Two spin off companies from this department were recognised in the third annual ACES awards, held in Zurich on 3 February 2011 and awarded by the Science Business Innovation Board.
Sabine Bahn and Chris Lowe, co-founders of Psynova Neurotech received the Life Sciences Award, and Carlos Ludlow and Howard Chase of Enval Limited were recognised in the Materials/Chemistry category.
Psynova Neurotech Ltd is developing novel biomarkers that can help improve the diagnosis of psychiatric illnesses, and has built up a portfolio of 20 patent families.
Its first product, VeriPsych, is the first and only blood test to aid psychiatrists in the diagnosis of recent-onset schizophrenia. The number of individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is forecast to rise globally from 33 million in 2000 to 36 million in 2015. Psychiatric disorders are currently poorly and subjectively diagnosed, the judges noted, so the potential social impact of Psynova’s work is high.
Enval's technology closes the recycling loop for laminated packaging waste. The company is commercialising waste recycling and environmental technologies that can recover clean aluminium from packaging waste such as toothpaste tubes. The recovered aluminium can, in turn, be resmelted.
This provides the first alternative to dumping such waste in landfill. In Europe alone, Enval could treat an estimated 2 million tonnes of waste per annum which would otherwise be sent to landfill. The judges were impressed by Enval’s technology and large commercial potential.
"We are delighted that our current and former researchers have been recognised in this way," said Professor Nigel Slater, Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. "These awards are a credit to Sabine, Chris, Carlos and Howard, and to the quality and impact of their research."