Cambridge spin-outs win big at East of England Business Awards

Sphere Fluidics, spun out from the Department of Chemistry in 2010, was awarded the Killer Technology of the Year. The company is based upon the research of Professor Chris Abell and Professor Wilhelm Huck (pictured, with Chief Executive Frank Craig), and is developing droplets that serve as ‘miniature test tubes’.

The picolitre droplet technology which Sphere is commercialising allows researchers to carry out large numbers of simultaneous reactions contained within aqueous droplets a fraction of a millimetre in size. The technology has potential uses across a wide range of fields, including drug discovery and algal biofuel development. Sphere has received close to £8 million in funding to date, including seed funding from the University of Cambridge Discovery Fund.

CamSemi, a spin-out from the Department of Engineering, was the winner in the International Trade Category, in recognition of its significant growth in international markets over the past year.

Founded by Professor Gehan Amaratunga and Professor Florin Udrea in 2002, CamSemi designs bespoke chips to control power devices found throughout our homes, many of which waste over half the energy they consume in heat.

Last year the company expanded into Taiwan, China and Korea and is gaining increasing global market traction in two major segments: high-volume mains power supplies and lighting applications.

Horizon Discovery, a global leader in the field of personalised medicine, was named Young Company of the Year, a special award made by the judges in recognition of the company’s outstanding growth over the past year.

Horizon’s X-MAN (Gene-X; Mutant And Normal) models are the world’s first source of genetically-defined and patient-relevant human cell lines. The X-MAN models, or ‘patients in a test tube’, are used to accurately model the disease-causing mutations in cancer patients and predict which patients will respond to current and future drug treatments.

The company has grown rapidly over the past year, more than doubling the size of its Cambridge workforce, and is preparing for expansion to the United States.

Other Cambridge Enterprise portfolio companies which were shortlisted for awards were Breathing Buildings, Cambfix, Camfridge, Enecsys, Enval, Inotec AMD, Lumora and Psynova Neurotech.

The East of England Business Awards competition, run by Business Weekly, was launched in 1990 and is the UK’s longest-running business competition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,