Three top British nanotechnology firms whose innovations make solar cells more efficient, help in the fight against heart disease, and improve the production of fine chemical compounds won Business Innovation Awards today at the UK NanoForum & Emerging Technologies Conference 2009.
The two-day event, which has drawn more than 450 delegates from the UK and overseas, is hosted by the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in the London Hilton Park Lane.
Lord Davies of Abersoch, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business commented: "Here in the UK we have a truly first-class record of innovation. The country’s most forward-thinking companies are helping to shape the future and secure our future prosperity. I am determined that the UK should remain a world leader in innovation. With the support of UK Trade & Investment, this event provides a platform for trailblazers who want to take their business to the world."
Baroness Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, who presented the awards, added:
"I congratulate the winners on their success. London is home to more of the world’s top universities than any other city. The UK as a whole has four of the world’s top six, and they typically spin out around 200 companies a year. Whilst London is best defined as a global talent hub, it can also be described as the world’s largest science park, with financial and legal advice close at hand."
The Business Innovation Award winners are:
Materials & Devices: Promethean Particles from Nottingham won the award for the development and manufacture of dispersed high specification inorganic nanoparticles, with applications in green energy storage, such as more efficient solar cells, and healthcare. Accepting the award, Sandy Gordon commented: "This is great recognition of our achievements. We already have customers overseas, but this award will increase our profile."
Life Sciences and Healthcare: University College London (UCL) Centre and Regenerative Medicine won for its surgical implant using nanocomposites and stem cell technology, which will make a highly positive impact on a new generation of heart valve substitutes and coronary artery bypass grafts. Professor Alexander Seifalian said: "I’m extremely pleased at this recognition for University College London and our team. I hope this will help push our medical implant forward by commercialisation."
Energy and Environment: AM Technology, from Runcorn in Cheshire, has developed a new flow reactor for the continuous manufacture of chemical compounds for the pharmaceutical industry, which looks set to drastically improve manufacturing yields for the UK. AM Technology’s Robert Ashe commented: "We are extremely grateful to UKTI and NanoKTN. As a small company, this recognition can only help to raise our profile."
The winners will all be presented with funds to assist them to attend and take part in an overseas nanotechnology event.
Director of the NanoKTN, Alec Reader adds, "Widespread commercial uptake of emerging technologies is vital to the wealth-creating power of the UK, and nanotechnology is leading the way in driving the future wealth of UK economy. The Business Innovation Awards recognise positive developments in nanotechnology and actively help businesses to further develop and launch commercially viable applications."
With over 250 one-to-one meetings and international organisations attending from some 19 countries including Taiwan, Sweden, India, Portugal and Japan, UK NanoForum & Emerging Technologies 2009 is one of the major industry events of the year.
The event includes breakout sessions covering Healthcare & Life Sciences, Materials & Devices and Energy & Environment, as well as providing delegates and exhibitors with a platform for discussion on how nano and emerging technologies can and will create future wealth to the UK and Worldwide.
Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the NanoKTN is managed by Centre for Process Innovation Ltd, a leading technology development and consulting company.
The NanoKTN facilitates the transfer of knowledge and experience between industry and research, offering companies dealing in small-scale technology access to information on new processes, patents and funding as well as keeping up-to-date with industry regulation. The four broad areas that the NanoKTN focuses on are: Promoting and facilitating knowledge exchange, supporting the growth of UK capabilities, raising awareness of Nanotechnology, and providing thought leadership and input to UK policy and strategy.
About Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs):
Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) are national networks in specific fields of technology or business application, which bring together people from businesses, universities, research, finance, the public sector and technology organisations to stimulate innovation through knowledge exchange.
Funded by the Technology Strategy Board, their activities play an increasingly important role in the development of the Government’s technology strategy, and help to feed and drive the Collaborative Research & Development Programme and other innovation interventions. There are currently 24 KTNs with a total membership of about 25,000 people.
For further information please see www.ktnetworks.co.uk