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17 April, 2011 - 20:26 By Tony Quested

Owlstone swoops to take inaugural Cambridge Graduate Business honour

Two of Owlstone co-founders, Billy Boyle (left) and Andrew Koehl (right) with guest speaker, Ian Pearson

Cambridge Science Park company, Owlstone Nanotech, won the inaugural Graduate Business of the Year accolade at Business Weekly’s 21st Anniversary East of England Business Awards.

The new prize is sponsored by The Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) at Judge Business School, Cambridge.

The trophy was presented to Owlstone founder Billy Boyle at the gala dinner at Queens’ College by Shai Vyakarnam, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning.

Owlstone beat a strong field to claim the new award, having been closely run by Shamus Husheer’s Cambridge Temperature Concepts, Enecsys, Breathing Buildings, Arcus Global, Lumora, CAMBfix and Enval.

The award is designed to recognise that bright ideas can genuinely be translated into commercial success and is targeted at businesses founded by Cambridge University alumni that have achieved commercial success at least three years out of the academic environment.

Owlstone is using leading-edge nanofabrication techniques and has developed a complete chemical detection system on a chip.

More specifically, it is a ‘dime size’ Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometer (FAIMS), with the ability to rapidly monitor a broad range of chemicals at very low quantities with high confidence.

CTC was founded in 2006 by a group of scientists from the University of Cambridge. It has developed its first product, the DuoFertility fertility monitor, to help couples start families.

The company’s aim is to change the way temperature is monitored, making it more convenient, more reliable and more accurate.

Enecsys is a Cambridge University GreenTech spin-out which is gaining momentum in the global solar PV sector. The company, founded in 2003 by Dr  Asim Mumtaz develops, manufacturers, and markets world leading, highly reliable grid-connected solar micro-inverters and monitoring systems that offer an outstanding value proposition for solar PV systems.

The company is also cracking on in the US and recently appointed technology industry veteran Peter Mathews as Vice-President North American Sales.

Breathing Buildings, headed by co-founder Shaun Fitzgerald provides low energy ventilation systems, using the principles of natural mixing ventilation in winter and natural upward displacement ventilation in the summer.

The technology has gained increasing traction in the UK. Now the US and Asia are on Breathing Building’s radar as it eyes global expansion – along with a seemingly inevitable IPO.

Arcus Global was started by Lars Malmqvist and Denis Kaminskiy following their MBA at Cambridge. The enterprise started as a research project at Judge Business School in early 2009.

The business is focused on building cloud computing software and solutions for the public sector in the UK. In the short time that Arcus has existed, it has secured over 12 local councils, NHS trusts and central government organisations as clients.

Lumora was founded in 2002 by Laurence Tisi and Jim Murray, when it was spun-out from the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. Following two funding rounds, Lumora is seeking partners to bring its core technology to market across multiple sectors. Lumora is developing a new generation of molecular diagnostics based on its proprietary 'BART' technology, that are simple to use and affordable.

Its present focus is to develop highly distributed molecular tests for the food sector where there is an increasing demand for rapid, sensitive and highly specific tests not only for food-borne pathogens but also for GMO detection and the establishment of food provenance.

CAMBfix is a Cambridge University spin-off founded in 2004 and incorporated in 2006. It has successfully incubated new technologies and brought them from the bench-to-bedside by carrying out cutting edge in-house research and extensive multinational research collaborations.

The goal of Cambfix is to provide innovative, high quality medical devices for use in orthopaedic and trauma surgery. Its first generation products utilise Cambfix’s patented platform technology to develop devices focusing on fracture treatment.

The company will work in collaboration with world-class surgeons in order to continue to develop novel concepts which have real, tangible use in surgery and post-operative recovery.

A spin-out of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Enval recently completed an environmental research study for Unilever to provide a cradle to grave life cycle analysis of Unilever’s global supply chain in toothpaste production. The results are helping to inform Unilever’s global strategic packaging design decisions.

Enval’s technology closes the recycling loop for laminated packaging waste. The company is commercialising waste recycling and environmental technologies that can recover clean aluminium from packaging waste such as toothpaste tubes.

The recovered aluminium can, in turn, be resmelted. Twenty customers worldwide are testing Enval’s technology, which provides the first alternative to dumping such waste in landfill.

In Europe alone, Enval could treat an estimated two million tonnes of waste per annum which would otherwise be sent to landfill.

The technology has already earned co-founders Carlos Ludlow and Howard Chase the Materials/Chemistry category award in the pan-European ACES competition designed to recognise the best academic entrepreneurs from all technology disciplines.Picture by Cameo Photography, www.cameostudios.co.uk

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