• 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


Sustainable power company ENER-G (www.energ.co.uk) is marking the 25th anniversary of its global combined heat and power (CHP) business, launched in 1984 following pioneering research and development work by Manchester academics.

Founded as Manchester’s first spin-out business, Combined Power Systems (CPS) has since become part of Salford-based ENER-G, which turns over £90 million and employs more than 700 staff worldwide.

The groundbreaking R&D work was carried out by a team at UMIST – now The University of Manchester – who developed remote monitoring and control systems that made low carbon CHP technology viable on a global industrial scale.

Since then, ENER-G has sold some 1,200 CHP units, reducing its customers’ carbon emissions by more than one million tonnes, and is a major player in the UK and European CHP market. Its Salford-designed and manufactured systems are used in hospitals, hotels, leisure centres, supermarkets and factories worldwide, and among its high-profile customers is the British Royal family at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

To mark the anniversary, ENER-G will host a special reception on Tuesday 8 September for original spin-out team member Clive Rowland, now head of The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP).

Clive will be welcomed to ENER-G’s research, manufacturing and administration headquarters in Daniel Adamson Road, Salford, by Alan Barlow, managing director of the group’s Combined Power business, and Tony Roscoe, who also worked on the initial spin-out and remains an ENER-G employee.

Alan commented: “Today’s CHP industry is one of the most important sustainable technologies in a rapidly expanding sector and it’s very much the result of innovative work carried out by the university and ENER-G – two of Greater Manchester’s leading technology organisations.

“It wouldn’t be an overstatement to compare the growth of the CHP industry with tiny acorns and mighty oaks and we wanted Clive to come along to see first hand what we are now achieving in terms of product development, energy efficiency and global expansion.”

ENER-G recently opened a third factory in Salford, enabling the company to increase production of its CHP and biogas generator units by 50% to meet orders from across the globe.

ENER-G’s CHP systems create electricity and heat simultaneously and reduce carbon emissions by around 20% while cutting electricity costs by approximately one third. Its biogas generation units convert methane, which is 21 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide, into green energy – harnessing harmful gases from coal mines, landfill sites, waste water and other organic waste.

Clive commented: “The evolution of the original spin-out business into the successful technology company is tremendously satisfying personally and demonstrates the university’s contribution to business and the environment.

“The development of remote monitoring and control for CHP was a crucial commercial breakthrough because it meant you could anticipate and resolve issues before they became problems. This meant lower operating costs and greater efficiency.”

Today, this means that ENER-G can provide 24/7 monitoring of its installed systems across the world, ensuring that they operate at peak performance.

CPS was born from a market opportunity developed by entrepreneurial investors on the back of R&D work by academic staff at UMIST into a remote monitoring and control system for an efficient combined heat and power unit. CPS was owned by a number of utility companies following the spin-out and was acquired by ENER-G in 1997.

Clive continued: “We had to get by from hand to mouth for many years to keep the dream alive. This was in the days before there was much interest by UK venture capitalists in university spin-outs. So developing these enterprise activities was very hard work – like climbing a new mountain for each new opportunity.

“We were among the first universities to explore the commercial potential of research and have also grown enormously since those early times. For example, the £32 million UMIP Premier Fund, set up in 2008, is the largest single university venture fund of its type in Europe – and a long way from the days when we were knocking on hundreds of doors to get investors interested,” added Clive.

Media information: Janet Kilpatrick, jk@janetkilpatrick.co.uk, phone: 0161 487 3830, mobile: 07794 192 677.

Notes to editor:

ENER-G (www.energ.co.uk) develops, finances and delivers renewable and energy efficient power generation and management schemes – applying advanced technology to cost and greenhouse gas reduction.

ENER-G’s solid financial status and independence provides the freedom to finance capital projects to offer zero cost purchase options to customers with revenue generated via long-term energy purchase contracts.
The group provides a complete end-to-end solution for all commercial and industrial energy requirements. Its engineering and service solutions include every aspect of energy management, including procurement; metering; control; lighting and building management systems; combined heat & power (CHP) manufacture and operation (ENER-G has more installed CHP systems across the UK and Europe than any other supplier); geothermal technology; energy from digester gas; and new generation energy from waste.

Nanoco Technologies is named the fastest growing company in Manchester

The Fast 50’s were presented to the top 50 fastest growing companies in the Greater Manchester area based on annual growth over a three year period.

The event was held at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United Football Club.

Torsten Schanze, Operations Manager of Nanoco Technologies, received the award on behalf of the company. In a statement he pointed out that: “This accolade recognizes the tremendous speed at which Nanoco has developed over the past couple of years. The move into new and purpose built facilities, the recent expansion of those facilities, the flotation on the stock market and the number of new hires show that the company is moving in the right direction, especially in these difficult economic times.”

University wastewater spin-out wins innovation award

Manchester-based water treatment company Arvia Technology has won the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) North West Innovation Award.

The University of Manchester spin-out offers a low carbon, chemical and waste free process for the onsite treatment and recycling of industrial waste water.

The technology captures pollutants using Nyex, Arvia’s patented material and then destroys them by applying a low-power electric current.

Arvia says this combined function is an innovation first and also 90 per cent cheaper than conventional techniques.

Chair of the judging panel, Unilver’s Malcolm Sarstedt said: “We were very impressed with the number and consistent high standard of entries – demonstrating that the north west of England is still a hot bed of innovation.

“Sustainability is now a key driver for change, and Arvia has not only achieved effective, sustainable water treatment, but also significant cost benefits compared to competing technologies. This is an excellent example of the sort of innovation that industry is looking to apply.”

Arvia’s chief executive Martin Keighley said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win this award, particularly as entrants were drawn from all industries. For Arvia to be recognised in the face of such stiff competition is a great achievement.”

Keighley recently attended the launch of the Government’s new National Innovation Investment Fund at the London Stock Exchange.

Arvia, whose customers include water utility and ground water remediation companies, was one of only four companies invited to attend and offer their vision for the future of high-tech venture capital investment in the UK to an audience which included science minister Lord Drayson and business secretary Lord Mandelson.

Source: Crains Manchester Business

10 years of Bioincubation in Manchester

UMIC are celebrating ten years of successful biotechnology incubation and growth with a
major event involving industry, government and investor delegates on Wednesday 23rd September 2009. Speakers include Sir William Castell, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust and ex-CEO of Amersham plc .

The event will also celebrate the 5th anniversary of UMIP and UMIC.

Roundtable discussions on financing & investment, drug development, and national policymaking will be led by experienced local professionals who have ‘been there, done that’.

Finally a showcase exhibition throughout the event will highlight Northwest biotech, UMIC partners, collaborators, spin-out companies and research projects within The University of Manchester.

We anticipate strong delegate representation from government, research councils, industry and academia.

Please visit the UMIC webite for more information www.umic.co.uk/anniversary_event/

F2G Ltd Initiates Phase I Clinical Trial for FG3622

Manchester, England, 6th July 2009 – F2G Limited, the Manchester UK based antifungal drug discovery and development company, today announced the initiation of a Phase I clinical study of FG3622, the company’s lead antifungal drug candidate.

The Phase 1 trial is a randomised, placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of FG3622. 100 healthy volunteers will be enrolled in the trial which will evaluate single as well as multiple ascending doses of FG3622 which will be administered orally. This clinical trial is the first-in-human study in the global development of FG3622 and will be conducted in the UK.

FG3622 is the first of a new generation of novel class systemic antifungal agents active by both oral and intravenous administration to enter the clinic. The mechanism of action, discovered by scientists at F2G, involves the selective inhibition of a fungal enzyme and is completely distinct from any other class of marketed antifungal agent. The compound displays highly potent activity against a wide range of clinically significant moulds including the common pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus which is the leading cause of Invasive Aspergillosis, a serious, debilitating disease associated with very high mortality rates despite current therapy options.

The incidence of serious life threatening fungal infections has increased steadily over the last 20 years as a result of an increase in the susceptible immunosuppressed patient population. There is a limited choice of antifungals to treat systemic infections and these are currently represented by only three classes of compound. Resistance is becoming an increasing problem, particularly amongst the azole class. The value of the systemic antifungal market rose to USD 3 billion in 2007 and is forecast to grow substantially in the next 7 years.

Mr Shane Kelly, Chief Executive of F2G said “The progress of the FG3622 program represents a tremendous milestone for our scientists and their approach to antifungal drug discovery. Based on its unique mechanism of action and compelling preclinical data, we are hopeful that FG3622 will offer a major advance in antifungal therapy.”

Dr Anthony Kennedy, Chief Scientific and Development Officer added “The first in man trial is an important step for F2G in the development of FG3622 and will provide us with the data needed to design and expedite clinical studies in patients.”

Dr Thomas Tscherning, Partner at BankInvest Biomedical Venture and Chairman of the F2G Board of Directors, commented “This is a significant achievement for F2G, as initiation of this first trial offers F2G the opportunity to demonstrate the broad clinical potential of a new class of antifungal therapeutics. There is a clear clinical need for new agents to treat systemic fungal infections and we believe FG3622 presents a very promising new approach to treating these serious and life-threatening conditions.”

About F2G Ltd:

Based in Manchester, UK, F2G Ltd is dedicated to the discovery and development of new and clinically superior drug classes to treat life-threatening systemic fungal infections in at-risk patient populations. The antifungal market is currently estimated at over 6 billion dollars annually and is growing steadily year on year. Market growth is expected to increase with the emergence of new clinical indications in allergies and asthma.
The company has impressive internal capabilities, employing a core team of scientists with a unique understanding of the antifungal arena, supported by an experienced management team. F2G operates a flexible business model, building value through the development of a balanced portfolio of antifungal assets across multiple validated TPPs.
For more information visit www.f2g.com