Materials Scientists win prestigious Royal Society of Chemistry Prize

From l to r: Dr Dr Steve Pleasance, Dr Ming Liu, Dr Rebecca Docherty and comedian Hugh Dennis, who hosted the evening

A group of researchers from the University’s Department of Chemistry have won first prize in the energy & environment category of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition.

The Liverpool team, which consisted of Dr Rebecca Docherty and Dr Ming Liu, took first prize in the Energy and Environment category for their pitch about an air filtration technology that uses porous organic cages to remove low concentration formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, from the air.

The group will receive tailored business support from one of the RSC’s multinational partner companies, business training, media support, and a cash prize of £20,000.

Dr Docherty, Knowledge Exchange Scientist in Professor Andy Cooper’s research group, who gave the pitch said: “We were really honored to win the RSC’s Emerging Technologies Competition. This represents a great success for the Cooper Group and it is also a great statement of intent for the Materials Innovation factory. It felt fantastic to be rewarded for all of the hard work that we are doing to develop societal solutions out of ground-breaking chemical research.  We will use the £20,000 cash prize to help us develop a prototype air filter; an important first step in the commercialisation process”

The Liverpool team was one of 40 shortlisted entrants who pitched their ideas to a panel of expert judges at Chemistry Means Business, a two-day event for the chemistry-using industry organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Applications were judged on the degree of innovation of the technology, its potential impact, and the quality of the science behind it.

Dr Steve Pleasance, Head of Industry at the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “Increasing innovation in the chemical sciences is one of the key elements of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s industry strategy.

“Our Emerging Technologies competition, now in its fourth year and supported by our industry partners, is proving to be highly successful in accelerating the commercialisation of the cutting-edge research taking place in both universities and small companies.”

“Winning this competition gives businesses the platform they need to make the industry aware of their technology. Since the initiative began in 2013, our winners have gone on to raise a combined total of over £16 million in further funding, grown their companies and entered commercial contracts.”

Image: Dr Tanya Hutter (Sensorhut), Dr Ming Liu, Dr Rebecca Docherty and Dr Antonios Oikonomou (Eskagon)





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