund, managed by Catapult Ventures.

Clin-e-cal are developing several mobile applications in partnership with pharmaceutical and medical device companies to improve inhaler technique and medication compliance, both well-recognized needs within the respiratory field. Using its patent-pending Tone Analysis technology, the company’s first product, Rafi-Tone, uses gamification techniques to help young children take their medication more effectively.

Clin-e-cal was founded by clinical academic Tariq Aslam, in response to his own son’s breathing problems and his resistance to using his inhaler. The company is a spin-out from The University of Manchester (through its agent for IP commercialisation UMI3 Ltd) and the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust and maintains strong links to the clinical and academic communities.

Clin-e-cal CEO, Dr Lizzie Crawford, said “We are delighted to have closed this investment and are excited to be able to expand Clin-e-cal by further investing in our partnerships and R+D to maximise the value of our innovative approach addressing significant problems in the management of respiratory disease.”

Dr Vijay Barathan, Life Science Partner, said “We are looking forward to working with the team to advance their portfolio of innovate digital health respiratory applications. Their first product is a great example of how significant medical issues can be solved through the digitization of healthcare.”

Chris Spencer, Digital Health Venture Partner at Catapult and newly appointed Chairman of Clin-e-cal, said “Respiratory disease causes an immense worldwide health burden. For example, as long ago as 2013, the World Health Organisation estimated that 235m people suffered from asthma. I’m privileged to have been asked to assist Clin-e-cal as it helps others better manage their treatment and conditions.”


Dr Vijay Barathan, Life Science Partner

E: vijay@catapult-ventures.com

T: 01625 344300   M: 07832 350820


UMI3 Ltd showcases innovations to Catapult Ventures

Investors meet University of Manchester academic entrepreneurs

On 3rd October UMI3 Ltd held an investor day with Catapult Ventures, who manage the Greater Manchester & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund, to hear from the CEOs of two of their portfolio companies and to showcase a selection of early-stage University spin-out propositions. The event took place at the University’s Innovation Centre (UMIC) on Grafton Street.

After an introduction to the Catapult Ventures Team by Dr Vijay Barathan and a presentation on early-stage venture capital funding to an invited audience of 50, we had the chance to hear first-hand from the CEOs of two University spin-outs in the Catapult GM&C Life Sciences Portfolio: Tony Travers from Manchester Imaging Ltd and Dr Elizabeth Crawford from Clin-e-cal, finishing with an interactive Q&A session.

This was followed by an Entrepreneurs Showcase Session where five life sciences propositions, who are looking for funding, presented their business cases to Catapult Ventures in an open pitch session, with a prize awarded for the best idea & delivery.

Presenting were BactiFlocc (Dr Kate Thompson), Ab-Nomics (Professor Ian Hampson), Quantima (Dr Hojjat Azadbakht), ManTRa (Dr Darren Roberts) and Complement Therapeutics (Dr Simon Clark).

The winner was announced by Catapult Ventures’ Dr Gareth King during networking and refreshments which took place in UMIC’s newly opened Core Technology Facility Atrium.

Drs Simon Clarke and Gareth King


Complement Therapeutics’ Dr Simon Clark received the prize of 6 months office space for two people in UMIC’s new state of the art co-working area.

Dr Simon Clark comments: “This is a huge honour and great surprise! Getting feedback from the audience and the team from Catapult Ventures was very helpful. Some really useful ideas were raised and will certainly change the way we move forward.”



Dr Vijay Barathan, Life Science Partner with Catapult Ventures, said: “We were delighted to work with UMIP to put this event together and thank them for the effort taken into organising the day. The Catapult team were delighted with the quality of the presentations and the level of engagement of the audience.”

Yvonne Loughlin, Head of UMIC, comments: “I am excited to have Complement Therapeutics as the first tenant in our modern bespoke shared working facility and I hope that the support and guidance provided in an area designed to encourage collaboration and networking will help ensure a successful future for them. Simon’s was confident and engaging simplifying and explaining the concept perfectly he was a worthy winner. I look forward to being involved with future competitions and ensuring continued support for North West start-ups and entrepreneurs.”




UoM-University of Toronto joint research fund open

The University of Manchester and the University of Toronto are contributing matching funds to support collaborative research initiatives through a joint call for proposals. The new joint pump-priming fund with Toronto is now open; further details are attached and applications should be submitted online using SmartSurvey <https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/UoM-UofT/> . The deadline for submission is Friday 30 November 2018 (midnight Toronto time).

Any queries can be directed to Joanne.Jacobs@manchester.ac.uk in International Development.

For further information, please see UoM_UofT joint call document final version

New Graphene Business Bounces out of The University of Manchester

Dr Maria Iliut and Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan

The business was founded by two University of Manchester academics, Dr Maria Iliut and Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan. Both founders are world experts in graphene, and its use in making rubbers and elastomers stronger and more durable.

Grafine Ltd will be based at The University of Manchester’s Innovation Centre on Grafton Street and will use the University’s world-class facilities including the brand-new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) for its product development work.

Grafine is offering 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.

Elastomers and rubbers are used world over in products such as tyres, shoes, gloves, industrial components, construction materials, coatings and medical devices. The global market size for rubber and elastomer products is forecast to be more than £70 billion by 2021.

Grafine Ltd is looking to exploit the potential of this massive global market and has already excited interest from global manufacturers of elastomer and rubber products. Grafine is currently negotiating development contracts with such companies.

Dr. Vijayaraghavan, who has been at the forefront of research into graphene for more than a decade, said:

“We are very excited to launch Grafine Ltd because we have the specialist skills and know-how to help global manufacturing companies use new 2-dimensional materials like graphene effectively and cheaply.’

Graphene Stretch Sequence

He continued: “Businesses in many sectors are continually striving to improve the properties of elastomeric compounds in order to enhance product performance in both existing and new applications. Graphene can further enhance the already excellent properties of rubber and elastomers by improving their strength, elasticity, flexibility, thermal stability, resistance to chemicals and durability. With the support of Grafine Ltd, manufacturing companies will be able to give product designers even greater flexibility when they create new products.

“By working with Grafine Ltd, manufactures will be able to accelerate the speed with which they can bring these new elastomer composites to market while reducing risk and lowering cost”.

Dr. Iliut, the academic co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Grafine, added: “

“Our business, Grafine Ltd, offers a range of consultancy services to companies wishing to exploit the benefits that these nano-materials can bring to their elastomeric products and coatings. Grafine will also sign commercial deals to license its know-how and patents allowing knowledge and technology transfer to its industrial customers.”

The University’s wholly owned subsidiary, Graphene Enabled Systems Ltd, has supported the academic founders and, with assistance from UMI3 Ltd (the University’s IP commercialisation company), created Grafine Ltd.

Its CEO, Andrew Wilkinson, who represents the University on the Grafine Ltd board, is very optimistic about Grafine’s future. “Grafine offers manufacturers the skills and know-how in graphene-enhanced elastomer and rubber composites and coatings that would take them decades to develop in-house. As the company builds its customer base and grows we predict it will have a major impact on the use of 2-dimensional materials in the global rubber and elastomer market.”

For further information, please contact Dr Maria Iliut