£10k scientific innovation contest sees Cambridge swamping finals


Julian Huppert MP

Cambridge has come out top in the shortlist for a scientific innovation competition, sending five teams from companies and research institutes across the city to the final of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition 2014 in London this month.

Making up a total of a quarter of the competition finalists, teams from local companies AERI, Cambond and Rapid Biosensor Systems, and from Cambridge University and MRC Human Nutrition Research, will attend the final at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s London headquarters on Piccadilly on June 25 – where they will pitch their research ‘Dragons’ Den’ style to commercial experts from scientific multinationals.

They will battle against 15 other teams from across the UK to win the top prize of one-to-one mentoring from the competition’s multinational partners and £10,000

prize money – to be presented to the winners by the BBC’s ‘Dragon’s Den’ judge, Richard Farleigh.

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.”

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert (pictured) said: “I’m absolutely delighted to hear that Cambridge University, MRC Human Nutrition Research and Cambond have been selected as finalists in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s competition. The technologies they will be judged on are all excellent examples of the potential that scientific research has to impact our economy, both locally and nationally. Together with the other Cambridgeshire companies on the shortlist, this news cements the city’s reputation as a centre for global scientific excellence even further and I wish them the very best of luck in the final.”

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