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Imperial Innovations and Imperial College team win Brian Mercer Award for Innovation 2007


26 February 2007 -- Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO), the technology commercialisation and investment company, today announces that a multidisciplinary team from Imperial College London, Molecular Vision Ltd and Imperial Innovations has won the 250,000 Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation 2007, to develop two innovative nanotechnology concepts through to commercial exploitation.

The winning technology targets step changes in the speed and economics of manufacturing organic semiconductor devices, and has the potential to yield major breakthroughs for climate change and carbon control.

The business case, entitled 'Novel Patterning Processes for Nanoscale Organic Semiconductors', sought funding to commercialise two fabrication processes in the intellectual property pipeline of Imperial Innovations: an interlayer lithography technique and a solid-phase transfer lithography technique. Such techniques are expected to help realise the full potential of plastic electronics by enabling low-cost high-throughput reel-to-reel manufacturing for a variety of applications.

The team is focusing on organic photovoltaics and solid-state lighting applications for which multiple benefits could result. These include commercial breakthroughs in multi-billion pound markets, the strengthening of the foundations of the plastic electronics manufacturing industry in the UK, and a huge impact on carbon control and efforts to arrest negative trends in climate change - both in terms of energy production (organic solar cells) and energy consumption (organic solid-state lighting). Although the importance of solar cell technology is receiving widespread publicity in the fight against climate change, it is less well known that a hundred megatons of carbon-equivalent emissions could be saved each year by implementing more energy-efficient solid-state lighting technologies worldwide in the next two decades.

The team, comprising Professor Donal Bradley, Dr John de Mello, and Dr Lichun Chen, from Imperial College London, Dr Jingsong Huang from Molecular Vision Ltd and Mr. Omar Cheema, the Director of Strategic Marketing from Imperial Innovations, is now keen to further pursue the opportunity created by the Royal Society Award. They plan to work with industry partners and public sector organisations committed to tackling climate change issues and advancing the technology innovation base of the UK.

Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society said, 'Britain has some of the best scientists in the world and we need to make the most of them. The Royal Society's Brian Mercer Awards for Innovation are recognition of work which has the potential to change how we live and to make a serious contribution to the UK's economy.'

Omar Cheema, Director of Strategic Marketing at Imperial Innovations and member of the winning team, explains, 'The Brian Mercer Award provides non-dilutive funding at an early stage of technology development that does not normally attract sufficient venture capital. We are grateful for the much-needed flexibility it gives us in exploring different commercialisation pathways, and are confident that it will help us to bring in industry and financial partners at the right stage with lower risk and at lower cost.'

Susan Searle, CEO of Imperial Innovations said, 'We are delighted to work with our pioneering science and technology base at Imperial College to demonstrate how blue sky research can be nurtured towards commercial applications of potential global importance. Not only does this require multidisciplinary science and technology but also multidisciplinary business thinking and close interaction with scientific entrepreneurs through each stage from the laboratory to the market - all of which Imperial Innovations is in a position to provide.'

-Ends-

For more information contact:
Imperial Innovations: Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer; +44 (0)20 7594 6591
Lucy Ahfong, Marketing Communications<


Publisher Contact Information:

Imperial College Innovations Limited
+44 207 153 1539
Williamson@MComGroup.com

Company profile of Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations)
Past press releases of Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations).

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