On Friday The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) launched #FoodForTheFuture, a collection of #collaboration case studies that show how universities & business have united to help the food industry adapt & innovate to deliver the food we will need in the future.
Every business starts with an idea, or in our case with years of high value research – our spin out companies go on to develop their IP portfolio, creating commercial solutions for maximum economic or societal impact. Go to our UoB Research Commercialisation webpages to learn more.
Bristol and Bath spin-out company, Ceryx Medical, has appointed Chas Taylor as Chairman. He brings with him decades of experience in developing and leading medical device companies. Ceryx are developing an evolutionary technology that could significantly change the way patients with serious heart problems are treated and this new appointment will help drive the acceleration of the technology towards clinic.
University of Bristol spin-out company CytoSeek has raised £3.5 million to accelerate the development of new cell therapies to treat solid tumours in cancer patients, based on the research of Adam Perriman, Professor of Bioengineering in the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. The funding round is led by Science Creates Ventures (SCV), a new Bristol based fund for science and engineering start-ups. Read the University’s press release.
Spin-out from the University’s Bristol Composites Institute, Actuation Lab, is rethinking industrial hardware to increase the reliability and reduce the environmental impact of our mechanised industries. The company was founded in 2019 by three engineering academics who had the drive to commercialise their mechanical innovation, the Callimorph® actuator. The Callimorph® is a device that is designed to keep machines moving without succumbing to corrosion, thus preventing the crippling costs associated with unplanned downtime in the energy, marine and mining industries.
Following a significant recent investment, the award-winning company has taken up residence at Bristol’s National Composites Centre (NCC). The NCC provides access to some of the most advanced composite manufacturing capabilities in the world, so this move will significantly bolster Actuation Lab’s R&D activities and foster an exciting stage of business development.
Simon Bates, CEO at Actuation Lab said:
“The NCC is absolutely the right place for Actuation Lab to live and grow from for the next 18 months. As well as having our own secure lab space on site, the NCC have partnered with us on a pivotal Innovate UK funded project, which will see our Callimorph® actuator rapidly progress towards a marketable product.”
Leah Rider, Head of SME delivery at the NCC commented:
“We are delighted to have Actuation Lab here at the NCC, and we are working with them to provide facilities they need to support them at this important time in their development. SMEs are such an important part of the UK industry, and we want to help as many as possible take advantage of the many benefits composite materials can offer, including giving them the support to test and develop their innovations on-site at our Bristol facility.”
The investment and NCC move follows what has been a successful year for Actuation Lab. In 2020, the company was awarded £100k of equity free funding and TechX accelerator support from the OGTC, Aberdeen. This programme immersed the founding team in the Energy Industry and led to Actuation Lab winning a SBRI R&D Contract to explore how the company’s technology could be applied to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industrial processes.
In February this year, the founders also welcomed UoB Honorary Industrial Fellow Dr Steve Kitson to the board, appointing their long-supporting mentor as Chair. Steve has a wealth of experience in aiding technology companies to achieve their potential, and as a fellow technology pioneer, this appointment helps cement Actuation Lab’s reputation as a company to watch in the deep-tech hardware space. Actuation Lab is now hiring.
Congratulations to spin-out company Exonate who have reached their first patient milestone. Exonate aims to improve the treatment of patients with retinal vascular diseases, transforming the lives of those with sight loss with an eye drop to treat wet AMD and DME. As part of a randomised multicentre trial, the patients, who are in treatment at retinal centres in Australia, will be given either a placebo or a dose of EXN 407, the lead chemical compound in Exonate’s eye drops. The clinical trial is the culmination of an extensive period of research, which involved academics from the University of Bristol in its early stages, including Professor Dave Bates, formerly of Bristol’s School of Physiology and Pharmacology, now at the University of Nottingham. https://www.exonate.com/updates/
University social enterprise spin out IRISi focuses on promoting and improving the healthcare response to gender based violence, with Professor Gene Feder at the Bristol Medical School being the lead academic at UoB. IRISi is launching a new product – IRIS ADViSE (Assessing for Domestic Violence and Abuse in Sexual Health Environments), an initiative that supports sexual health staff to identify and respond to patients affected by domestic violence and abuse (DVA), helping to refer them on to specialist services.
The commercialisation team supported 3 academic teams from September to December 2020 on the SETsquared Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research programme (ICURe). All have now been confirmed as potential spin out companies and can therefore apply for Innovate UK funding worth c.£300k. The teams were:
Technology for rapid adaptation of crops in a changing global environment
Recycled High-Performance Discontinuous Fibre Composites for a Sustainable Future;
PoliValve: The next heart valve prosthesis generation.
University spin out company Glaia was featured in an interview on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 15th January by Tom Heap as part of his new program “39 Ways to Save the Planet”.
Glaia (https://www.glaia.co.uk/) is developing technology to enhance crop productivity, “sugar-dots” are a new type of yield enhancers, a synthetic analogue of a naturally-occurring carbon-based nano-material capable of increasing photosynthetic efficiency and thereby increasing crop yields. Listen to the interview.