Cambridge startup acquired by Johnson Matthey company
ilumink, a Cambridge University spin-out that commercialises technology for brand authentication and anti-counterfeiting, has been acquired by Tracerco – a Johnson Matthey company.
The acquisition will further enhance Tracerco’s product assurance portfolio, which is based on covert marker chemistry coupled with sophisticated analytical platforms.
ilumink has developed new approaches for physical authentication with breakthroughs in printable laser technology; its approach is underpinned by novel, printed photonic materials created at the university. Key applications include authentication, anti-counterfeiting and security products with potential markets ranging from high-value consumer goods to pharmaceuticals. The technology offers brand owners overt, covert and forensic authentication in one easily applied print feature, ilumink says.
Damian Gardiner (above), founder of ilumink, said: “My colleagues and I are very much looking forward to becoming part of the Tracerco team. By combining our technical expertise and creativity, we can further develop our world-leading anti-counterfeiting and brand authentication technologies for our customers’ benefit.”
Dr Vince Croud, Tracerco’s technology director, said: “The acquisition of ilumink will allow us to expand our portfolio of technology offerings to ensure we keep pace with the changing needs of customers. It is an excellent fit with the Tracerco business.”
ilumink, based at ideaSpace West, was spun-out of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Its technology was made possible using grant funding from the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC), and the Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre (CIKC), with subsequent commercialisation funded and supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub. Patent funding and support was provided by Cambridge Enterprise, the Commercialisation arm of the University of Cambridge.
Arnoud Jullens, Head of Enterprise at the Royal Academy of Engineering, added: "We're proud to have supported Damian through the growth of ilumink from a university spin-out to this important new phase. The Enterprise Hub is geared-up to identify the UK's most promising academic engineering talent and support the development and growth of fully-fledged, successful enterprises. ilumink's achievements to date are testament to this process and the value that we offer through mentoring, funding, and making connections.”