Northwest Biomedical Awards winners announced

Over 200 people from the Northwest’s biomedical sector gathered last night (Thursday 12th November) at the annual Northwest Biomedical Awards at Mere Golf and Country Club.

The awards, organised by Bionow, the Northwest Regional Development Agency’s (NWDA) biomedical cluster support group, were a resounding success and showcased the very best of the region’s world class biotechnology sector.

Mark Hughes, NWDA Executive Director of Economic Development, said:

“England’s Northwest is one of the UK’s top three biomedical clusters, home to world class biotechnology companies and internationally renowned research capability in this sector. The Northwest Biotechnology Awards recognises excellence in the sector and rewards the success and achievements of the people and organisations that are making a significant contribution to the industry and the region.”

The winners were:

Biomedical Project of the Year (sponsored By Pannone LLP)
Winner: ICX-RHY Project, Intercytex

Healthcare Project of the Year (sponsored By TrusTech/NHS)
Winner: The Oesophageal Doppler guided intraoperative fluid management in major surgery, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Innovation in Diagnostics Project of the Year (sponsored by ThermoFisher)
Winner: Candidaemia Species, Myconostica

Promising Biomedical Technologist of the Year (sponsored by Novartis Vaccines)
Winner: Dr Christian Zakian, University of Manchester

Emerging Technology Project of the Year (sponsored by Waters Corporation)
Winner: Renephra, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Biomedical Start Up Company of the Year (sponsored by Baker Tilly)
Winner: Biofortuna Ltd

Biomedical Company of the Year (sponsored by AstraZeneca/MedImmune)
Winner: Advanced Medical Solutions

Personality of the Year – Dr Sharon O’Kane, Renovo

Outstanding Contribution – Dr Linda Magee, MAHSC

Manchester Scientist Shines In BioNow Awards

Dr Christian Zakian from the School of Dentistry at The University of Manchester has been awarded a prestigious accolade for his pioneering work in the biomedical field.

Christian claimed the ‘Promising Northwest Biomedical Technologist of the Year’ at the North West Biomedical Awards for his work on an invention that allows mapping of carious lesions in the teeth. The Awards, which are organised by BioNow, examine the best emerging talent in the region and reward excellence in the sector.

The novel approach of using defined wavelengths of light to build an image of each tooth allowing dentists to not only determine that decay is present but how deep that decay extends. To date, available techniques are either not sensitive enough to early stages of the disease, such as x-rays, or are limited by the presence of stain in teeth. This method is non-invasive and can assist dentists to monitor the disease progression, resulting in a more informed approach to treatment. In contrast to other optical techniques this innovation provides a picture of the whole tooth and not just a single point; this is useful to reveal the precise location of the decay and helping to decide whether drilling is required and where. The images produced are clear and bright and offer an opportunity for patient involvement in the treatment decision making processes.

Led by Christian, his research team applied for Proof-of-Principle funding from UMIP to bring the project forward, which was subsequently granted. Christian is part of a multi-disciplinary research group (Dental Health Unit) led by Prof. Roger Ellwood and Dr. Iain Pretty and formed by scientists and dentists who focused on coordinating clinical trials and developing next generation dental diagnostic instruments.

UMIP licensing manager, Dr Lizzie Crawford, commented on the awards: “The investment from UMIP allowed Christian to go from strength to strength, transcending his daily role as a research assistant to head up a team that includes, a technician and a research assistant. Christian’s ability to commercialise and drive his product forward at such an early stage in his career is testament to his tenacity and confidence in his invention and this was a view that was clearly shared by the judging panel.”

MTI invests half a million in CableSense

Manchester hi-tech specialists back Lancaster business

Manchester Technology investment specialists, MTI Partners, has announced its latest investment through the UMIP Premier Fund (UPF) in North West start up CableSense Ltd.

The company has developed an innovative new approach to managing large scale, wide structured cabling systems, and MTI has made a £500,000 investment deigned to accelerate the delivery of its proposition to market.

CableSense’s solution is differentiated by being readily retro-fittable at a low cost to existing cabling installations. The system’s utilises CableSense’s proprietary technology for network cable monitoring, scanning and mapping.

This substantially reduces all the cost elements of maintaining and running a network, including the cost and complexity of moves, making additions and changes, fault indetificaion and diagnosis, inventory management and capital expenditure through the identification and re-use of redundant equipment and capacity.

Over recent years CableSense’s founders have collaborated with the University of Lancaster and the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Manchester with support from the high competitive TSB Technology Programme.

Lancaster based CableSense also received a £100,000 Proof of Principle investment earlier this year through UMIP’s well regarded technology transfer and incubation process, and has now graduated to a full UPF investment.

John Kelly, the founder and Technical Director of CableSense said: “MTI’s investment provides a fantastic platform for CableSense to deliver its product to the market and prove its business model.

John Continues: “Both MTI and UMIP have worked hard to help us put the corporate structure and commercial foundations behind this business, and with our technical approach I’m confident that we can fill a substantial gap we’ve identified in the market”

MTI Partners Investment Manager Mark Rahn said: “CableSense is living proof that it is possible to build high-tech, high-growth start-up companies through all North West corporate and multiple university collaborations.

“It also demonstrates that it is possible develop a healthy, commercially viable product and business model in less than a year via UMIP’s process.”

Mark concludes: “MTI knows that the future success of CableSense’s technology lies in its simplicity, and if positioned properly in the market, has enormous potential.”

CableSense forms part of the growing cluster of high-tech companies across the North-West region supported by MTI and the UPF fund.

UoM team shortlisted for The Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards 2009

A team led by Prof. Tony Peyton from the University of Manchester School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering has been shortlisted in The Engineer Technology & Innovation Awards 2009.

A submission by UMIP Licensing Manager Simon Clarke for the project ‘Advanced Microstructure Analysis using Induction Spectroscopy (AMAIS)’ was shortlisted by the judges in the Process & Production category.

The submission was based on the work to develop and commercialise the AMAIS project by a consortium of academic and industrial specialists from The University of Manchester, UMIP, the University of Birmingham, the steel producer Corus UK and technology provider Organised Technology Ltd.

AMAIS presents a solution for steel producers to the unsolved problem of continuously monitoring and controlling material properties during hot-rolling.

The novel, cost-effective solution which the team has developed involves the use of advanced signal processing and instrumentation, modelling and analysis of the effects of microstructure on the electromagnetic properties of steel during controlled cooling. It also has the possibility of applications in other fields.

Tony, Simon and the team now await the Awards ceremony lunch at The Royal Society in London on 4th December to find out if they have won. Good luck!

Professor David Sandoz receives Sir Harold Hartley Medal

University of Manchester Professor, David Sandoz thanked UMIP recently when he collected the prestigious Sir Harold Hartley Medal from the Institute of Measurement and Control.

The medal is awarded by the Institute to a person whose contribution to the technology of measurement and control is considered to be of outstanding merit. The award to Professor Sandoz was in recognition of his long-standing involvement with control engineering and the exploitation of condition monitoring and control engineering methods for batch processes.

The University assisted Professor Sandoz in creating several successful spin-out companies which commercialised his engineering achievements including Predictive Control Ltd, Control Technology Centre Ltd and more lately Perceptive Engineering Ltd.

As he collected the award Professor Sandoz said: “None of this would have been possible without the long-standing support from The University of Manchester and in particular from the various University companies, Vuman, Manchester Innovation and finally UMIP – and I would very much like to thank the University for that.”

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