Available technologies

Licensing Cambridge innovation

Cambridge Enterprise works in collaboration with University of Cambridge researchers to market and license available technologies ranging from the biosciences to engineering.

We have completed more than 1,000 commercial agreements.

We welcome contact from companies interested in licensing available technologies from the University of Cambridge, and work with companies on an individual basis to identify specific areas of interest.

Image: The chromosome screening technology developed by University of Cambridge spin-out BlueGnome has shown to increase in vitro fertilisation (IVF) success rates by 65% over the current methods.

High capacitance, low cost, mechanically robust and flexible supercapacitor active material

Physical Sciences Ref No: Smo-3446-17
Read more

Researchers at the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge have developed a new polymeric network material that enables the production of a flexible supercapacitor with high specific capacitance and cycling stability. Possible applications include supercapacitors for wearable and biomedical applications, and soft robotics. The team is now keen to collaborate with suitable partners for the development of the technology.

Key Benefits:

       High specific capacitance – 182 F/g achieved using PEDOT/PEO polymer network combination

       High cycling stability – capacitance retained over 3,000 charging cycles at high charge rates, due to the intrinsic mechanical stability of the material. 

       Highly flexible and biocompatible – material suitable for wearable and biomedical applications, performance retained over 1,000 bending cycles

       Low-cost – uses mature, scalable manufacturing methods, with cheaply and readily available raw input materials

 

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for High capacitance, low cost, mechanically robust and flexible supercapacitor active material

Available Technologies Enquiry

Fast Liquid Crystal on Silicon Phase Modulator

Physical Sciences Ref No: Yip-3376-16
Read more

Researchers in the Department of Engineering have developed a new type of high speed phase modulator based on Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCoS) technology. This is expected to enable faster optical switches for telecoms applications, higher quality holographic displays and enhanced live cell microscopy.

 

Key benefits include:

  • Very fast, with around 40 µs switching time
  • 256 greyscale and very good switching depth
  • Polymer free, no grating structure
  • Works with off the shelf liquid crystal, and may be optimised using a proprietary liquid crystal mixtureThe team is now keen to collaborate with suitable partners for development of the technology.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Fast Liquid Crystal on Silicon Phase Modulator

Available Technologies Enquiry

Scalable process for manufacturing high-resolution, stretchable electronics

Physical Sciences Ref No: Tan-3350-16
Read more

It is challenging to fabricate electrodes on soft and stretchable substrates such as polymers and elastomers using existing techniques developed for silicon, glass or foil substrates (on which electrodes are more commonly fabricated). This is due to the significantly different chemical and physical properties between these substrates.

These differences generally result in: higher densities of defects, including cracks in the substrate and/or in the electrodes; limited resolutions when using conventional electrode patterning methods; poor adhesion of electrode materials to the substrate; and low surface areas of the electrodes, which can be particularly problematic in the context of biosensors and other wearable or implantable bio-electronic devices.

Researchers at the Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Large-Area Electronics (CIMLAE), University of Cambridge have developed and patented a manufacturing process which address these issues and have produced highly stretchable, high-resolution electronic devices. They are now looking for opportunities to commercially develop and license their technology.

Key Benefits:

  • Intrinsically scalable manufacturing methods
  • Chemical compatibility with common polymers and elastomers
  • Process can be tuned to desired level of stretchability – up to 20% (for total extension of 120%) achieved
  • High-resolution fabrication enabling small, high-sensitivity sensors (down to 50nm features)

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Scalable process for manufacturing high-resolution, stretchable electronics

Available Technologies Enquiry

Methods to dissolve cucurbiturils

Physical Sciences Ref No: Sch-3374-16
Read more

Cucurbiturils, or CBs, are of interest due to their ability to “host” a “guest” molecule inside their barrel-like structure. The potential applications for these molecules range from new materials to new methods of drug delivery. However, a limitation on their development to date has been their insolubility in most commercial solvents.

Professor Oren Scherman and his team in the Department of Chemistry have come up with a simple method using readily-available reagents to dissolve CBs at room temperature. This should enable facile synthesis and separation of CBs and help progress the development of CBs for applications in all technology areas.

The technology is protected by a UK priority patent application and we are now looking for partners to help us develop the technology. Please contact us if you would like to discuss further.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Methods to dissolve cucurbiturils

Available Technologies Enquiry

Uniform raspberry-like colloidal particles

Physical Sciences Ref No: Sch-3264-16
Read more

Professor Oren Scherman and his team at the University of Cambridge, have developed a new “raspberry-like” colloidal material with high surface area, enhanced resistance to aggregation and self-assembly capabilities. The team is now keen to collaborate with partners to explore the potential of this exciting new material. Possible applications range from metal scavenging and lubricants for oil drilling to marine coatings and water desalination.

 

Key benefits include:

  • Unprecedented salt stability, opening up new applications for colloids in marine and biological environments
  • Simple and cheap one-step synthesis that can be adapted for a range of polymer materials
  • Enhanced surface area for potential catalysis applications
  • Structural colour rather than chemical colour from dyes means resistance to fading

 

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Uniform raspberry-like colloidal particles

Available Technologies Enquiry

Sharp graphite tips for nanotechnology applications

Physical Sciences Ref No: Fer-3435-17; OM-0406
Read more

Sharp graphite tips have been developed in the lab of Dr Amalio Fernandez-Pacheco at the University of Cambridge using a three-step polishing method. The final diameter of the tips is less than 5 microns, and can be shaped to sub-100 nm sizes and special geometries if the application requires it. These sharp tips have potential uses in various nanotechnology applications such as:

1) Tomographic holders

2) Probes for micromanipulation

3) Semiconducting probes for electrical measurements

4) Probes in organic systems to study their elastic properties

Please contact us if you would like to discuss further.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Sharp graphite tips for nanotechnology applications

Available Technologies Enquiry

Highly tough and stretchable conducting polymer networks

Physical Sciences Ref No: Sch-3259-16
Read more

Professor Oren A. Scherman and his team in the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, have developed a new highly tough and stretchable polymer hydrogel material capable of self healing and exhibiting ionic conductivity, with unique flexibility in its molecular design. This could potentially enable a new generation of flexible electronics and innovative materials for biomedical applications.

 

In such a new and growing area, the possible applications are extremely varied, but may include:

·         Smart materials for wearable technology

·         New generations of medical devices such as insulin pumps

·         Wearable biosensors for recreational and medical applications

·         Biomedical implants such as artificial cartilage and skin

The team is now keen to discuss the potential for this material with interested commercial parties.

 

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Highly tough and stretchable conducting polymer networks

Available Technologies Enquiry

Energy-efficient butanol fermentation separation method

Physical Sciences Ref No: Hod-3387-16
Read more

Butanol is commercially interesting as a direct gasoline replacement and substitute because it overcomes many of the limitations of the current gasoline substitutes, such as ethanol, due to its immiscibility with water and similar energy density to gasoline. Like ethanol, there is much commercial interest in producing butanol from fermentation of biomass, either directly or via crude syngas production. However, the recovery of butanol from the fermentation broth using classical techniques such as distillation is very energy intensive.

Researchers in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology have devised a method of separating butanol from fermentation broths that provides an energy reduction of over 90% compared to conventional distillation technologies. Based on the research to date, it looks like this energy-efficient method has the potential to be implemented as part of the retrofitting process to modify existing ethanol fermentation plants for butanol production.

The technology is protected by a UK priority patent application and we’re now looking for partners to help us develop the technology. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss further.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Energy-efficient butanol fermentation separation method

Available Technologies Enquiry

Structurally coloured cellulose microparticles

Physical Sciences Ref No: Vig-3336-16
Read more

Structural colouration is responsible for many brilliant iridescent colours found in plants.  Dr Silvia Vignolini and her team in the Department of Chemistry have developed a process for producing nanocrystalline cellulose microparticles with structural colour. This is expected to enable a new generation of pigment-free, biodegradable, natural coloured products.

Download more information

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Structurally coloured cellulose microparticles

Available Technologies Enquiry

Conductive binder for supercapacitors

Physical Sciences Ref No: Gal-3100-14
Read more

Researchers in the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, have developed a new material for supercapacitor electrodes using activated carbon and reduced graphene oxide. This is expected to enable a new generation of supercapacitors. The team is now keen to license the technology to a suitable partner for development. Possible applications include supercapacitors for new electric vehicles.

Key benefits include

  • 25-30% improvement in specific capacitance
  • Up to 400% improvement in power density and discharge rate
  • Low cost, standard production processes and solvents

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Conductive binder for supercapacitors

Available Technologies Enquiry

Solid state organic materials for barocaloric cooling

Physical Sciences Ref No: Moy-3305-16
Read more

Typical commercially available cooling equipment such as refrigerators or air conditioning systems use liquid-vapour-phase (LVP) cycles to achieve the temperature reduction. However such devices are known to suffer from environmental issues including noise and the risk of leakage of volatile hydrocarbons.

Solid state refrigerants have been explored for many years but have not managed to achieve comparable performance to the currently available systems. Researchers at the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge, together with colleagues at the Universitat de Barcelona and the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, have now identified a new class of solid state compounds which can provide similar cooling under equivalent pressure changes to those used in conventional LVP cycles, while operating around room temperature and using inexpensive raw materials.

The technology is protected by a UK priority patent application and we’re now looking for partners to help us explore the different areas where this might be useful. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss further.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Solid state organic materials for barocaloric cooling

Available Technologies Enquiry

A universal formulation strategy for functional inks

Physical Sciences Ref No: Has-3167-15
Read more

A new method for formulating functional inks incorporating a wide range of commercially available nano platelets or nano particles has been demonstrated.

This enables the production of low cost, environmentally friendly, room temperature processable inks, ink additives and composites based on materials such as graphene, MoS2 or h-BN, which in turn can be tailored to achieve enhanced electrical, thermal or physical properties according to the material and application.

Potential applications include:

  • Conductive inks, plastics and adhesives
  • High strength coatings
  • Dielectric or semiconducting inks
  • Thermally conductive composites

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for A universal formulation strategy for functional inks

Available Technologies Enquiry

Enabling smart textiles with fabric-friendly graphene-based inks

Physical Sciences Ref No: Tor-3208-15
Read more

The use of graphene-based inks has been suggested as a way to improve the existing limited approaches to wearable electronics. Poor adhesion of graphene ink to fabric substrates has so far restricted the performance and durability that could be achieved.

Researchers in the Department of Engineering have developed techniques to modify and prepare the substrates, enabling better quality deposition of inks made from graphene and related materials, and resulting in better connectivity and higher performance of the final component.

In such a new and growing area, the possible applications are extremely varied, but may include

  • fashion
  • functional garments
  • high performance sportswear
  • personal health technology
  • wearable technology / computing

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Enabling smart textiles with fabric-friendly graphene-based inks

Available Technologies Enquiry

Coatings and free-standing components from carbon nanomaterials

Physical Sciences Ref No: Koz-3186-15
Read more

Carbon nanomaterials have shown great promise for applications requiring high performance in terms of electrical, thermal, mechanical and optical properties. However, the inability to form macroscopic assemblies with the desired properties has always been a major impediment to achieving their full potential in real-life applications. Now researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a method of manufacturing free-standing films of carbon nanotubes of highly-defined structure. Using this method, carbon nanotubes can be made into sheets or tapes of arbitrary size and shape. Most importantly, full tunability in terms of product composition results in macroscopic properties fulfilling even the most stringent requirements.

This technology is protected by a UK priority patent application, and the researchers have formed a company Cnergytec Ltd (www.cnergytec.com) to take it forward into real applications. An example application using spray-painted carbon nanotubes in novel de-icing systems can be seen in their video: https://youtu.be/9XyjFKEIdvE; we anticipate that this and other applications could benefit from a simply applied film according to this invention.

We are now looking for commercial or academic partners to work with us to develop applications and markets, and to explore options for scaling up both customer interactions and product manufacture.

Free-standing carbon nanotube film

Image of Free-standing carbon nanotube film

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Coatings and free-standing components from carbon nanomaterials

Available Technologies Enquiry

GreenSwirl software for calculating Green’s function for swirling flow in an infinite duct

Physical Sciences Ref No: Mat-3234-15
Read more

GreenSwirl is a MATLAB program for calculating Green’s function for swirling flow in an infinite duct. The duct can have either hard walls or an acoustic lining, modeled using the Ingard-Myers boundary condition. The mean flow is a function of only radial position, can have shear and swirling components, and can be input as functions or data points. The programme calculates eigenmodes and the Green’s function of the linearised Euler equations. The programme calculates these either numerically (Basic version) or numerically and analytically assuming the frequency is large (Advanced version). GreenSwirl has applications to the beamforming technique and can be used in the aeroacoustics industry to model aeroengine noise.

Further information can be found at the GreenSwirl website and in the following publications:

Mathews, J., Peake, N. and Bianchi, S. (May 2016). Asymptotic and numerical Green’s function in a lined duct with realistic shear and swirl. 22nd AIAA/CEAS Conference Paper (Lyon).

Mathews, J., and Peake. N., Journal of Sound and Vibration, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2017, 395, 294-316.

Licences to the software for both academic and commercial users are available for purchase by contacting us at the link below.

Image result for aircraft pictures

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for GreenSwirl software for calculating Green’s function for swirling flow in an infinite duct

Available Technologies Enquiry

Automatic estimation of polarity and associated uncertainty of a feature in a noisy time series

Physical Sciences Ref No: Whi-3163-15
Read more

Professor Robert White and his team at the University of Cambridge have developed a new computational approach for the automatic and  probabilistic estimation of the polarity and the associated uncertainty of features in a noisy time series, such as for example seismograms.

The unique capability of this approach allows automatic estimation of the polarity of the first motion of a detected signal, such as a seismic wave, through Bayesian statistical methods with comparable if not better reliability than manual picking. This automatic picking and analysis has the benefit of a more rigorous and objective estimation of the polarity. Together with the polarity, this approach can also provide onset time uncertainties (uncertainty in the pick time) and the polarities for the signal e.g. phases of transverse waves (SH and SV waves).

The more rigorous and objective knowledge of the polarity of a seismic wave can provide increased insight and understanding of the behaviour of soil and rock in geological surveys during site characterisation and monitoring and can help to assess and manage the risk of geologic hazards such as seismic shaking.

We believe this approach may be useful in a range of different fields, so please contact us if you are interested in exploring this with us. The invention is protected by a PCT application.

 

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Automatic estimation of polarity and associated uncertainty of a feature in a noisy time series

Available Technologies Enquiry

Q3PULSE software for predicting unsteady turbocharger turbine performance

Physical Sciences Ref No: Cao-3214-15
Read more

The Q3PULSE software is used for predicting unsteady turbocharger turbine performance, particularly under pulsating flow conditions. It builds a low order model of a turbine which combines a quasi-3D model for a volute and multiple meanline models for a rotor. This model strikes a good balance between accuracy and complexity. It provides a quick, robust and accurate prediction of unsteady turbine performance under pulsating flows. It is therefore a good research and design tool which allows turbine designers to accommodate the pulsating flow effect into the preliminary turbine design.

The software is compatible with Linux and Windows. Academic and commercial licensing is available; please get in contact for more information.

Q3PULSE Fig1          Q3PULSE Fig2

Publications:

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 2016, 138(7), 072607.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Q3PULSE software for predicting unsteady turbocharger turbine performance

Available Technologies Enquiry

Highly Rechargeable and Efficient Lithium-Air Battery

Physical Sciences Ref No: Gre-3148-15
Read more

Professor Clare Grey and her team at the Department of Chemistry have developed a novel technology for aprotic Lithium-Air (Li-Air) batteries. This ground-breaking technology uses a spongy graphene cathode and new chemistry based on the formation of LiOH. The resulting battery exhibits extremely low over-potential (<0.2 V), leading to efficiency greater than 90% and fewer side-reactions. The battery can be charged and recharged for more than 1000 cycles. The battery is also stable with respect to moisture.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Highly Rechargeable and Efficient Lithium-Air Battery

Available Technologies Enquiry

Protein microcapsules

Physical Sciences Ref No: Kno-2950-13
Read more

A method of forming nanofibrillar protein microcapsules has been developed at the University of Cambridge. Encapsulation technologies can be used as delivery systems for a variety of applications in beauty, personal care, food and healthcare. Encapsulation provides a means of targeting delivery, protecting unstable actives from degradation, formulating incompatible actives and in controlling release and bioavailability. Using microfluidics emulsification a team of scientists, led by Dr Tuomas Knowles, have developed new protein microcapsules which have several advantages over existing encapsulation techniques:

  • the capsules are resistant to heat, pH, proteases and physical forces
  • the capsule formation does not use cross linking agents or synthetic polymers
  • capsule morphology and release characteristics can be controlled by adjusting production parameters
  • the capsules are biocompatible and biodegradable
  • the capsules can be formed from all types of protein.
Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Protein microcapsules

Available Technologies Enquiry

Virtual WDS software

Physical Sciences Ref No: Ree-1001-95
Read more

The Virtual WDS program allows the synthesis of Wavelength-Dispersive Electron Probe Spectra using stored experimental spectra, to facilitate the selection of optimal positions for background measurements and assist in the choice of suitable counting strategies for specific analytical situations.

Further information can be found at the Department of Earth Sciences website and in the following publications:

  • Reed, S. J. B. and Buckley, A. (1996). Virtual WDS. Mikrochim. Acta (Suppl), 13, 479–483
  • Reed, S. J. B. and Buckley, A. (1998). Computer simulation applied to WD analysis. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 4 (Suppl 2), 236–237.

Virtual WDS has been developed to run under Microsoft Windows and will run on either WFW, Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows ME or Windows 7. A 16-bit version is still available for WFW but the latest version is 32-bit only (i.e. W95/98/2000/NT/XP/ME).

Licences to the software for both academic and commercial users are available for purchase by contacting us at the link below.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Virtual WDS software

Available Technologies Enquiry

Electrolyte for fuel cells

Physical Sciences Ref No: Dri-2985-14
Read more

Professor Judith Driscoll has developed a new electrolyte material that will enhance thin film ionic devices by dramatically increasing the ionic conductivity. This is expected to enable either enhanced efficiency in current high temperature fuel cells, oxygen separation membranes or sensors, or devices that operate at much lower temperatures (e.g. down to 350°C). The team is now keen to collaborate with partners to validate this exciting new material.

This electrolyte has an ionic conductivity up to three orders of magnitude greater than the current standard, while being simple and low cost to manufacture. We are seeking a partner to help us demonstrate this material in a fuel cell.

Download more information

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Electrolyte for fuel cells

Available Technologies Enquiry

Very thin coatings with electrically tuneable colour

Physical Sciences Ref No: Bau-2174-08
Read more

Structural colour is the effect seen in opal gemstones, peacock feathers and butterfly wings, where a regular nanostructure within the material causes light of specific wavelengths to be selectively reflected. By contrast, traditional methods of generating artificial colour rely on dyes or pigments, which can be toxic, prone to bleaching by UV, or subject to other surface-level degradation.

Researchers in the Department of Physics have been exploring the behaviour of thin layers of noble metals such as gold, silver or copper coated onto elastomeric films containing nanometre scale voids. The interaction of these films with light results in selective absorption and hence structural colour which can be tuned by bending, stretching or applying an electric field. The techniques are believed to offer relatively low cost, scalable manufacturing processes which can be applied in a wide range of applications requiring novel colour behaviour in very thin coatings. These very thin coatings with electrically tuneable colour could be applied to injection moulded items, fabric, films or any other solid format.

The technology is protected by a granted US patent and is undergoing examination in Europe.

We are now looking for companies who wish to work with us to develop the technology into something more commercially applicable.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Very thin coatings with electrically tuneable colour

Available Technologies Enquiry

Printable inks based on layered nanomaterials

Physical Sciences Ref No: Fer-2710-12
Read more

Professor Andrea Ferrari and his team in the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge have developed a novel method of producing printable inks based on layered nanomaterials such as graphene. This technology overcomes the issues of current printable inks and can be printed by various methods on flexible substrates.

Printable electronics have to date been limited by the lower electron mobility, and hence operation speed, of organic materials compared to silicon, the production cost, processing requirements and performance of metal or carbon nanoparticle-based inks. Current generation transparent and electrically conductive layers are stiff and brittle and hence limit flexible electronic applications.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Printable inks based on layered nanomaterials

Available Technologies Enquiry

Software for calculating the minimum lap or manoeuvre time of a road vehicle

Physical Sciences Ref No: Col-2708-12
Read more

Calculating the minimum lap or manoeuvre time of a road vehicle has received much attention in the past. Existing solutions to the calculation problem include the quasi-steady-state method (QSS), which is computationally fast but ignores the transient dynamics of the vehicle and does not allow the optimum vehicle path to be determined. At the other end of the spectrum, nonlinear optimisation has been used, but there are associated difficulties with numerical robustness and computational load.

Researchers in the Department of Engineering have developed an algorithm which overcomes these limitations and provides a computationally efficient and numerically robust solution by formulating the problem as a convex optimisation. Given a set of vehicle parameters and road boundary geometry, the algorithm calculates the optimum path, speed, steering and drive/brake controls to minimise the lap or manoeuvre time of the vehicle. The results from the software have been validated against results from a nonlinear optimisation algorithm. Use of the software requires the industry-standard MATLAB® program and access to a Quadratic Programme Solver.

The software has application in the automotive and racing car industries.

Make an Enquiryread more arrow

Enquiry for Software for calculating the minimum lap or manoeuvre time of a road vehicle

Available Technologies Enquiry