Promethean Particles, a spin-out company from The University of Nottingham, has won a global competition run by BASF, the world’s largest chemical company.
Promethean was the only non-US company to be shortlisted to present their proposal at BASF’s North American headquarters in New Jersey. Despite tough competition, the Nottingham based business impressed the judges with their pitch to win the prestigious international award and a prize of €20,000
BASF’s NanoChallenge competition asked companies to propose new technologies for producing inorganic nanomaterials. Such high performance nanomaterials can be used in a vast range of sectors ranging from green energy to healthcare and automotive industries.
Sustainable nanomaterial manufacture
Promethean’s NanoChallenge submission championed a safe and sustainable approach to nanomaterial manufacture. Entitled “A flexible, scalable and sustainable route to inorganic nanoparticle dispersions”, their entry was able to demonstrate to BASF its strong potential for cost-effective scale-up.
Technical Director at Promethean Particles, Ed Lester, who is also Professor of Chemical Technologies at the University of Nottingham, said: “I am very pleased to win the BASF NanoChallenge competition. It opens the door to us to explore what opportunities may exist for new applications as well as uses in existing process lines.
“We were well prepared for the competition with a lot of confidence in our technology but it’s still a test of nerves to directly compete against other companies from around the globe.”
Innovative and versatile
Guido Voit, Managing Director of BASF New Business GmbH, praised Promethean’s achievements, adding: “Their innovative and versatile technology as well as their professional presentation during the pitch were key reasons behind selecting Promethean Particles as the final winner.”
Promethean is currently involved with a number of major EU projects, including NanoMILE, NanoFase and SHYMAN. NanoMile and NanoFase aim to understand the mechanisms of nanomaterial interactions with living systems and the environment. SHYMAN is a major EU research project enabling universities and businesses across Europe to explore the potential of nanomaterials, from the Promethean technology, in real products in industry.
Dr. Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property and Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham, added: “The safe, sustainable and flexible process for nanoparticle production developed by Promethean Particles has the potential to make a significant impact on the nanoparticle industry. It is very pleasing to see their technology being recognised at a global level.”
This year BASF celebrates its 150th anniversary. Its “Creator Space” initiative encourages global collaborative solutions to industry challenges.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for three years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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