Cambond Ltd named as finalist in Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition

Royal Society of Chemistry press release

Cambond Ltd, a new Cambridge start-up company working on ‘green’ adhesives for industry has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition 2014.

Cambond was founded by Drs Xiaobin Zhao and Gareth Roberts to develop Dr Zhao’s invention of a way of making adhesives from biomass (such as algae and co-products of ethanol production). Adhesives are a core industrial commodity used extensively in the construction, packaging, automotive and aerospace industries. They are a global £34 Billion market (for 2013) and over 13 million tonnes of adhesives are manufactured each year. Existing (phenol-formaldehyde, urea-formaldehyde based) adhesive chemistry is derived from oil and has issues concerning toxicity. Whilst there is a desire in the industry to be ’greener’, current substitutes have either technical or cost issues.

Cambond’s proprietary technology makes low carbon adhesives from biomass feedstocks and provides a way to manufacture ‘green’ sustainable adhesives (BCB adhesives) in a cost effective manner:

  • Biomass-based ‘green’ adhesives could capture a significant part of a £34Bn market.
  • BCB adhesives provide UKplc with a global lead in ‘green’, low carbon adhesives
  • BCB adhesives have commercial advantages over the entire adhesive lifecycle from sustainability of feedstocks, low toxicity of
  • the products and ease of recycling.

Drs Xiaobin Zhao (Inventor) and Gareth Roberts attended the competition final at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s London headquarters on Piccadilly on 25 June where they pitched their research ‘Dragon’s Den’ style to commercial experts from renowned scientific multinational companies and also exhibited the company’s technology associated products.

On being selected as an Emerging Technologies finalist Dr Gareth Roberts, Business Director for the company said: “we are pleased the RSC had the vision to realise the huge potential in this new approach to making adhesives and excited at the prospect of accelerating the commercial development of Cambond.”

Dr Aurora Antemir, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s industry programme manager said: “The process of translating a scientific innovation into a product or service that creates value, or that customers will pay for, is difficult.

“The Royal Society of Chemistry recognises the potential of innovators in the chemical sciences to contribute to economic growth in the UK. But we also recognise that it’s really hard for innovators to make that jump from the lab bench to market because they don’t have the commercial know-how.

“That’s why we set up the Emerging Technologies Competition – to connect the brightest ideas in the chemical sciences with commercial expertise in large multinational companies and to the right business networks to make technologies that have big potential more investment-ready.”

As well as mentoring and cash prizes, the Emerging Technologies Competition winners will benefit from a package of free advertising and access to investor networks.

More information: Victoria Steven, Royal Society of Chemistry, 0207 440 3322; 07774328390

Notes to editors

  • The Royal Society of Chemistry organises the Emerging Technologies Competition to identify and showcase the latest technologies in the chemical sciences with significant potential impact for the UK economy. Winning companies and researchers receive ongoing, one-to-one mentoring from renowned multinational companies, a cash prize up to £10,000 and a further package of benefits to help them transfer their promising technologies into commercial reality.
  • The 2014 Emerging Technologies Competition Final takes place on 25 June at the Royal Society of Chemistry in Burlington House, London, and is open to anyone with an interest in innovation and commercialisation. As well as pitching sessions, the event offers the opportunity to network with potential investors and collaborators and seminars on the benefits and pitfalls of commercialisation – including finance, marketing and patenting.
  • Companies or researchers planning to enter the Emerging Technologies Competition in 2015 are encouraged to attend this yea’s Competition Final to experience the process first hand and meet some of the winners. The Royal Society of Chemistry is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences. With over 48,000 members and a knowledge business that spans the globe, we are the UK’s professional body for chemical scientists; a not-for-profit organisation with 170 years of history and an international vision of the future. We promote, support and celebrate chemistry. We work to shape the future of the chemical sciences – for the benefit of science and humanity. www.rsc.org
  • Cambond can be contacted through Dr. Gareth Roberts 07779257636 www.cambond.co.uk
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