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University of Cambridge spin-out Echion Technologies has scored a second-place win in the Energy and Environment category of the fifth annual Emerging Technologies Competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Forty finalists, across four categories, pitched their cutting-edge technologies to judges and audiences yesterday at Chemistry Means Business in Manchester. Eight first- and second-place winners were announced last night. Each pocketed a £10k award and will receive tailored support from multinational companies, extensive business coaching and financial mentoring.

Cambridge Enterprise is working with Echion Technologies to commercialise its lithium ion battery technology. The technology, which comes out of the Boies Group at the Department of Engineering and the De Volder Group at the Institute for Manufacturing, is based on innovation around the fundamental chemistry and nanostructure of a lithium ion battery’s active anode material. The name ‘Echion’ was inspired by the ancient Greek word for ‘spiny’ (ekhinos), which loosely describes the nano structure of the novel battery material.

Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds made a PathFinder loan to Echion Technologies in 2017. The company was also accepted into the 2017 Technology Development Accelerator Programme of the Advanced Propulsion Centre. Echion Technologies has gained significant traction in securing  investments to build their value proposition in preparation for their seed funding round, which they hope to close in early 2018.

Yesterday’s pitch was made by Jean de La Verpilliere, Managing Director of Echion. A member of King’s College and a NanoDTC Translational Fellow, he chose to take a one-year break from his PhD to pursue the commercialisation of his technology.

De La Verpilliere said, “the RSC Emerging Technologies Competition is not only valuable to us from a financial point of view, but we hope to take full advantage of the intangible networking and business development opportunities and mentorship that the RSC offers winners of this competition”.



Jean de La Verpilliere, Managing Director of Echion, accepts the award
© Royal Society of Chemistry