Encouraging Innovation Awards: Oxford Researcher Honoured

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30th August 2003

Encouraging Innovation Awards 2002

Encouraging Innovation Awards 2002

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Encouraging Innovation Awards pronounced Dr Victor Christou, from Oxford spin-out company Opsys Ltd, Chemistry Entrepreneur of 2002 for creative and innovative work showing real commercial potential.

Dr Christou, formerly of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Oxford, was rewarded for inventing and commercialising new materials and device structures for displays for the portable electronic industry. Opsys Ltd was spun-out from the University of Oxford in 1997 and developed a new class of materials for OLEDs known as light emitting dendrimers. In October 2002, Opsys Ltd was merged into Cambridge Display Technology.

Other winners from the Encouraging Innovation Awards 2002:

A team of researchers from Avecia in Huddersfield, led by John Blacker, won a Teamwork in Innovation Award for developing catalytic asymmetric transfer hydrogenation catalysts to produce chiral alcohols and amines. The highly active and stable catalysts give high chemical and optical yields and avoid the use of hydrogen.

Thomas Swan, with a team from Nottingham University led by Martyn Poliakoff, were acknowledged were also given a Teamwork in Innovation Award for their work to develop the use of supercritical CO2 for production-scale chemistry. The project has been a great success and last year Swan opened a new supercritical fluid technology plant, the first of its kind to use the technology in full-scale, multipurpose synthesis (see Chem. Br., August 2002, p 9).

Also in the Teamwork category, researchers from PiezOptic in Ashford, Kent, were highly commended for their excellent work to develop a novel styrene sensor in the form of a piezo-optical badge. Colour changes to gas-sensitive reagent spots deposited on the surface of a piezoelectric polymer film in the badge allow styrene concentrations to be measured.

For more information about the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Encouraging Innovation Awards, visit www.rsc.org

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