Loughborough University’s research and innovation activities enjoyed outstanding success last night at the LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards, receiving nine awards including seven of the ten categories, as well as the overall Innovator of the Year and a Special Recognition Award.
The winners represent impactful research, academic spinouts, graduate start-ups and technology businesses launched on campus, all delivering innovative new technologies and solutions to major challenges.
The winners – all based on LUSEP, the University’s Science and Enterprise Park – are:
Innovator of the Year
Launched on the University campus in 2011, Nemaura Medical’s industry-first daily-wear non-invasive Continuous Glucose Monitoring technology has the potential to revolutionise the management of Type 2 diabetes. It could also help over a billion people worldwide track their metabolic health and potentially avoid becoming diabetic in the first place.
Judges’ Special Recognition
Developed from the University’s Chemistry research in partnership with the government and global forensic manufacturer Foster+Freeman, RECOVER’s novel fingerprint development system is transforming forensic science. Used by police forces worldwide, the technology marks a step change in crime detection and security.
Innovation in Education
Alumni brothers Ottavio and Dario Tanzillo (both Sociology BSc, 2020) established Tanzii TV to inspire and encourage children to stay active, as well as to help boosting activity levels and wellbeing by connecting with communities. To date the qualified coaches have engaged over 630,000 children and young people and are based in LU Inc. the University’s incubator on LUSEP.
Innovation in Med Tech and Life Sciences
Nemaura Medical (see Innovator of the Year)
Innovation in Technology
Automotive engineering and Chemistry research from the 1980s underpins the fuel cell global leader Intelligent Energy whose sustainable technology has been successfully deployed to power airborne and road vehicles as well as applications across the logistics, construction and communication sectors.
Innovation in Manufacturing and Engineering
Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering spinout Zayndu founded by Dr Felipe Iza in 2019, helps global growers and seed producers increase agricultural yield at low cost, through the use of unique equipment that kills bacteria and fungi on seeds without any need for pesticides. The technology provides a timely replacement as many of these toxins are banned internationally.
University Student Innovation
Alumnus Joseph Bentley (Product Design and Technology BSc, 2021) founded ACT Medical in LU Inc. to accelerate the development of a device to reduce catastrophic blood loss from a knife wound. The device has already received significant recognition for its potential, most recently receiving the International James Dyson Medical Award.
Innovation in Food and Drink Manufacturing
Chemistry spinout Figura Analytics, founded in 2021 by Dr Mark Platt and PhD graduate Dr Rhush Maughi, has developed a rapid testing technology that enables drinks manufacturers to screen for contaminants onsite, in under an hour, as well providing a unique and easy way to tailor their analysis, helping them to deliver quality and consistency. The innovative platform also has the potential to benefit multiple sectors including healthcare for rapid diagnostics.
Innovation in Health and Wellbeing
Wearable sports technology start-up INCUS exploits cross-cutting research in sports science, engineering, and AI to empower everyday athletes to understand their technique and performance and to tell their sports stories. Founded by alumnus Chris Ruddock (Product Design Engineering MEng, 2016), INCUS employs 20 people, including several University graduates.
The following businesses were also highly commended finalists:
The People Deal (Innovation in Education)
The People Deal is the organisational development consultancy behind the Fairness First Framework™, a nationally unique research-evidenced framework that provides assessment tools and learning solutions for advancing fairness in the workplace. The company was founded by alumnus Louise Lennon (Business Psychology MSc, 2019) and is based in LU Inc.
Theathleteplace (University Student Innovation)
Experiencing first-hand the highs and lows of competing at the highest level, inspired former international 400m hurdler Joe Fuggle (Foundation and current Sport and Exercise BSc student) to launch theathleteplace in LU Inc. to provide a supportive online community for athletes and their parents.
Professor Claudia Eberlein, Loughborough University’s Enterprise lead and Dean of Science, commented: “It has been an incredible experience and a great honour for me to attend the LeicestershireLive Innovation Award ceremony on behalf of Loughborough University. This was an evening of celebrating outstanding success of research and innovation at the University. I am delighted that so many of the awards recognised achievements from across the University’s extensive innovation and research portfolio. Ambitious research and significant innovation as well as a rich eco-system for their cross-fertilisation and continued growth are part of our core objectives.”
The awards were presented by technology journalist and presenter Lucy Hedges. Headline sponsors were Morningside Pharmaceuticals, De Montfort University, and the University of Leicester, with category sponsors Howes Percival, Loughborough University, and MIRA Technology Institute.
Concluding the evening, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Professor Kamlesh Khunti, founder of the globally recognised Leicester Diabetes Centre, who was among the first to identify the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on ethnic minorities. A GP and University of Leicester researcher, Professor Khunti received a CBE for services to health in the Queen’s New Year Honours.