The award was established to identify entrepreneurial researchers working in UK universities in the field of electro-technology who are at an early stage in their career and who demonstrate considerable entrepreneurial promise and the potential to benefit the UK’s future prosperity.
This year’s winning team – Dr Mark Paine, Dr Matthew Alexander and Dr Katharine Smith – will receive the £40,000 prize fund for their patented drop-on demand dispensing technology.
The team have developed an ingenious system for controlled printing of tiny dots that was free of the clogging problems of inkjet printing.
There are many potential applications, but the invention has particular significance for the manufacture of biological microarrays, and the deposition of ultra-small samples for lab-on-a-chip analysis.
The team, along with their colleague Prof John Stark, are all co-inventors of the core technology and founders of EMdot, the company they formed to commercialise the technology.
The company has already signed a joint development agreement with a world leading supplier of industrial inkjet print-heads, inks and peripheral equipment to commercial printing and industrial manufacturing markets.
The Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award itself is the latest award in the Academy’s awards portfolio. Made possible with the support of the ERA Foundation, the annual Award is open to individuals and small teams. It seeks to identify and reward engineering researchers in the field of electro-technology.