Posted: November 24, 2008

British nanotechnology innovators take on bird flu, asthma and cancer

(Nanowerk News) British businesses with products that can combat bird flu, provide an instant asthma diagnosis and illuminate cancer cells won Business Innovation Awards at a major nanotechnology event.
The third annual UK NanoForum on Tuesday 28 October in London brought together over 100 international delegates from about 20 countries to meet the best of the UK's nanotechnology community.
Andrew Cahn, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the event's lead sponsor, said:
"The rapidly growing nanotechnology market presents a great opportunity for British business. The UK is at the forefront of this technology, turning outstanding academic research into products that can help to save lives. I congratulate the winners on their vision, entrepreneurial spirit and hard work."
International delegates came from Russia, the Czech Republic, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Poland, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, South Korea, Israel, Portugal, Taiwan, Spain, India, Japan, Portugal, Belgium, Poland and the US.
There were three categories for the Business Innovation Awards. The winners were:
Intelligent Connected World
Winner: Applied Nanodetectors Ltd, Enfield, Middlesex (
Award presented by: Dr. Tapani Ryhanen, Head of Nokia Nanotechnology Centre, Cambridge
Award accepted by: Dr. Victor Higgs, CEO
"We have developed a device that can instantaneously detect asthma, a condition that costs the UK £2.3 billion a year. We spend £1 billion on treatment and costs, and lose 12 million working days. Patients breathe onto a nanochip detector and get a green or a red light in seconds to determine if they are suffering from this condition. This cuts out blood tests that must be sent to labs, X-Rays and allergic tests. It's instant and non-invasive. It's also 30 times cheaper to treat a patient before they have an asthma attack than afterwards. "
Clean Technologies (
Winner: Nanoco Technologies, Manchester
Award presented by: Sergio Kapusta, Chief Scientist, Shell Global Solutions International
Award accepted by: Dr Michael Edelman, CEO
"Nanoco resolved the problem of how you mass produce quantum dots. These are semi-conductor nanocrystals that glow in different colours when illuminated by ultraviolet light. Our customers are Fortune 1000 technology companies across the world. There are a huge number of applications for quantum dots. Our products help make lighting that lasts upwards of 60,000 hours, compared to 500 hours for an ordinary light bulb or 3,000 for an energy efficient one - these are light bulbs you can bequeath to your children. Our products can help to illuminate cancer cells and another rapidly growing use is high-performance solar cells."
Healthcare for the Modern Age
Winner: Intrinsiq Materials Ltd, Hampshire (
Award presented by: Oliver Wells, Chairman of ABHI Research & Innovation Policy Group
Award accepted by: Dr Paul Reip, Director, Government and Strategic Programmes
"Intrinsiq is developing novel nanomaterials that will enable the production of a wide range of enhanced products for the Health and Wellness sectors. This includes coatings and devices that can attack virus, bacteria, and fungi and has already demonstrated effect against Bird Flu, Norovirus and MRSA, as well as active delivery systems that can produce more effective neutraceuticals and enhance personal care products. This award is greatly appreciated and reflects the effort and support of our team, our academic partners and our colleagues at Cody Gate Ventures."
The UK NanoForum also showcased the work of 40 British university departments that produced posters describing what they are doing in this field. The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (ESPRC) will present awards to the posters that best demonstrate how nanotechnology is taken through to application.
Source: UK Trade & Investment (press release)
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