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The University of Southampton


Ilika is a science-based materials discovery company that was spun-out from the University in May 2004. The company investigates new materials prepared by a technology that allows for surfaces to be covered in a highly controlled fashion, with monolayers or a variety of metal atoms.

Ilika forms new alloys that have interesting catalytic, electronic and magnetic properties using high-throughput technologies, developed by Professor Brian Hayden (who started the company), Professor Mark Bradley and Dr Samuel Guerin. Ilika’s technology platform was initially developed through an Higher Education Funding Council for England investment to establish a combinatorial chemistry centre of excellence in the UK.

The company was spun out when the current Chief Executive Officer, Graeme Purdy, was appointed. The company has since established itself as a global leader in the development and application of innovative research and development techniques for the discovery of new materials. Ilika has established a strong client base of multinational companies such as Toyota, Shell, Asahi Kasai and NXP, and its portfolio has already helped to accelerate the development of materials used in fuel cells, hydrogen storage and electronic memory devices. Many products Ilika has developed impact on broad and diverse markets, including the energy sector, for example, developing lithium ion batteries for use in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Graeme Purdy, Chief Executive of Ilika believes the ongoing support of the University has been key to their success. “We continue to work closely on collaborative research and business development as part of the University’s collaborative Business Incubation Programme.”

Ilika regularly takes on vacation workers and has placed MChem students in the organisation several times in the past.

Professor Hayden, who is seconded part time to Ilika as their Chief Scientific Officer comments: “Ilika provides direct evidence of the value of basic scientific research at universities, and the company’s formation is a testament to the University’s ability to help academics make best use of the intellectual property arising from their research.”

Ilika was listed in the Cleantech 100 list, acknowledging it as one of Europe's most innovative clean technology companies, and in May 2010, was floated on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. Ilika subsequently secured a successful placing on AIM in April 2012. The Company achieved a world’s first in solid state battery technology in January 2014 which was supported by the grant of UK patents for solid state battery methodology in May 2014.

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