Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in Nanotechnology 2007

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject: Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in Nanotechnology 2007 Reply with quote

Molecular Vision Ltd and Imperial Innovations - Opportunity for climate change breakthrough

Towards realising the full potential of plastic electronics for renewable energy production and arresting negative trends in climate change – the team of Molecular Vision Ltd and Imperial Innovations win the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in Nanotechnology 2007

Winning the £250,000 Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation in Nanotechnology 2007 will enable two innovative nanotechnology concepts to be taken through to commercial exploitation. The concepts relate to “Novel Patterning Processes for Nanoscale Organic Semiconductors”, comprising two fabrication processes - an interlayer lithography technique and a solid-phase transfer lithography technique. This technology targets step changes in the speed and economics of manufacturing organic semiconductor devices, and has the potential to yield major breakthroughs for climate change and carbon control. The team is focusing on organic photovoltaics and solid-state lighting applications for which multiple benefits could result. These include commercial breakthroughs in multi-billion pound markets, the strengthening of the foundations of the plastic electronics manufacturing industry in the UK, and a huge impact on carbon control and efforts to arrest negative trends in climate change - both in terms of energy production (organic solar cells) and energy consumption (organic solid-state lighting).

Although the importance of solar cell technology is receiving widespread publicity in the fight against climate change, it is less well known that a hundred megatons of carbon-equivalent emissions could be saved each year by implementing more energy-efficient solid-state lighting technologies worldwide in the next two decades.

The team comprises Professor Donal Bradley, Dr John de Mello, and Dr Lichun Chen, from Imperial College London, Dr Jingsong Huang from Molecular Vision Ltd and Mr. Omar Cheema, the Director of Strategic Marketing from Imperial Innovations. They are now keen to further pursue the opportunity created by the Royal Society Award, and plan to work with industry partners and public sector organisations committed to tackling climate change issues and advancing the technology innovation base of the UK.

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society said, " Britain has some of the best scientists in the world and we need to make the most of them. The Royal Society's Brian Mercer Awards for Innovation are recognition of work which has the potential to change how we live and to make a serious contribution to the UK’s economy."

Omar Cheema, Director of Strategic Marketing at Imperial Innovations and member of the winning team, explains, “The Brian Mercer Award provides non-dilutive funding at an early stage of technology development that does not normally attract sufficient venture capital. We are grateful for the much-needed flexibility it gives us in exploring different commercialisation pathways, and are confident that it will help us to bring in industry and financial partners at the right stage with lower risk and at lower cost.”

Susan Searle, CEO of Imperial Innovations said, “We are delighted to work with our pioneering science and technology base at Imperial College to demonstrate how blue sky research can be nurtured towards commercial applications of potential global importance. Not only does this require multidisciplinary science and technology but also multidisciplinary business thinking and close interaction with scientific entrepreneurs through each stage from the laboratory to the market – all of which Imperial Innovations is in a position to provide.”

Molecular Vision Ltd is a spin-out company of Imperial Innovations Ltd. The company was founded by three Imperial College London researchers – Prof. Donal Bradley, Prof. Andrew de Mello and Dr. John de Mello – in 2002 in order to meet a clearly defined demand in the medical diagnostics, biosensors and analytical instrumentations markets: the need for miniaturized chemical and biological detectors offering high sensitivity and functionality at low cost. The company has directly addressed this market demand by inventing a novel method for optical detection based on recent advances in organic electronics and light emitting diodes combined with microfluidics technology.

Imperial Innovations is based at Imperial College London. It was founded in 1986 and its ordinary shares admitted to trading on the AIM Market of London Stock Exchange plc in July 2006, raising £26 million. It has established equity holdings in 66 technology businesses and has completed 90 commercial agreements. Imperial Innovations has invested in a range of spin-out companies, including The Acrobot Company Limited, Advanced Tissue Therapies Limited, Cardiak Limited, Circassia Holdings Limited, deltaDOT Limited, Equinox Pharma Limited, Future Waves PTE Limited, HeliSwirl Technologies Limited, InforSense Limited, Lontra Limited, Midaz Lasers Limited, NanoBioDesign Limited, Nexeon Limited, NovaThera Limited, Thiakis Limited and Veryan Medical Limited. It currently holds shares in four technology businesses now listed on AIM including the fuel cell company, Ceres Power plc. It also commercialises technologies originating from outside Imperial College through incubation contracts with the Carbon Trust and WRAP and has relationships with a number of multinational corporations including BAE Systems.


First Posted: 27th February 2007.
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