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|Pic left to right is: Venture Prize winners Professor Mohan Edirisinghe and Dr Eleanor Stride receiving award from Mr David Chapman from Armourers and Brasiers Company|
Researchers from University College London have won a £25,000 prize for developing technology that could be used to improve medical imaging, the targeted delivery of drugs and much more.
The 2010 Armourers and Brasiers' Venture Prize has been awarded to Professor Mohan Edirisinghe and Dr Eleanor Stride.
The pair set up a research group in 2006 to develop novel methods for the encapsulation of gases, liquids and solids from the nano to the macroscale. They have been working on ways to create miniature bubbles and capsules of gas that can remain suspended in liquid for an extended period of time.
This technology forms the core for their new company ElectroCap which aims to produce new materials for a range of biomedical and pharmaceutical applications, specifically:
· The preparation of drug loaded microbubble agents for ultrasound targeted drug delivery.
· The encapsulation of pharmaceuticals in graded polymeric capsules for variable rate controlled release.
"We are absolutely delighted to have won the Venture Prize," said Prof Edirisinghe and Dr. Stride. "This will enable us to move forward significantly in facilitating the commercialisation of this technology."
"This technology could be the catalyst for a whole range of applications in fields including biomedical, materials engineering and food engineering," said Professor Bill Bonfield chairman of the Armourers & Brasiers Venture Prize judging panel. "The quality of the winning entry shows the strength of British based materials science development and I am keen to see this continue and flourish.
The Award was presented at the Armourers and Brasiers' Cambridge Forum at the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy which aims to raise the profile of materials science in the UK academic and industrial communities. The Forum attracts high-level involvement from industry, research councils and other influential bodies and incorporates the Kelly Lecture and the Gordon Seminars. It is supported by the Armourers and Brasiers' Livery Company and ten other sponsors the principal of whom are Corus, Rolls-Royce and AWE. The twelfth Kelly Lecture, entitled "Nano-twinned materials" was given at the Forum by Professor Ke Lu, Director of the Institute for Materials Research in Shenyang, China.
This is the third year in which the Armourers & Brasiers' Company, one of the leading supporters of materials science education and research at schools and universities in the UK, in co-operation with FirstVentures has awarded this prize. The previous winners were teams from Cambridge University, for lead re-cycling, and Liverpool University, for the protection of dentures from fungal infection.
The Venture Prize is intended to enable the winner to fund a significant commercial advancement of their project to a stage where a business may be created to exploit the technology. The prize was conceived to help commercialise the best materials-based technologies in the UK by providing funding, which is otherwise very difficult to source, to high potential researchers. The prize, which is in the form of an investment of £25,000 into the winning enterprise, is directed at projects with a specific commercial objective: for example a market study or the creation of a prototype that can be shown to customers, rather than general R&D.
About Armourers and Brasiers Company
The Armourers and Brasiers Company traces its origins to 1322 when, in the reign of King Edward II, the Guild of St George of the Armourers was instituted. King Henry VI presented the Armourers with their first Royal Charter in May 1453. The Company’s present Charter was granted in 1708 by Queen Anne, giving the Brasiers (workers in brass and copper), who had become involved with the Company as early as the 16th century, equal status with the Armourers. As the Armourers to the Services, the Company played a special role in the defence of the City of London and its connections with the Armed Forces persist to this day, particularly the award of prizes for excellence to young service personnel. It also has long traditions of charity and hospitality. The Company is now one of the leading charities in the UK supporting metallurgy and materials science education from primary school to postgraduate levels.
For further information contact: The Secretary - Miss Antoinette Young
Tel: 020 7374 4000
ABOUT FIRST VENTURES
FirstVentures manages venture capital funds which invest in UK technology companies, with a particular interest in companies which are exploiting opportunities based on advanced materials. FirstVentures is part of the FirstCapital group, an investment advisory boutique specialising in technology companies.
For more information contact: Hazel Moore, Managing Partner
Tel: 020 8563 1563
For more information, please click here
Tel: 01342 316193 or 07768 568 960
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