The ninth edition of the competition’s final, held over two days, saw 24 finalists pitching to a panel of judges from some of the world’s largest organisations, including AstraZeneca, PepsiCo and Unilever.
The winners gain a share of funding and support to accelerate their work.
Competing against five other finalists in each category, this year’s winners were:
- Energy & Environment: MagLib (UCL) – pioneered by Thomas Heenan of UCL (pictured) uses bespoke magnetic fields to enhance the performance of lithium-ion batteries for applications from smart-watches and mobile phones towards electric vehicles. Testing has demonstrated charging time reductions of up to 67%, a substantial improvement that will aid the transition to low-carbon technologies.
- Enabling Technologies: Bio-Sep Limited – Technology to convert lignocellulosic biomasses efficiently, cleanly and economically into cellulose, sugars and lignin for use as platform chemicals in a wide range of industrial and domestic applications.
- Food & Drink: Sphera Encapsulation – Cutting-edge encapsulates – totally soluble in water – that can be consumed without the addition of any flavours or aromas. This will overcome major challenges related to the intake of bioactive lipophilic ingredients, such as oils.
- Health: Somnus Scientific – State-of-the-art biosensor technology to develop innovative point-of-care intermittent and continuous sedation and anaesthesia monitoring devices. This will make propofol-based sedation and anaesthesia safer for patients and more cost effective for healthcare.
Each winner gains £20,000 prize money, as well as 12 months’ one-on-one support from a specially assigned Royal Society of Chemistry mentor, and a further £20,000 available as a business acceleration grant.