Queen Mary University’s newest spin out company, EMdot, has been awarded the 2008 Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs prize.

The Award has been 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 both considerable entrepreneurial promise and the potential to benefit the UK's future prosperity.

This year's winning team are Dr Mark Paine, Dr Matthew Alexander and Dr Katharine Smith who will receive the £40,000 prize fund for their patented drop-on demand dispensing technology. The technology allows the controlled production of extremely small liquid droplets which is important in a number of biomedical applications such as the engineering of replacement cartilage, soft tissue or bone and the production of microaaray chips for drug development or disease diagnosis.

Panel Member, Professor Cyril Hilsum CBE FREng, FRS commented, “

The winners presented 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 winning team commented, “We feel deeply honoured to be awarded this prize which will help us apply our technology in the burgeoning life science market and to accelerate the development of products in collaboration with industrial partners.” The team along with their colleague Professor John Stark are all co-inventors of the core technology and founders of EMdot ltd.

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, to accelerate the commercialisation of its technology.

Notes for editors

  1. The Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs Award is the latest award in the Academy's awards portfolio. Made possible with the generous support of the ERA Foundation, the annual Award is open to both individuals and small teams. It seeks to identify and reward engineering researchers who exhibit a combination of business awareness, entrepreneurial potential and complimentary personal qualities in the field of electro-technology (which includes electrical and electronic engineering, aspects of biomedical engineering, electro-mechanical engineering, optics and optical engineering, instrumentation IT, software and hardware and materials related to these areas).
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK's most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain's engineering community.
  3. The ERA Foundation supports activities that help bridge the gap between research and exploitation in the broad field of electrotechnology. Activities include support of projects at the early stages of commercialisation, investment in start-up and young technology companies, raising the profile of engineering to young people and promoting the importance of high quality research and development to government, industry and academia.

For more information please contact

Tonia Page, PR Consultant, The Royal Academy of Engineering on 07770 845984