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Southampton academic named as finalist in European university spin-out awards

Published: 
27 November 2008

Brian Hayden, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Southampton, is one of 33 entrepreneurs named as finalists in the first pan-European awards for researchers who start businesses.

Professor Hayden joins two other finalists in the Chemistry and Materials category of the Academic Enterprise Awards Europe 2008 for his contribution to Ilika, a University of Southampton spin-out which he co-founded and for which he is now Chief Scientific Officer.

Formed in 2004, Ilika specialises in the development and application of high throughput, combinatorial R&D techniques for the discovery of new materials for use in applications such as energy conversion, electronics and biomedical applications.

With a range of R&D programmes - many supported by large multinationals such as Asahi Kasai, NXP, Shell and Toyota - Ilika's portfolio has already helped to accelerate products used in fuel cell electrodes, hydrogen storage alloys and electronic memory materials.

"Brian's on-going achievements with Ilika are extremely impressive and it is excellent that they are being recognised across Europe in this way. Ideas developed at UK universities account for over fifty per cent of the finalists in these awards, which underscores the abilities of research institutions like the University of Southampton in finding innovative ways to get their discoveries out of the lab and into the marketplace," says Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philip Nelson.

A selection committee of leading industry officials and academics selected the 33 finalists following nominations from across Europe. The winners will be announced by the Science|Business Innovation Board in December.

The Science|Business Innovation Board is a blue-ribbon panel of leaders in industry, academia and policy. Members include Esko Aho, former Finnish prime minister; J Frank Brown, Dean of INSEAD; Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International, and Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, president of Karolinska, the Swedish university that names the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology each year.

Ilika, which is based at the University of Southampton Science Park, was recently listed in the CleanTech 100 list, acknowledging it as one of Europe's most innovative clean technology companies.

Ilika is one of twelve successful companies that have been spun out from Southampton since 2000. Three of these have been floated on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with a combined market capitalisation value of £160 million: oil exploration company Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping (OHM), asthma research company Synairgen, and fibre laser manufacturer, SPI Lasers.

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