#100InnovativeDays draws together some of the greatest innovations from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough area from historic discoveries that have changed the way we live today to the latest innovations that will change the way we live in the future.
There is a world of innovations and discoveries that have taken place on our doorsteps that you might not be aware of; from the discovery of gravity by Sir Isaac Newton through to the world’s first test tube foal.
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Former student of Trinity College, Sir Isaac Newton, first outlined the theory of gravity in his 1687 publication, The Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
In 1661, Isaac Newton enrolled as a student at Trinity College, in Cambridge, and was taken under the wing of Isaac Barrow, Cambridge’s first Professor of Mathematics. Barrow challenged Newton to tackle the big, unsolved mathematical problems of the day, such as calculus, which would go on to provide crucial for explaining the universe in mathematical terms.
In 1665, Newton had to return home as the University of Cambridge was closed due to the plague. Here he undertook many experiments, believing that he would learn more by testing theories practically than just reading them in a book.
This practical approach to science led to Newton developing a new type of telescope in 1668, which was ten times smaller than a traditional telescope, and more powerful. Also called a Reflector, the Reflecting Telescope is an optical telescope which uses a single or combination of curved mirrors that reflect light and form an image. This huge leap forward in telescope technology made astronomical observation much more accurate.
After years of reclusive study, Newton stepped into public view again after spending two years capturing 20 years’ worth of thinking into the theory of calculus, the three laws of motion, and the first account of his theory of universal gravitation.
These days, Newton is best known for his Theory of Gravity, the discovery associated with an apple falling onto his head. Unfortunately, this tale is thought to be more folk law than truth, although he did say that watching an apple fall from a tree is what gave him the initial idea.
Day 2: Discovery of Hydrogen
In 1766, Henry Cavendish discovered hydrogen, or as he termed it ‘inflammable air from metals’, after studying the reaction of iron filings and dilute acids over mercury and publishing a paper entitled ‘On Factitious Airs’. The name was coined by the fact that Cavendish believed that the gas originated from the metal rather than from the acid, but accurately described hydrogen’s properties and the element was recognised as a result of his work.
Henry Cavendish was a student at Peterhouse College in Cambridge in 1748.
Day 3: The World’s first Programmable Computer
The first programmable computer was invented by British mathematician and scientist Charles Babbage in the 1820s.
Although he is recognised as the inventor of the programmable computer, Babbage did not live to see the machine completed. Babbage began work on a mechanical computer he called the Difference Engine in 1822, working for more than ten years with government funding.
The Analytical Engine, although not built in full until 2011 by British researchers, was the first ever working programmable computer, and was the first step in the history of computing as we know it.
Babbage was also instrumental in founding the Astronomical Society and created the Babbage principle, which identified the commercial advantages of more careful division of labour, e.g. allowing higher skilled staff to only undertake higher skilled work, and not spend their time on lower skilled duties.
Based in Cambridge, SMART Biosystems UK Ltd supply Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants and installations to companies across the world. They deploy an innovative business model adapted from other renewable energy (RE) technology sectors in order to deliver value for the farmers that use AD, the project financiers that fund the AD plants, and for equity investors in SBS UK.
The company’s technology offering seeks to minimise risk and eliminate common barriers to deployment. These include the need for planning consents, capacity constraints in grid connectivity, and the need to supplement organic waste with food and conventional energy crops to make projects economically attractive.
The company has invested heavily in R&D to build competitive advantage and access new markets, including a grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative in 2014, which enabled Smart Biosystems to develop an innovative Hydrolysis Biomass pre-treatment tank for installation in new and existing AD plants globally.
In 1953, Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the famous double helix structure of DNA in the Eagle pub in Cambridge. The discovery marked a milestone in the history of science and gave rise to modern molecular biology, which is largely concerned with understanding how genes control the chemical processes within cells. In short order, their discovery yielded ground-breaking insights into the genetic code and protein synthesis.
Built at the “Mathematical Laboratory” at Cambridge University and launched in 1949 by Maurice Wilkes, Head of Lab and leader of the project, EDSAC was the first programmable computer to come into general use by scientists. On May 6, 1949, it successfully completed its first programmed task by accurately calculating the squares of numbers from 0 to 99.
Today it is celebrated not only as a feat of computer engineering, but because of the usability that Wilkes had emphasized from the outset. Researchers across Cambridge – including astronomers, economists, crystallographers, molecular biologists and others – were able to benefit from its existence. Sir Richard Stone, Sir John Kendrew, and Sir Martin Ryle, all won Nobel Prizes as a result of work which relied on EDSAC’s use.
Based in Upwell near Wisbech, Fountain Foods Ltd is a vegetable processing company that supplies a range of fresh, prepared, frozen and brined vegetable ingredients to the food manufacturing industry. Successfully applying for two Agri-Tech grants, (one from the Growth Fund and the other from the R&D fund) Fountain Foods’ 1st project has involved developing and manufacturing CauliRice – a new, long-life rice substitute made from cauliflower. CauliRice is now being sold in UK supermarkets.
Day 8: Autoglym
In 1965 using car wax and polish was a difficult and laborious process, until Letchworth based Autoglym launched their Radiant Wax Polish. Innovations within the car care arena have continued, with the first Silicon Resin Polish brought to market and over 100 different products now shipped across the globe.
Day 9: Europe’s first Test-Tube Foal
Europe first test-tube foal, born as part of a programme to create stronger and faster horses for show jumping and eventing teams, was created by scientists in Newmarket in 2001 using a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
The technique could help in the conservation of rare breeds and may open the door to the genetic modification and cloning of horses.
Raspberry Pi is Britain’s all-time best-selling computer. It is a credit-card-sized computer designed to encourage people, especially children and young people, to learn to write code and make things with computers.
The idea first arose in 2006 after the University of Cambridge – one of the world’s leading universities for computer science – noticed a significant drop in the number of applications to study its Computer Science Tripos, and that applicants had significantly less experience of programming than previously. They concluded that this was for a number of reasons, including a lack of programmable home computers like the BBC Micros of the early 1980s: for many young people, the only computing device at home might be a non-programmable games console or hand-held gaming machine. They also noted young people’s experience in schools, where students were taught how to use applications such as Microsoft Office and create web pages, but not how to write code or create programs for themselves.
So a team from the Computer Lab, including Eben Upton, got together to create a prototype and set up a company. The Raspberry Pi – named following the tradition of fruit-based computer companies, with ‘Pi’ for the Python programming language – finally went into production in late 2011 and was launched on 29 February 2012. However, demand massively exceeded expectations, and to February 2016, more than 7 million Pis have been sold around the world.
Founded by ex-Cambridge University student, Ed Rex, Jukedeck is a start-up developing an artificially-intelligent music composer – a system that writes original music completely on its own.
In December 2015 Jukedeck launched their first product, Jukedeck MAKE, a site that lets video creators make unique, royalty-free music, powered by AI. Users come to the site, choose a style of music and other settings (such as mood, speed and exact duration). Based upon the user’s specifications, Jukedeck composes a new piece of music, note-by-note, in a matter of seconds.
“If you’re making a video, the process of sourcing and editing music is broken,” says Rex. “Searching through stock audio libraries takes hours, it’s expensive and the copyright and royalty restrictions are confusing. Our goal is to fix that. We want to give video creators a tool that lets them make the music they want in an instant. We want to make getting the right music as quick and as easy as possible.”
For video creators, Jukedeck solves all of these problems.
Day 12: World’s First Computer Game Developed
In 1952, Cambridge University PhD student Alexander S Douglas developed the world’s first computer video game – a noughts and crosses emulator that he titled ‘OXO’. The program ran on the EDSAC, which occupied more than 200 square feet of the Mathematical Laboratory. Competing against an artificially intelligent opponent, players would input their moves on a telephone dial, and follow the action on a flickering cathode-ray tube.
The Green Building Encyclopaedia (GBE) is a free to use resource for the construction, building and design industries, with information about creating healthy, environmental and efficient buildings.
The resource finds and provides design guidance and technical advice regarding the selection, design or specification of building methods, materials, services, systems, products and whole buildings. The Green Building Encyclopaedia (GBE) also offers access to jargon busters and checklists to a wealth of open data, green building design standards and case studies.
Day 14: Revolution 1
Revolution1 is an innovative approach to give Higher Education students the all-important work experience they need as they take their first steps into industry.
Revolution1 is a working company bringing in clients, developing growth and business plans and dealing with the daunting prospect of handling funds and all that goes with such responsibility, including hitting very tight deadlines and working to budget.
Collison is one of the largest cut flower growers in the UK. After receiving funding via Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, Collison used the funding to purchase, install and commission a fully automatic, robotic flower processing and bunching line.
Since the Eastern Agri-Tech Programme Delivery Board approved Collison’s proposal in August 2014, the Bercomex Furora has been successfully installed and is in full use.
The machine has improved production efficiency by 30% across Collison’s three most labour intensive crops, freeing up staff time to increase production and take on more on-farm packing work to add value to its products.
The Sake brewing project at Fordham Abbey is unique in the UK and no other Japanese brewers have tried it in Europe.
Aside from making and selling sake, the Dojima Sake Brewery UK & Co. are building a brewing school in which people from all over Europe can come and learn about the making process and open up their own sake brewery in the future.
About 100 years ago, Japanese people learnt the craft of distilling from Scotland and England and now some Japanese whisky brands are globally recognised. The Dojima Sake Brewery UK & Co. want to do the reverse of it, and teach the art of sake brewing.
Designed in Wicken, near Ely, Joyner Bolt is a revolutionary new task specific spiked timber fixing for joining timber to timber or timber to metal.
Developed by Daniel Hardingham (Chartered Surveyor) and Mark Doye (Carpenter) who were frustrated by the problems constantly experienced with coach bolts and threaded rods, the Joyner Bolt meets Building Regulation requirements and is available in the optimum range to fix 99% of all timber to timber and timber to metal situations on site.
Joyner Bolts are unique because:
- They immediately grip and hold the timber and can be threaded single handedly, even in the most difficult spaces.
- Unlike any other fixings they can be used to compensate for an over drilled hole- especially useful when joining several different timbers.
- They provide optimum torque level because they will not turn within the timber.
- Regardless of size they cannot be pulled through the timber even up to a 32mm drilled hole.
- They provide a unique combination of a quality, decorative finish that meets all Building Regulation requirements.
Joyner Bolt have recently won the Cambridgeshire regional heat of the Local Business Accelerators campaign fronted by Dragon’s Den star, Deborah Meaden, which was featured in the Cambridge News. The company now goes forward to the National final which is judged at the end of March.
To find out more visit the Joyner Bolt website www.joynerbolt.co.uk.
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has its roots in the Human Genome Project, the international collaboration to identify all the 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA. One-third of the original reference human genome was sequenced at the Institute.
The Sanger Institute is one of the premier centres of genomic discovery and understanding in the world. It leads ambitious collaborations across the globe to provide the foundations for further research and transformative healthcare innovations. Its success is founded on the expertise and knowledge of its people and the Institute seeks to share its discoveries and techniques with the next generation of genomics scientists and researchers worldwide.
The Sanger Institute is named after Fred Sanger (1918 – 2013) a distinguished biochemist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry twice in 1958 and 1980. Working and living in Cambridge he specialised on a specific method of DNA Sequencing that would shape the way that genomics and biomedicine were to be explored and was key to the Human Genome Project.
Located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, the Sanger Institute shares the site with other genomic and biodata institutes and organisations that are all working at the forefront of life-changing science. The latest development on the Campus is the opening, in July 2016, of the Biodata Innovation Centre, a place for innovative companies to locate their business, surrounded by world leading genomic and informatics researchers.
Day 19: iLevel Ltd
iLevel is a Newmarket based Information Technology business who received funding via the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative. The funding is being used to implement and develop a remote monitoring system via mobile apps for the agricultural industry, focusing on fuel and fertiliser measuring.
The app development is complete and the system has been installed in 150 tanks across the UK and Europe on both small farms and large estates. It ensures that farmers do not run-out of resources allowing them to optimise their stock efficiency and are warned of theft or pollution to the environment.
The world’s first cyber-seat was installed in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St. Edmunds in 2001; allowing up to four people to log on to the web at the same time. Users simply plug their laptop into the modem sockets concealed in the inside arms of the bench, power up, and go online.
Day 21: Delamore
Delamore is a growing horticulture business located in Wisbech St Mary. Having identified an impending green skills, gap due to an ageing workforce and a lack of young people joining the profession, Delamore looked to establish a training and programme centre to deliver enhanced industry technical, scientific and supervisory skills, and to inspire quality young talent into a career in the Horticulture and Land-based sector.
At the end of August 2013, the new Delamore Fenland Horticulture Academy was officially opened. As of January 2014, six apprentices are already making good use of the new classroom and special training greenhouse, with four of the team offered future jobs at Delamore from spring 2014.
In addition to the in-house apprenticeship programme, Delamore is working closely with the Prince’s Trust on a ‘Get into Horticulture’ programme and with the Thomas Clarkson Academy to deliver an RHS Level 1 programme for 12 young people aged between 14 and 16 years old.
Frontier Developments plc is a leading independent game developer and publisher founded in 1994 by David Braben, co-author of the seminal Elite space simulation. Based in Cambridge, UK, Frontier uses its proprietary COBRA game development technology to create games across consoles, computers and mobile with a focus on narrative, gameplay and community.
Day 23: DappR Aviation
Aircraft are manufactured to the finest standards. They use the strongest, lightest materials and they are engineered to the tightest tolerances to endure the most severe conditions- yet when the aircraft comes to the end of its life, the parts are never used and go to waste.
- Most out-of-service aircraft are stored in deserts around the world
- Serviceable parts such as jet engines and electronics can be reused
- There little or no reuse or upcycling of aircraft scrap
- There is little or no reuse or other upcycling and the rest of the aircraft is scrapped
DappR Aviation Ltd (Bury St. Edmunds) upcycle these obsolete aviation parts to make high-end art, installations and furniture, including turning parts from an Airbus A320 into garden pods.
DappR Aeropods are fully insulated with the original airframe insulation and finished to the highest possible standards. The options are varied and can, for example, include heated floors, different styles of lighting and we offer a wide range of finishes.
David Palmer, the company’s managing director said: “We already have a wide range of beautifully engineered parts including nose cones, wing flaps, reverse thrusters and cockpit windows.
“People are inspired and excited by flying; aviation grade is a byword for high quality engineering and raw materials. But nobody would say flying is environmentally friendly and, at the end of their lives, planes are either abandoned in the desert or scrapped. We have a great opportunity to turn disused planes into exciting things.”
Day 24: ZEISS Microscopy
ZEISS Microscopy is the world’s only one-stop developer of light, X-ray and electron microscopes, with over 170 years of experience. The product range includes light microscopes, confocal systems for laser scanning microscopy, a full portfolio of electron and ion beam microscopes and perfectly-tailored software solutions for image processing, image documentation and reporting. The organisation offers customised solutions for biomedical research, life sciences and healthcare, providing unsurpassed optical performance and design.
You can find out more about ZEISS here.
ARM is one of the world’s leading technology companies with its energy-efficient processor technology powering almost all smartphones and its computing architecture is increasingly spreading to all areas where computing is happening. To date, 75 billion silicon chips based on ARM technology designs have been shipped and it is enabling the intelligence in a third of all digital electronic products sold each year. In 2015, Forbes ranked ARM as the 5th most innovative company in the world.
Day 26: Johnson Matthey Fine Chemicals
Johnson Matthey Fine Chemicals supplies efficient and sustainable products for pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and other fine and specialty chemicals. The company has over 200 years of experience in solving complex chemistry problems in order to advance product development and accelerate innovative processes.
Johnson Matthey deliver a broad range of products and services across our four core offerings: Custom Pharma Solutions, Controlled Substances, Catalysts, and APIs & Life Cycle Management. Each offering draws on the extensive expertise and specialist technologies of their global network to deliver a collaborative service that’s focused on strengthening customers’ products, to ensure they get to market more efficiently.
Visit http://www.jmfinechemicals.com to find out more.
Day 27: Esthechoc
Esthechoc is the world’s first nutricosmetic with a strong, scientifically proven impact on the metabolism of ageing skin. A combination of highly potent active substances: Astaxanthin (the most powerful antioxidant known to science) and Cocoa polyphenolic epicatechins (found naturally in chocolate). Unique micellar technology used during production of Esthechoc makes these actives bioavailable.
This powerful technology is then enclosed in delicious dark chocolate and can be enjoyed for only 38 calories a day!
Day 28: CN Seeds
Based in Pymoor near Ely, CN Seeds Ltd is a family business that supply specialist herb and baby-leaf seeds to the horticultural industry worldwide.
As herbs and baby-leaf salads have increased in popularity, CN Seeds have developed their business to meet this demand for new varieties, by investing heavily in research and development and science-led breeding.
Having identified the need to produce plants that are tolerant to diseases, CN Seeds will build a state-of-the-art testing facility to grow the business and boost its sales and exporting potential. To support this growth, the Eastern Agri-Tech Initiative, run by the LEP, provided CN Seeds with a grant of £60,000.
The new facility links CN Seeds’ previous grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative that allowed them to develop new varieties of rocket. They can now develop this work further by not only testing for native diseases, but also for strains of overseas diseases on site. Allowing CN Seeds to compete in a globally competitive market.
CN Seeds have also began work on with a number of partners on selling wood gasification combined heat and power units (CHP). The CHP’s currently benefit from very generous Ofgem tariffs for both the heat and electricity they generate. The machines can run night and day all year round. The electricity generated can be used or exported as required.
Bactest is a venture backed Cambridge UK based company that specialises in turning microbial activity into data that can be used to make management and operational decisions.
Speedy Breedy is a small, portable, accurate, sensitive and very fast microbial contamination detector.
Essentially Speedy Breedy should be thought of as a Lab in a box, without the need for a Laboratory, extra lab equipment and preparation, or an expert user; and therefore carries considerable cost benefits, as well as significant time saving in obtaining results, making informed decisions and taking faster remedial action.
Speedy Breedy includes a full software suite for test development, result and trend analysis, with a computerised audit trail.
Speedy Breedy provides a range of pre-populated Culture vessels that enables specific detection of 14 bacteria types, including E.coli, Enterococci, Pseudomonas, Listeria and Salmonella, we have a TSB test for sterility and hygiene tests, and provide empty vessels to allow users to create their own specific tests.
Speedy Breedy has a global network of 57 Distributors, selling into 32 countries, across multiple markets and applications, including Water, Healthcare, Food and drink, Industrial, Pharmaceutical and Marine.
The Speedy Breedy system operates by providing ideal growing conditions for bacteria and yeasts, through the media (food), ideal temperature for a specific organism and a vessel paddle mechanism which first dissolves the media and then aerates the samples.
Thus the organisms, multiply rapidly, and respire, which creates a pressure change in the vessel, which is detected by Speedy Breedy. Thus Speedy Breedy will detect 1 cfu, only one viable organism.
Day 30: Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport is London’s third-busiest airport, currently serving around 23 million passengers a year. Firmly positioned as a market leader for short-haul travel across Europe, with over 170 destinations across 30 countries, Stansted serves more scheduled connections to Europe than any other airport in the world.
On 15th March 2016, Stansted celebrated the 25th Anniversary since the opening of its terminal building. In this time, the airport has transformed air travel in the UK, spurring the growth of low cost carriers like easyJet and Ryanair and has redeveloped its terminal to provide a better passenger experience and extended its route network further still with the addition of long-haul flights.
As part of its commitment to be a responsible neighbour, in 2015, London Stansted Airport announced plans to reduce aircraft noise for more than 4,000 people living near the airport using a new innovative take-off procedure. The new technology, Performance Based Navigation, is a first for UK aviation and uses modern GPS technology to enable aircraft to fly flight paths more accurately during take-off. More information is available at www.stanstedairport.com/consultation.
Day 31: MallComm
Created by Toolbox Group, in the West Suffolk countryside, Mallcomm is being used by retail destination owners, managers and retailers across Europe to improve communication and engagement in retail communities. Mallcomm’s clients include shopping centres in 7 countries across Europe and BID’s including London’s New West End and Covent Garden.
Mallcomm works with real-time information and is an easy two-way response tool which makes communication between retailers, security and other staff quick and effective. Through the app everyone can instantly communicate with each other. It been fundamental in streamlining operational processes and can make management much easier from maintenance incidents to critical messaging and on-going communication as part of a shopping centre’s emergency procedures.
David Fuller, Toolbox Group’s Head of Digital Marketing, says: “Communicating with retailers in shopping centre can be a logistical nightmare. Alerting staff to a major issue is a challenge in itself but also accounting for people in such situations can be difficult.”
Mallcomm is proving so popular that Toolbox Group are currently seeing least one retail destination a month is signing up for it and the app recently achieved recognition at the Appster Awards, where it won the top B2B award – Best Enterprise App.
Fluidic Analytics was formed in 2013 as a spin-out from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge.
Their roots stretch back to a group of scientists who were inspired by the roles that proteins play in the biological world, driven to understand more about how proteins behave and function, but frustrated by the lack of suitable tools for protein characterisation. So they decided to invent their own.
Fluidic Analytics’ vision is that protein science will transform our understanding of how the biological world operates in real time.
They believe that this transformation will be every bit as revolutionary as the way that advances in DNA sequencing have transformed our understanding of how the biological world operates over decades, lifetimes and generations.
Fluidic Analytics can help make this vision a reality by developing products that enable easier, faster, more convenient and more accurate protein characterisation, whether in the lab, at the bedside or in everyday life.
Redring Xpelair Group are a manufacturing company based in Peterborough, who provide air quality and water heating solutions to clients across the world.
The Redring Powerstream is an electric inline instantaneous water heater made in Peterborough that is available in 3.4KW to 12KW versions at various voltages and is used in applications all around the world.
Sales in 2016 include those to customers in North & South America, The Middle East, Europe & the Far East, as well as being market leading in the UK & Ireland.
The product is very simple to install, needing just an electrical supply and cold water feed to produce hot water for washing, showering or other domestic uses. Because it produces hot water instantly (up to 55°C), it is incredibly efficient (98% approx.) as there are no standing losses and the hot water is provided at the Point of Use, saving further energy and water.
Muro incorporates an 80% efficient heat exchanger which minimises heat loss as stale air is exhausted, to improve indoor air quality. The quiet running, low energy DC motors enable the unit to be installed in bedrooms which extends applications from domestic use to include commercial hotel and healthcare installations
Majority of sales in 2016 have been to Germany and Holland, mainly in new build or refurbishment applications. However, the unit is now gaining specifications in UK and we would therefore expect domestic sales to increase during remainder of year.
As a local exporter, Redring Xpelair has recently invested £10 million into their state-of-the-art facility in Peterborough to help meet growing demand. With almost half of its products being exported, Redring Xpelair understands the significant positive impact international markets can have on a company.
You can watch the video the LEP created with Redring Xpelair, here.
Day 34: KisanHub
KisanHub is a technology start-up based in Cambridge. The team have developed a cloud-based, integrated software platform which brings together public and private data to help farmers take informed decisions about their day-to-day operations and markets.
Identifying a need in the market for their product, KisanHub made an application to the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for funding from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative. The funding will be used to develop and trial a Crop Yield Prediction, Irrigation and Fertiliser recommendation model that uses satellite data and meteorological information to support on the ground decisions. The project was finished in February and is currently being rolled out to NIAB TAG members at www.niabnetwork.com.
G’s Growers has developed farming equipment that greatly increases productivity and efficiency when planting and harvesting – the tractor is driverless (driven by GPS) and the entire planting nursery is automated, driving consistency of product and making planting much quicker. G’s Growers is a major producer and supplier of fresh salads and vegetables to UK and worldwide supermarkets.
Day 36: Perkin’s Engines
With a history stretching back more than 80 years, Perkins is one of the world’s leading providers of diesel and gas engines, with major manufacturing and parts distribution facilities on four continents, and a network of distributors that covers 180 countries.
The company has manufactured over 20 million engines since it was established in 1932, and employs around 5,000 people who based around the world.
Perkins Engines are used to power over 5,000 different types of equipment in the global construction, agricultural, materials handling, electric power and rental sectors.
To find out more about Perkins Engines, visit www.perkins.com.
In 2013, Bury St Edmunds-based pub retailer and brewer Greene King unveiled its cutting-edge St Edmund Brewhouse. Having taken six months to build, the Brewhouse provides an improved platform for Greene King to craft exciting new beers and add to their extensive range of leading cask ales.
Built by Musk Engineering, the Brewhouse has capacity to run up to six brews a day and brew smaller runs of beer of between 15 and 30 barrels.
Chris Houlton, Managing Director of Greene King Brewing and Brands, said: “Over the last 200 years our passion for crafting fine quality ales here in the heart of the Suffolk countryside has seen us build a strong reputation as a first class brewer. The St Edmund Brewhouse allows us to be more flexible in our approach to brewing than ever before and provides a great innovation platform on which we continue to develop great beers. We are immensely proud of our long brewing heritage in the town and this investment demonstrates our commitment to brewing in Bury St Edmunds for many years to come.”
Peterborough based OAL (Olympus Automation Ltd) identified a gap in the market to make food production more efficient by introducing robotics into the manufacturing process; to date there has been little progress in automating food manufacturing in this area due to the lack of enabling technology.
They received a £60,000 grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative in 2015 to develop an automated food manufacturing process using robotic ‘chefs’ to boost production, efficiency, and improve the quality of food produced.
With the funding, OAL will design and manufacture the patented APRIL (Automated Processing Robotic Ingredient Loading) technology; a fully automated robotic system that can mix, load and cook ingredients in a manner similar to professional chefs yet on an industrial scale.
Not only will the technology be more efficient than traditional, manual cooking processes, the automated production will help to lower costs and reduce food wastage, and free up space on the factory floor.
APRIL will enable OAL to become UK leader in food manufacturing, increasing growth and job opportunities for the company; reinforcing the East of England’s reputation for innovation.
Harry Norman, Managing Director of OAL, said:
“Winning the grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative involved presenting to an expert panel who assessed our revolutionary robotic technology. The expert’s feedback, encouragement and 100% backing was really appreciated by the OAL team and gave us all a big lift.”
OAL have produced a short video to explain the benefits of their APRIL system; you can watch it by visiting http://www.aprilrobot.com.
Day 39: HPE
Within Hewlett Packard Enterprise, there is a specialised big data team in Cambridge who focus on enterprise data collection, analysis and analytics. Its Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) system allows for search and processing of text taken from both structured data and unstructured human information—including e-mail and mobile data—whether it originates in a database, audio, video, text files or streams.
Day 40: Apple
Joining Cambridge’s innovation cluster in 2014, Apple opened first office on Hills Road to develop Siri, the voice recognition app, further.
Day 41: GHD
GHD’s Cambridge R&D base is one of the largest innovation hubs in the UK, developing technology that sensors and monitors temperature, and specially-designed handles that ensures you don’t damage your hair by applying too much pressure.
bio-bean is a pioneering, clean technology company; the first in the world to industrialise the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals.
With over 70 million cups of coffee drunk in the UK every day, the UK coffee industry produces over 500,000 tonnes of used coffee grounds a year – costing millions of pounds in waste disposal and creating harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
Based in the world’s first coffee waste recycling factory at the Alconbury Enterprise Campus, bio-bean can process 50,000 tonnes of waste coffee grounds per year; every one in 10 cups of coffee drunk in the UK.
bio-bean produces biomass pellets and briquettes; carbon neutral, advanced biofuels that can be used for heating buildings, thus displacing fossil fuels.
Arthur Kay, Co-founder and Chief Executive of bio-bean, said: “We’re passionate about the difference this technology and process can make, not just in removing coffee waste from landfill but also making a real benefit from it in providing a locally-produced, carbon neutral and cost effective source of fuel. To be able to do that in a recycled building at the heart of the growing R&D community at Alconbury Campus is a phenomenal chance for us to scale up production.”
The next innovation bio-bean is developing is the production of biodiesel and the Company foresees a future where our cities are powered by coffee. www.bio-bean.com.
Day 43: NIAB
NIAB (National Institute for Agricultural Botany), based in Cambridge, is an internationally recognised plant science organisation, providing independent, science-based research and information to the agriculture and horticulture industries, with reach across the whole of the UK farming industry.
Having applied for funding from the Eastern Agri-tech Growth Initiative, NIAB will further enhance its Yield Check service, which provides farmers, agronomists and supply-chain managers with accurate forecasts of yield development in potato crops.
This in turn would deliver a more robust crop forecasting service and enable NIAB to offer its services more widely.
TRB Lightweight Structures are an engineering and manufacturing company with a history of innovation. Established in 1952 the company continues to provide lightweight engineered solutions to customers across Rail, Aerospace and varied other Industries.
Creating innovative solutions that meet customer challenges is one reason why Hitachi Rail chose TRB Lightweight Structures to assist in the design and development of its PRM-TSI compliant, lightweight storage unit for bicycles throughout its class 800/801 series trains.
This unit allows customers to store their bicycles in a pre-reserved location or alternatively can be a storage room for luggage. A key objective for TRB was to satisfy all the weight, performance and installation requirements from Hitachi engineering for the bike storage unit which in itself is an innovative design in the rail industry.
The supply of these bike storage units is part of an ongoing £13.5 million contract awarded to the company.
Talking of the value-added relationship TRB were able to supply Hitachi Rail, Jamie Foster, Procurement Director commented: “With the Class 800/801 trains, Hitachi aims to set the standard for design, quality, and weight savings. Once again the TRB engineers and designers have risen to these challenges, meeting the demands of the program. Working with partners who provide collaborative solutions to engineering challenges is essential to the smooth progress of these types of projects.”
Cambridge based Thermoteknix Systems received the accolade of the Queen’s Award in 2015 for developing ClipIR, a miniature, thermal-imaging camera that clips onto night vision goggles.
The fusion of thermal-imaging with image-intensification produces an innovative detection device that can operate in darkness and extremely low light conditions. The device is used by military, surveillance and others performing defence and security activities.
You can find out more here.
East Midlands based Rutland Plastics is one of the country’s leading plastic injection moulders. Founded in 1956, the company originally manufactured its own range of plastic products but over the years changed to become purely a trade moulder, i.e. manufacturing high quality bespoke products for a wide variety of industries.
One area of expertise is the moulding of large parts. Demand from existing customers led to investment in increasingly bigger moulding machines with the capability currently to manufacture parts up to 1.5m2.
Today, Rutland Plastics offers a full range of services including design, prototyping, mould manufacture and moulding to machining and assembly. The company has been working in partnership with customers and suppliers for 60 years and during this time it has invested heavily in technical support. Design advice is at the forefront of the services on offer ensuring correct material selection and a part design optimised for injection moulding.
Increasingly, customers want to buy a complete product rather than individual components and Rutland Plastics is happy to provide this service, sourcing any other parts required in the assembly as well as bespoke packaging, if required.
The company has grown steadily expanding on and redeveloping its existing site to the modern production facilities you see today. With a turnover of almost £10 million and employing more than 120 people, the company is well placed to continue this growth.
Based on the Alconbury Enterprise Campus, Mole Solutions recently completed a successful feasibility study into the use of its innovate system to reduce the level of road freight by transporting goods in capsules using a network of pipes.
The pipeline would carry goods in capsules from an out-of-town consolidation centre to strategically placed locations within a City Centre.
Roger Miles, Managing Director of Mole Solutions explained: “The Mole system provides a range of benefits to freight transport including significantly reduced operational costs and ‘just in time’ cost benefits. It also has major social and environmental benefits including the reduction in accidents, congestion, pollutants and damage to the infrastructure as well as creating new jobs.”
Mole Solutions carried out its freight pipeline study after being awarded a grant from Innovate UK SMART to find an Urban Freight Transport solution. The study included desk research and testing on a test track at its facility at Alconbury Weald.
Having successfully demonstrated the benefits of its freight pipeline, Mole Solutions plan to use the positive evidence to focus on a specific location and develop a detailed business plan to illustrate the system’s viability. You can find our more here: www.molesolutions.co.uk.
British Sugar’s award-winning horticulture business produces around 140 million ‘eco-friendly’ tomatoes each year at Cornerways Nursery.
A quarter of a million plants are grown in the UK’s largest single tomato glasshouse, which covers an area of 18 hectares. The fruit are harvested between February and November. All the produce is packed on-site in a modern packhouse, minimising handling and transport and allowing produce to be despatched for supermarket shelves directly from the nursery.
Over 8,500 bumblebees, living in 170 bee hives, pollinate the crop and are part of the nursery’s integrated approach to crop management using natural agents and predators in preference to agro-chemicals.
Cornerways Nursery benefits from its location close to the Wissington sugar factory. More than two hundred and forty miles of piping carries hot water from the factory’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant around the glasshouse, to maintain the balmy temperatures which suit tomato plants. This hot water would otherwise be destined for cooling towers, so the scheme ensures that the heat is used productively.
Another benefit is the productive use of waste carbon dioxide from the sugar factory, which tomatoes use during photosynthesis. At Cornerways, carbon dioxide (a by-product from the CHP boiler) is pumped into the enormous glasshouse to be absorbed by the plants, rather than vented into the atmosphere as waste emissions.
The site also harvests the rainwater from the giant glasshouse roof; over 115 million litres are collected annually to irrigate the plants.
For more information about British tomatoes go to www.britishtomatoes.co.uk.
In 2015, Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, set up a developmental arm in Cambridge and began work with flight engineers and research scientists to start development on PrimeAir, a future delivery system designed to safely get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using small unmanned aerial vehicles, also called drones.
Prime Air has great potential to enhance the services Amazon already provide to millions of customers by providing rapid parcel delivery that will also increase the overall safety and efficiency of the transportation system. Putting Prime Air into service will take some time, but Amazon will deploy when they have the regulatory support needed to realize their vision.
You can find out more here.
Palm Paper Limited is a UK based Paper specialist. As a subsidiary of German based Papierfabrik Palm, they produce a wide range of paper grades for the UK market. These include Newsprint for national and regional newspapers and Corrugated case papers for the production of corrugated boxes.
After many years operating a UK sales office for these products, Palm Paper took the decision to install a new paper machine for Newsprint in King’s Lynn- a project costing £400m. This represented the first major UK investment in the paper industry in the last decade.
The mill in King’s Lynn is the largest and most powerful newsprint paper machine worldwide.
Day 51: ARU/ POW Health
Anglia Ruskin University is working in partnership with innovative global health management firm POW Health to discover ways in which one can use personal data in order to make it easier for people to use interactive platforms such as apps.
The number of people over 65 in Western Europe is projected to double between 2001 and 2040. As Europe’s population lives longer, a growing number of its people face some form of dementia. The project, called Independence, aims to create a daily planning tool to help patients with early and more advanced stages of dementia, and their carers.
The company will create an information portal where dementia patients nationwide can use tools to help them live an independent life, find out more about their condition, how it is likely to progress and what support is available to them.
The project will cost £120,000, with £76,591 provided by Innovate UK, and forms part of Anglia Ruskin’s Smart Living Accelerator programme. This is a partnership between academics, frontline services, healthcare commissioners and technology companies, working on pilot projects using technology to manage the care of an ageing population.
POW Health provides a global health management platform (website/app) which is currently being used across 88 countries and is available at www.powhealth.com.
To find out more about how Anglia Ruskin can help your business prosper, please visit www.anglia.ac.uk/business-employers.
Day 52: Solar Polar
Solar Polar has developed off grid heating and cooling technologies that will bring sustainable refrigeration, air conditioning, and terrace heating to the whole world.
Solar Polar is a clean-tech start-up based in Peterborough, specialising in solar thermal cooling and heating products that do not use any electricity or other fuels. Their competitive advantage lies in its simple, robust technology, which requires no fuel or photovoltaic panels, and has no running costs.
Both Solar Polar products are sustainable using Cradle to Cradle design principals, are cheap to manufacture and have relatively short payback periods. Solar Polar’s patent attorney has filed UK and international Patent applications to cover both cooling and heating products.
Since its founding in 1991, Microsoft Research has grown into one of the largest and most respected software research organisations in the world. Today, more than 1,000 of the brightest minds in computer science work in a number of research labs worldwide, with a mission that has stayed the same for almost 25 years: to advance the state of the art in computing, transfer technology into Microsoft products and services; and to lead Microsoft into the future.
Present in Cambridge since 1997, Microsoft Research Cambridge was the first Microsoft lab established outside of the United States. The city of Cambridge was the clear choice for the location of the lab due to its rich history as a centre of higher learning and growing global impact as a leading high-tech hub. From a beginning of just three researchers in 1997, to over 130 researchers and engineers today, the lab has established itself as a highly credible academic partner and flowing pipeline of technology transfers into the Microsoft business. As our researchers solve the toughest problems in computing, share their ideas with the greater research community, and collaborate with Microsoft product groups, they’re ensuring that the company – and the industry – will continue to find new ways for technology to enhance our world for years to come.
Over almost 20 years, Microsoft Research Cambridge has developed technologies that have been applied across the whole spectrum of Microsoft products. Cambridge researchers have contributed vital machine learning technology to some of Microsoft’s most well-known devices, such as the Kinect for Xbox and HoloLens. Other recent technology transfers that the Cambridge team have been involved in include: The functional programming language F#, as well as security mitigation technology that is helping to protect Windows users from cyber attacks; technology that enables cloud providers to ensure datacentre tenants are not impacted by other tenant usage; models and tools for designing and programing computation in living systems; and prediction and recommender systems used in the Bing search engine and Xbox Live.
Recent innovation examples also include the creation of a tool to bring more consistency to tracking the progress of multiple sclerosis systems, using the Kinect gaming system, using Minecraft to build more intelligent technology and ‘Move to Clutter’ which uses machine learning to organise your email inbox.
Day 54: MedImmune
MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, is at the forefront of ground breaking science.
The Cambridge facility, evolving out of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) that was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006 and integrated with MedImmune in 2007, is home to MedImmune’s European research and development centre. The company’s teams of scientists and professionals follow the science and push its boundaries to bring life-changing medicines to patients through its therapeutic proteins, monoclonal antibodies and other next-generation molecules. With one of the largest, most robust pipelines in the industry, including more than 120 research projects and product candidates, MedImmune comprises nearly half of AstraZeneca’s overall R&D portfolio.
MedImmune’s team in Cambridge has built a leading expertise in antibody discovery, protein engineering, disease understanding and biopharmaceutical development; and continues to generate, or make a significant contribution to the optimisation of, the majority of the company’s drug candidates. MedImmune’s original human antibody phage display library contains over 1010 individual antibody fragments and was a fundamental breakthrough in generating antibody-based medicines. These libraries were sufficiently large that, for the first time, high quality drug leads could readily be isolated. Almost 3,000 potential drug leads are expressed, purified and characterised every year as part of the organisation’s work on up to 60 different drug discovery and technology projects annually.
Medicines isolated from these libraries include the first human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the first new treatment for lupus over 50 years and an antibody to treat inhalation anthrax; just a few examples of how MedImmune’s libraries are helping to bring life-changing medicines to patients.
For more information, visit www.medimmune.com.
With its headquarters in Royston, Hotel Chocolat is one of the most successful chocolate manufacturing companies in the UK.
In 1993, Hotel Chocolat started selling chocolates online, becoming one of the UK’s earliest ever ‘e-tailers’, predating the likes of Amazon and eBay.
Hotel Chocolat are unique in that they are one of the world’s few chocolate makers to actually grow cocoa. In 2006, Hotel Chocolat bought a 250-year old plantation in Saint Lucia, connecting cocoa-growing with luxury chocolate-making and retailing.
Hotel Chocolat have since expanded into the hospitality, restaurant and café markets, opening its first café in London’s Borough Market in 2010, which serves a range of innovative cocoa-centred food and drinks. It’s first Luxury hotel, restaurant and spa, Boucan, opened in 2011 on Hotel Chocolat’s cocoa plantation in Saint Lucia, to huge acclaim.
In 2012, Hotel Chocolat was voted the UK’s ‘most advocated’ British brand, and in 2013, it secured number one spot in The Sunday Times UK Fast Track 100.
Day 56: Networked Communities
One of the things that makes Cambridge such a unique place to live and work are its networked communities. The city is home to a wealth of organisations that that help to create a unique environment for businesses to network, innovate and grow, drawing together people from different sectors and backgrounds to create new solutions to existing problems and issues. These networks include the Cambridge Network, CW, Cambridge Cleantech, One Nucleus, Agri-Tech East, and others. All contribute to what makes Cambridge such an innovative city for business and technology.
Established in 2001, Jagex Games Studio today stands as the UK’s largest independent game developer and publisher and is the home of the flagship online adventure game, RuneScape. Celebrating its 15th Year anniversary in 2016, RuneScape has welcomed over 245 million players to its world and more than two million of them play every month, while millions more watch avidly through social channels.
In addition to RuneScape, Jagex is developing new RuneScape-branded games as it enters additional genres, including Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, an adventure strategy card game, and RuneScape: Idle Adventures created in partnership with Hyper Hippo, the developers of cult hit Adventure Capitalist. Jagex employs over 320 people at its Cambridge headquarters. Career information can be found at www.jagex.com.
E-Leather’s patented process recombines leather fibres, without the use of adhesives, around a high-performance core to create a unique lightweight and strong material. By using waste leather off-cuts from the tanning process as its key input, which would otherwise end up in landfill, E-Leather is also a truly environmentally friendly product.
E-Leather is supplied in 140m rolls, providing significant benefits when used in high-volume manufacturing, and can be colour-matched to the customer’s precise requirements.
Founded by serial inventor Chris Bevan, E-Leather has been operating from its 130,000 sq. ft. factory in Bretton, Peterborough for over 10 years. Initially, the company focussed on selling its material to the aviation industry, where its light weight quickly made it the market-leader in the USA. E-Leather now serves over 100 airlines worldwide, and for the last few years has been expanding successfully into other transport sectors: bus, coach and rail. Recently, the company was formally recognised by the Daimler group for being one of its most innovative suppliers.
The sky is the limit for E-Leather, now led by Chris McBean, which turned over nearly £15m last year and is currently in talks which could see its material used in industries from consumer goods to domestic furniture.
Established in Cambridge, in 1946, TWI is one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in materials joining and engineering processes as applied in industry. TWI specialises in innovation, knowledge transfer and in solving problems across all aspects of manufacturing, fabrication and whole-life integrity management.
In 1967, TWI made history by combining the precision of a focused laser beam with the energy and chemistry of an oxygen gas jet to perform gas-assisted laser cutting. The experiment was conducted using a 300W pulsed, slow-flow carbon dioxide laser – the first of its kind constructed in the UK. In this original work, stainless steel up to 2.5mm in thickness was cut at a speed of 1m/min.
Data from this first cutting experiment was published in the British Welding Journal, where inventor, Peter Houldcroft, with remarkable foresight, concluded the following:
“With the development of higher-power lasers it should be possible to cut thicker and different materials including non-metals… the narrowness of the cut promises a precision not previously obtained with thermal cutting techniques.”
The impact of this work is extraordinary. In 2013, the value of the worldwide market for laser cutting machines was estimated at $2.16 billion. This same market has been predicted to reach a value of $4 billion by 2020.
One of the greatest milestones in TWI’s rich legacy of technological achievements and advancements is its invention of friction stir welding (FSW) in 1991.
This revolutionary joining method involves a rotating tool being plunged between two clamped plates. The frictional heat causes a plasticised zone to form around the tool, ‘stirring’ the two plates together. As the tool moves along the joint line, a consolidated solid phase joint is formed behind it.
Friction stir welding is ideal for welding aluminium and other materials difficult to join using conventional fusion welding. More recently, it has also been shown to be effective in welding steels, including some previously considered unweldable.
The excellent mechanical properties and reproducibility of joints created using the technique have seen it widely adopted across industry, where it is well suited to volume production. The marine industry embraced FSW within five years of its invention, and it has since seen use in sectors as diverse as aerospace, automotive, construction and electronics.
Day 60: Chesterford Research Park
Building on 60 years of continuous R&D at Chesterford, the Park is now home to innovative biotechs and pharmaceutical companies such as Charles River Laboratories, Illumina Inc, Isogenica, Diagnostics for the Real World and Axol Bioscience, a community that has amassed an impressive record for producing cutting-edge technology and ground-breaking scientific discoveries.
Underpinning these successes is a Park environment that offers a flexible range of modern, dynamic facilities – from prestigious, bespoke HQ buildings to fully fitted laboratory and office spaces – all designed to drive discovery and development activities and ideally suited to companies at all stages of development. An added advantage comes in the form of a highly supportive Park team, who truly understand occupier’s objectives and work collaboratively with them to support their needs as they change and grow.
The attractive 250-acre, low-density development is located close to Cambridge and the M11 with London just one hour away by train from nearby Audley End station, ensuring occupiers and visitors enjoy convenient and easy access. Stansted Airport is just 20 minutes’ drive away. Chesterford Research Park is being developed by The Churchmanor Estates Company Plc and is owned by Aviva Investors.
You can find out more here: www.chesterfordresearchpark.com.
Based in Cambridge, Omnisense provide state-of-the-art high accuracy (20cm) 3D locating and tracking solutions that can be used by farmers to monitor livestock and promote well-being in Dairy herds, both indoors or outdoors.
Andy Thurman, CEO of Omnisense, commented:
“We are very grateful for the support provided through the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative, in recognition of the potential for the information generated by the Omnisense system to revolutionise monitoring in Dairy, enabling distinctions to made at the level of the individual animal.
“The grant award is being used to develop a simple set-up process for our low cost indoor positioning system by non-expert installers, greatly increasing the Dairy market accessibility of our products. The Omnisense system is used on farms to promote well-being, reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase farmer’s milk yields.”
CITB are the Industry Training Board and a partner in the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry in England, Scotland and Wales. They work with industry to encourage training, which helps build a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce.
In 2014, the LEP secured an additional £38m via its Growth Deal towards the creation of a new national centre for higher level construction skills to support the industry’s future workforce over the coming years.
The Institute of Advanced Construction will be located at the CITB headquarters in Bircham Newton, near King’s Lynn.
You can find out more about CITB’s role in the construction industry here: http://www.citb.co.uk/.
Established in 1834, Dunns (Long Sutton) Limited is amongst the oldest agricultural businesses in the UK, based in South Lincolnshire.
The company are one of the largest pulse and agricultural seed processors in the UK and a specialist producer of premium quality pulse products for worldwide human consumption markets.
Dunns are seed suppliers, collaborating closely with international and UK breeders and have secured access to new up-and-coming seed varieties for its farmer and consumer customers.
Dunns has invested significantly on the site in recent years, building three new stores, two new production lines and an automatic bag placer and palletiser in the last seven years alone. This allows Dunns to process and store seed and pulses in different locations, eliminating the risk of cross contamination.
In 2014, Dunns won the award of “Business Innovation of the Year” for South Holland and were commended for “The Business of the Year 2014” Award. Dunns were nominated for the awards by the Lincolnshire Chamber of commerce.
Dunns were also a close runner up for business of the year, cementing their place as a key business within South Lincolnshire and South Holland District.
You can find out more about Dunns here: http://www.dunns-ls.co.uk/.
Based in Cambridge, Altogame create innovation games for strategic business development.
Altogame have developed cost-effective, online, game-based tools that help companies brainstorm new ideas, products and services and their implementation, as well as organising engaging meetings without the need for travel, meeting rooms, and facilitators.
Altogame integrates modern technology with advanced behavioral design, enabling a unique set of features compared to any virtual environment. It utilises opportunities that can be celebrated only in virtual world such as anonymity and arts based methods. The behavioral concept draws on Eija Mäkirintala´s scientific research and practical coaching experience.
To find out more about Altogame, visit: http://www.altogame.com/.
Treatt is a global, independent supplier of innovative ingredient solutions for the flavour, fragrance and FMCG industries. From its base in Bury St Edmunds, the company has 300 staff working across Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, delivering forward-thinking products to the food, beverage and fragrance industries in over 95 countries.
Over the last 130 years, the business has grown to become one of the most significant employers in the region, and attributes its expansion to its continuous emphasis on improvement. Treatt’s application centres, R&D facilities and distillation labs in the UK and US enable technical experts to work together, share ideas and develop new, exciting products that catch the imagination of consumers all over the world.
Treatt works with flavour and fragrance houses, and FMCG companies on almost every content, who partner with its experts on the creation of unique solutions that will stand them apart from the competition.
Learn more about Treatt by visiting www.treatt.com.
Named ‘Best Security Company of the Year’ 2016, and ‘Best Disruptive Technology’ at The Business Weekly Awards, Darktrace is the world leader in Enterprise Immune System technology for cyber security.
Founded in 2013, by mathematicians and machine learning specialists from the University of Cambridge, together with world-leading intelligence experts from MI5 and GCHQ, Darktrace applies transformative technology to the challenge of cyber security.
With this unique combination of expertise, Darktrace has delivered the world’s first operational Enterprise Immune System. Our cutting-edge solution gives organisations the ability to detect emerging internal and external cyber threats, allowing them the opportunity to proactively defend against in-progress cyber attacks.
Darktrace addresses the challenge of detecting previously unidentified cyber threats in any network, by using new machine learning techniques, without the need for rules or signatures. By modelling the ‘pattern of life’ for every device, user and network, Darktrace can identify subtle behaviours that deviate from the norm and alert security teams before a crisis occurs.
Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan, said:
“We are proud that our innovative ‘immune system’ has gained the esteemed recognition of the Business Weekly Awards,” said Nicole Eagan, CEO, Darktrace. “It is a privilege to have built a world-class R&D team in Cambridge, made up of some of the UK’s leading mathematicians, and to see our technology adopted around the globe as a new way of addressing the cyber security challenge.”
Day 67: DIAL Peterborough
DIAL Peterborough, in partnership with the City College Peterborough, are running a ground-breaking project that will harness the power of digital communication to support disabled people to secure employment through the production and promotion of a personalised digital CV, thanks to the LEP Prize Challenge. Each individual will film and produce their own digital CV, with the support of the project team, gaining important employability skills and enabling them to better showcase their individual skills.
The Babraham Research Campus, near Cambridge, is a co-location of world class life science research from the Babraham Institute and nearly 65 early-stage and growing life science enterprises. The Campus’s commercial activities are managed by Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT), which oversees the administration and development of the site.
The aim of the Campus, which was established by the Institute in 1998, is to support new bioscience companies and catalyse the commercial exploitation of biological and biomedical research. Companies on the site have access to research facilities, infrastructure and support services from BBT, as well as being in close proximity to the scientific expertise and facilities at the Babraham Institute and elsewhere in the Cambridge area.
The site provides over 160,000 square foot of laboratory and office space for early-stage life-science companies to setup and grow their business. The site is a popular location, currently the facilities are at capacity. In 2015, Imperial College London announced the construction of a building at the campus to locate companies in which the college has an interest. Companies on the campus include Kymab, Crescendo Biologics, Abzena, F-star, Mission Therapeutics, Cancer Research Technologies, Imperial Innovations, et al. By 2017, there will be close to 1000 people on the campus.
The Babraham Institute is a world-class research institution, whose mission is to be an international leader in research focusing on basic cell and molecular biology with an emphasis on healthy ageing through the human lifecycle. Since the late 1980s, Babraham scientists have made significant contributions to our knowledge of a class of enzymes called the ‘PI3-kinases’, and to the analytical methods required to study them. This fundamental cell biology research is leading to new treatments for cancers, chronic inflammation and other diseases all caused by defects in an important cell signalling mechanism which is controlled by the PI3-kinase enzymes.
Researchers from Babraham now collaborate with, and provide informal consultancy services to, pharmaceutical companies and clinicians interested in developing drugs to treat cancers and other diseases caused by mutations in the PI3-kinase pathway.
Other areas of research undertaken at the Institute include immunology, genome organisation and regulation, and epigenetics.
You can find out more about the campus here: www.babraham.com and the Babraham Institute here www.babraham.ac.uk . Some case studies from the Institute and campus can be found here http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/impact/impacts-babraham-research-campus/.
Both the Babraham Institute and BBT receive strategic support from the BBSRC. http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/.
Day 69: Enval
Based on the Alconbury Weald Enterprise Zone, Enval have developed an innovative process of recycling of laminated plastic and aluminium packaging- materials which would otherwise be wasted.
Multi-national brand owners Nestlé, Kraft Foods Group and Mondelez International are part of a group of stakeholders that backed the development of this facility, underlining the potential that Enval’s technology has demonstrated for improving the recyclability of flexible laminates.
The site features a fully operational, continuous process plant based on Enval’s award-winning Microwave Induced Pyrolysis system for recovering valuable materials from foil-containing flexible packaging.
You can find out more about Enval here: http://www.enval.com/.
Lloyd Loom weave is by its very nature is a product of innovation; a genuine improvement on the materials it was to replace. First invented almost 100 years ago to be durable, flexible, lightweight, and breathable all of which ensured Lloyd Loom furniture was to become one of the most successful products of the twentieth century.
Alongside furnishing great mansions and modest homes, hotels, restaurants and tea rooms, Lloyd Loom was widely utilised in the golden age of travel, seen aboard luxurious ocean liners and even airships. Wherever a lightweight, low-cost, durable chair was required Lloyd Loom would be there.
Lloyd Loom Manufacturing based in Spalding is the beating heart of international Lloyd Loom production and innovation with traditional British Lloyd Loom furniture not normally associated with 21st century high-tech production methods, and although early 20th century technology is still at the heart of Lloyd Loom, from the production of the weave to the turning and steam bending of the solid beech frames, however, the use of cutting edge computer modelling and manufacturing techniques has become increasingly important to our process.
In addition to the age old handcrafting techniques of the master furniture maker, and the unsurpassed heavy industrial machinery of the mid-20th century, we now quietly utilise innovative 21st century computer aided design, modelling, prototyping techniques and materials and coatings technologies, that when used together ensure we arrive efficiently and effectively at the finest quality product for our customers. The production team, designers and craftsmen at Lloyd Loom Manufacturing incorporate cutting edge technologies to improve designs, techniques and processes that generate incremental innovations in a product that has been seemingly unchanged for generations.
You can find out more here: http://www.lloydloommanufacturing.com/.
Cambridge based Featurespace is the world’s leading behavioural analytics company, helping companies and organisations understand people’s digital behaviour better so they can minimise risk.
Featurespace’s ARIC engine helps organisations to protect and serve their customers – spotting new fraud attacks and improving customer experience. It’s currently being used by companies including William Hill, Betfair, Camelot and Vocalink Zapp.
You can find out more here: www.featurespace.co.uk.
Huntingdon-based Encocam Ltd, a parent company of 8 diverse engineering divisions is an innovative and progressive engineering company founded 28 years ago by Dr Mike Ashmead. It is one of the region’s largest exporters with offices in Spain, Germany USA and Japan.
The company’s primary area of expertise is in the development of products for road safety testing with products including crash test barriers, energy absorbers and Anthropomorphic Test Devices (Crash Test Dummies).
Other key areas include the manufacture of aluminium honeycomb – a key component to make incredibly strong but lightweight structures used in a wide range of diverse structures including key projects in automotive, rail, construction, marine wind turbine, wind tunnel and architectural industries.
Encocam are also responsible for Herald Motor Co., a cult motorcycle brand specialising in vintage themed, retro style motorbikes taking base machines from the Far East and utilising their technical and engineering expertise to great effect.
You can find out more about Encocam here: http://www.encocam.com/.
Founded in the early 1890s, Stainless Metalcraft (Chatteris) has manufactured equipment for some of the world’s most hazardous environments in the oil & gas, nuclear, renewable energy and medical sectors.
The company recently celebrated after being awarded a contract, potentially worth £47 million, to provide waste storage containers for the Sellafield nuclear site.
Phase one of the project will see the Fenland business setting up and developing a production facility to produce over 1,000 3-meter3 storage boxes during phase two of the project, which will run over the next 10 years.
The boxes store intermediate level waste (ILW) from the Pile Fuel Cladding Silos – a key part of the decommissioning programme for the site – and will initially be stored in a specially-engineered, shielded facility at Sellafied before being moved to a Geological Disposal Facility.
The contract will also see the creation of a world-class, dedicated facility for the manufacture of ILW containers, which should see more jobs created as expected volumes grow.
Part of Avingtrans PLC’s Energy & Medical division, Stainless Metalcraft specialises in the design and manufacture of nuclear process plant, medical imaging components and precision pressure and vacuum vessels, sub-assemblies and systems for the energy industry.
The company has worked on an array of ground-breaking projects, including the world’s first medical MRI machines; components for the Large Hadron Collider in Cern; the world’s first working Tokomak nuclear fusion reactor; and a range of innovative new security and medical scanning technologies.
You can find out more about Stainless Metalcraft here: http://www.metalcraft.co.uk/.
In Peterborough since 1974, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland is part of the Thomas Cook Group plc, one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups, thanks to the inspiration and dedication of a single man. A pioneer with a trusted heritage, Thomas Cook began his international travel company in 1841, with a successful one-day rail excursion at a shilling a head from Leicester to Loughborough on 5 July.
From these humble beginnings Thomas went on to shape the modern travel experience that has allowed Britons with a fascination for travel to explore the world for almost 175 years. Today, the company’s UK business operates its own airline with 32 aircraft and carries more than 6 million passengers a year who are travelling independently as well as on one of the company’s package holidays. The main tour operator brands are Thomas Cook and Airtours which showcase the company’s growing range of exclusive hotels: SENTIDO Hotels & Resorts, SunConnect Resorts, Sunwing Family Resorts, Sunprime Hotels and smartline, with the latest addition Casa Cook Hotels.
Bespak create, develop, industrialise and manufacture complex medical devices for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Opportunity discovery and early development work takes place in their Cambridge Innovation centre with scale up and high volume manufacturing being undertaken at King’s Lynn, with facilities that are FDA-inspected and approved.
Bespak’s innovative product range of devices stems from listening to pharma partners and developing systems that overcome the challenges associated with administering the next generation of drug products.
Bespak’s service offering can be divided into three main categories:
- Proprietary devices and technology development and manufacture
- Scale up and industrialisation of an already-designed device
- Design and commercialisation of novel devices for novel and existing therapies
Bespak supply respiratory drug delivery devices, valves and actuators, injectable devices and medical check valves into major European and US markets.
Each year they mould around 2.6 billion components which are assembled into approximately 550 million devices.
Every second over 1,000 patients use one of Bespak’s devices to help them breathe.
For more information, visit www.bespak.com.
Based in Hillington in West Norfolk, Hargreaves Plants Ltd are a leading producer of rhubarb, asparagus, soft fruit plants and ornamental plants.
Identifying how popular rhubarb has become in Britain in recent years, (the rhubarb business has grown from being worth £15 million in 2007, to £23 million in 2010) Hargreaves Ltd decided to invest in research to develop new varieties of rhubarb to meet demand and capitalise on this lucrative product.
Hargreaves applied to the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative for a grant of £47,000, to grow new varieties of rhubarb that will improve the marketability of the product in terms of aesthetic appearance, whilst also improving the production and quality of rhubarb varieties to suit both consumer and grower demands.
The project is now complete and has been a great success. After selecting plant varieties and selection trials, Hargreaves Plants have introduced two new varieties on the market: Apple Delight and Timperley Early +.
These new varieties are in big demand as they have longer harvest times, and The Timperley Early + consistently produces appealing red stalks. They have also increased the productivity and sales for the company.
Day 77: ZX Spectrum
In 1973, Clive Sinclair set up his first business in Cambridge, which eventually became known as Sinclair Research.
In 1980, Clive Sinclair took his first steps into the first home computer with the ZX80, the cheapest personal computer for sale in the UK at that time, priced at £99.95. By 1982, he had developed and launched the ZX Spectrum – the UK’s bestselling computer, which competed aggressively with the Commodore and Amstrad, and was a must have item for many households.
Day 78: Delta T Devices Ltd
Cambridge based Delta-T Devices Ltd specialises in instruments for environmental science to investigate the effects of climate change, develop methods that address the requirements of agriculture to feed a growing global population and improve water and fertigation resource management. The company will use the funding from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative to design, fabricate and evaluate a low-cost prototype “WET-50” sensor, which has the ability to measure soil moisture, temperature and conductivity.
Day 79: Arash
Based in Newmarket, Arash is a world class, low-volume manufacturer of super-fast hybrid cars.
The Farboud GT was the company’s first model, announced in 2002 at the Autosport International show in Birmingham. It featured a 2.8-litre V6 twin turbo engine producing 620bhp.
Other models include Farboud GTS, AF8 and AF10; the car was not put into production but Arash later revealed a revised model in 2016 with a hybrid drivetrain and a horsepower claim of 2080 HP.
Day 80: Contamac
Saffron Walden based Contamac Ltd is the world’s largest independent supplier of contact and intraocular lens materials. They received a Queen’s Award for Innovation for the development of the first range of silicone hydrogel contact lens materials for the speciality contact lens industry.
The silicone-based materials are called Definitive and have been developed to allow silicone hydrogel contact lens manufacturing using lathe cutting techniques. Definitive materials provide the cornea with three times more oxygen than traditional hydrogel lenses and can be manufactured without surface treatment for the 25% of the contact lens wearing market that requires speciality lenses.
Day 81: Cambridge Industrial Design
Cambridge Industrial Design helps companies across the world to create innovative and effective products. From front end industrial design to production management, CID are able to support clients of all sizes through the complete design and development process.
Working in partnership with True North Technologies, as specialist in geo-tracking, CID helped to create a specialist electronics enclosure for a new cow tracking and monitoring collar that would enable farmers to precisely locate individual cattle in their herd allowing them to better manage grazing patterns and milk yields.
Following the successful completion of this project CID have been asked to work on a number of new projects in the Agri-tech business, including a GPS enables grass measuring device.
Based in Peterborough, Coloplast is the best performing intimate healthcare med tech company in the world, specialising in surgical urology, ostomy care, surgical urology and wound and skin care.
Coloplast UK Managing Director, Ulrik Berthelsen said: “With its proximity to both the University Cities of Cambridge and London, Peterborough is a hub of talent and was a natural home for Coloplast. It is where we continue to develop our innovative creations as we have done so for the past 60 years.”
When developing new products its research and development teams work closely with the people who use them, in order to stimulate co-creation and provide consumer-led solutions.
This has led to a number of technical innovations, including Sensura Mio, which provides increased discreetness and suitability for all skin tones because of its unique patented colour. The SpeediCath Compact set is an award-winning product range that has recently won honours for innovative design at the Danish Design Awards and Red Dot Awards.
Coloplast’s patient-centred focus is what ensures it continually develops innovative solutions for patients with personal and intimate healthcare conditions.
Guerrilla is one of Europe’s leading game development companies and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Guerrilla was founded in 2000 as the result of a merger between three smaller Dutch studios, and acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2005. In 2012, it welcomed the SCE Cambridge Studio into the fold. Guerrilla now operates in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, employing over 200 developers from 25 different nationalities. The Dutch studio is located in the bustling cultural centre of Amsterdam, while the British studio is based in Cambridge.
After the successful release of the original KILLZONE® on PlayStation®2 in 2004, Guerrilla went on to create three award-winning sequels (KILLZONE®2, KILLZONE®3 and KILLZONE SHADOW FALL™) and two critically acclaimed handheld spin-offs (KILLZONE: LIBERATION™ and KILLZONE: MERCENARY™). The studio is currently working on two brand-new IPs – HORIZON ZERO DAWN™, an open world action-RPG developed exclusively for PlayStation®4, and RIGS MECHANIZED COMBAT LEAGUE™, a competitive arena-based sports shooter developed from the ground up for PlayStation®VR. Both titles are slated for a 2016 release.
You can find out more about Guerrilla here: www.guerrilla-games.com.
Day 84: Reuseful UK
Based in March, Reuseful will create jobs and work placements for long-term unemployed individuals through de-branding and remanufacturing uniforms and corporate workwear. The money made from the remanufacturing will be reinvested into the project to reduce waste and increase employment opportunities for local people.
You can find out more here: http://www.scrapstoresuk.org/.
Day 85: Keronite
Based in Haverhill in Suffolk, Keronite is home to the world’s only dedicated, commercially-proven Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation (PEO) surface treatment process.
An enabling technology, it allows engineers across a range of industries – including space, aerospace, motorsport, defence and automotive – to make greater use of light alloys in component designs, reducing weight and improving technical and environmental performance.
The patented technology converts the surface of light alloys – such as aluminium, titanium and magnesium – into a hard ceramic coating that can be tailored to bring out specific properties at different points of component design. So, where one part of the component might need increased wear resistance, another may need better thermal conductivity or aesthetic properties, all of which can be delivered in one, repeatable treatment process.
Keronite worked with world leaders such as NASA and the European Space Agency on programmes like Sentinel 2, Mascot, and the largest optical telescope in the world, the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC), and is also involved in an on-going R&D programme supporting the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, which has seen white Keronite treatment being qualified for the first major flight parts on the mission.
The business is also working to bring the benefits of Keronite to a wider variety of sectors. Already approved for MRO work on Boeing aircraft, it is currently working on technologies to allow manufacturers to take advantage of the weight savings offered by Magnesium components. Its work with Magnesium Elektron on its Elektron®43 alloy has recently shown that magnesium alloys can meet tough flammability requirements, driving a change in the wording of aerospace safety standards that will allow magnesium components into passenger aircraft.
To find out more about Keronite, visit http://www.keronite.com/.
There is a global movement towards lighter structures and products for reasons of efficiency and carbon footprint reduction. Forward Composites is at the forefront of this technology, replacing traditional materials such as steel and aluminium with lightweight composites that offer significant weight reduction, while often improving strength.
The Airlander 10 hybrid airship is an excellent example of where the use of lightweight technology is critical to the overall programme. The lighter the structure the more the airship can lift, further it can travel or just stay in the air longer. Forward Composites have designed, engineered and supplied the majority of the rigid structure for the Airlander 10. It’s eagerly awaited maiden flight will take place in May.
Forward Composites has a full range of capabilities, from product design and engineering services, to tooling, manufacture, testing and finishing. From initial briefing through to delivery, all aspects of the process are monitored by a proven, robust Quality Management System.
Their state-of-the-art facilities in Huntingdon include CAD design, CNC 5-axis machines (including one of the largest in the UK), freezers, kit cutting, clean rooms, autoclaves, curing ovens, spray-bake paint booths, Faro Arm & Stiefelmayer and Faro ‘Ion’ laser tracker.
You can find out more here: http://www.forwardcomposites.com/.
Day 87: Sociable Soccer
The eagerly awaited follow up to Sensible World of Soccer, Sociable Soccer seeks to take on ‘FIFA Soccer’, the current market leader, across all the major game platforms. Focusing on a more on fun, fast, fluid arcade style gameplay, entertainment and sociable interaction, the game features over 1,000 fully customisable real world club and international football teams, with over 20,000 real players.
Players can create their own personalised and named 3D player model in their own likeness and play with other fans of the team they support to help their club and country compete on a level playing field to win online leagues against the fans of other teams thanks to the game’s unique team equalising system. The player’s avatar can also be called up to play for their club and country of choice alongside your real life sporting heroes and star players from the past.
Also included in the game are 65 real world football competitions, including all major leagues and cups in Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Rest of the World. Plus, players have the opportunity to create their own competitions.
Tower Studios, the company behind Sociable Soccer is headed up by Jon Hare, the designer of Sensible World of Soccer, working in conjunction with some of the best game development talent locally and across Europe.
Sociable Soccer is attracting keen interest from big-hitting, potential international publishing and distribution partners and is the first of a series of online sports games planned for release in the coming years under the Sociable Sports banner.
Day 88: Bourn Hall
Bourn Hall, the world’s first IVF clinic was established by IVF pioneers Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe following the successful birth of their first ‘test-tube baby’ Louise Brown in 1978.
Techniques developed at Bourn Hall, including sperm freezing and frozen-embryo transfer, have transformed the lives of many families, it is estimated that over 5 million babies have been born worldwide following IVF treatment.
Bourn Hall provides a comprehensive fertility service which includes both NHS and self-funded IVF treatment. It was recently the first clinic in the UK to offer altruistic sperm and egg donors the opportunity to ‘gift’ free IVF treatment to friend or family member with infertility issues.
You can find out more here: http://www.bourn-hall-clinic.co.uk/.
Audio Analytic Ltd. is the home of intelligent sound recognition software. Its unique software is used by smart home companies the world over to make devices aware of sounds around them. If a smoke alarm goes off or a glass panel is broken by intruders while no-one is at home, Audio Analytic’s software will immediately recognise the sound and tell the device to alert the home owner and the smart home, so they can both take appropriate protective action. The company gives smart home owners sound peace of mind.
Audio Analytic Ltd. is an award-winning privately held company, founded in 2008 and headquartered in Cambridge, UK.
Elveden Estate in West Suffolk is host to a Regional Research and Demonstration Hub for potato growers and suppliers, thanks to funding from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.
The project, coordinated and co-funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s Potatoes Division (AHDB Potatoes), was awarded £109,273 and is located at Elveden Farms in West Suffolk, and will provide a unique opportunity for the industry to see the latest research innovations and practical science in action.
The Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm will promote improved business and agricultural productivity and resource management, alongside providing a space for knowledge exchange and collaborative working.
An open day to visit the SPot Farm in the East has been scheduled for the 5th July 2016. Opportunities will be advertised at: http://potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/spot/east.
iMET is being created to meet strategic and economic demands by delivering advanced technical skills training in manufacturing, engineering and technology.
With the new industrial development comes a new provision for advanced and technical training to deliver local employers’ requirements to upskill their workforce.
The project has received £10.5m of funding from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP via its Growth Deal and will be located at Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus.
You can find out more here: http://www.imet.co.uk/.
AstraZeneca’s Cambridge site is the company’s largest centre for oncology research worldwide. Beyond cancer research, AstraZeneca’s R&D focuses on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmune diseases and conditions of the central nervous system. The site brings together small molecule and biologics R&D, opening up opportunities to exploit the promise of small and large molecule combinations. Additionally, focus on medicinal chemistry, high-throughput screening and cellular and molecular biology, as well as clinical development and have pre-clinical research capabilities located onsite.
As AstraZeneca’s largest oncology research centre, the site includes a purpose-designed rodent facility principally to support our early stage cancer research. Animal studies are a vital part of the research process, and are required by regulators before they approve a new medicine to be tested in humans during clinical trials.
Based in Cambridge, Argon Design Ltd has won an Innovation Award for their innovation in the verification of video decoders for high definition (HD 4K) video. HD 4K is an ultra-high definition standard that uses four times as many pixels as standard HD videos. Such high definition has created a requirement for ever higher compression of video so that it can be transmitted or stored with lower bit rates.
Argon Design works with high profile technology companies in the design of video decoders for displaying HD 4K video and has developed a tool, Argon Streams, to comprehensively verify such video decoders against the new standards. Customers using Argon Streams can fully test their video decoder designs before they begin chip manufacture, which reduces risk, cost and time to market.
Day 94: Alviol
Alviol is an early stage MedTech business developing Occoris – an elegant and simple inhaler technology which delivers drugs more efficiently to the lungs and isn’t reliant on a patient’s technique or lung function.
The business was awarded a grant of £460,000 from Innovate UK and is currently progressing the technology from proof-of-concept into a clinic-ready inhaler device, together with a scalable and robust manufacturing process. Alviol is working in collaboration with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Hertfordshire (world leaders in inhaled drug delivery) and Constantia Flexibles (global providers of pharmaceutical foils). Alviol is a spin-out from Team Consulting – the medical device design and development company based in Ickleton.
How do living systems work, and what makes them change? The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) uses bioinformatics – the science of storing, sharing and analysing life-science data – to help find answers. EMBL-EBI scientists and engineers manage biological and biomedical data on a very large scale, empowering people all over the world to make the most of publicly funded research. Located on the Wellcome Genome Campus just south of Cambridge in the UK, it is at the centre of one of the highest concentrations of technical and scientific expertise in the world. EMBL-EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, an intergovernmental research organisation with five sites throughout Europe. www.ebi.ac.uk
Day 96: Redgate Software
Redgate Software was founded in Cambridge in 1999 with a goal to design highly usable, reliable software which elegantly solves the problems developers and database administrators face every day. The software is technically challenging to develop, but intuitive to use.
This approach has resulted in a portfolio of products, many of which are recognised as the industry standard in their respective fields. The products look to improve the working lives of users by reducing complexity, saving time, or turning a laborious task into a smooth, error-free process.
The same innovative approach shapes the way the software is developed. Within Redgate, modern software development practices are fostered, and teams are given the freedom to explore new ideas and collaborate on novel projects.
As a direct result, Redgate has consistently featured in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For, won a Sunday Times Best Companies special award for Innovation in Engagement Practice, and has been a finalist in the Harvard Business Review/McKinsey Innovating Innovation Challenge.
You can find out more about Redgate Software here: http://www.red-gate.com/.
Day 97: Northrop Grumman/ Park Air Systems
Park Air Systems have been established since 1966. Starting in a small workshop above a Stamford greengrocer it is now a globally recognised brand, designing, developing and manufacturing safety critical Air Traffic Control (ATC) Communication Systems. Its state of the art headquarters, based in Market Deeping, deliver ATC equipment to an average 80 countries per year.
The company employs some of the country’s most capable radio frequency engineers to develop solutions that contribute to the safe transportation of millions of air passengers every day.
Environmental performance is also paramount when working with the future in mind. Each new generation of equipment takes advantage of developments in materials and components with less environmental impact, with the reduction of power consumption to help reduce CO2 emissions and energy costs an important objective.
You can find out more about Park Air Systems here: www.northropgrumman.com/parkair.
Software developed by RealVNC is de facto standard for remote control, with over 1 billion copies of hundreds of products and applications. It is officially part of the internet (under the Remote Frame Buffer protocols, RFB 6143), and embedded into – among others – Intel chips, Apple desktops, Google software, mobile phones and cars. What makes it so innovative, is that the software can be downloaded for free.
Each year over 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted globally, that’s about 1 trillion US dollars of lost value. If food waste were its own country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China.
In the UK alone, enough food is wasted to fill nine Wembley Stadiums up to the brim. With an increasing population and modern lifestyles, the burden of food waste on society and the environment is set to increase in the future.
Traditional composting solutions are difficult to commercialise at large scale, while modern technology like anaerobic digestion is capital intensive and reliant on government subsidies.
Cambridge based Entomics Biosystems Ltd has a solution. They plan to convert food waste into three sustainable fuels for plants, animals and vehicles and most importantly, reduce the amount of the food which is going into landfills.
To achieve this Entomics will use insects. Specifically, the Black Soldier Fly, which has the ability to efficiently convert organic waste into fats and proteins inside their bodies. These compounds can then be refined into three high value products – animal feed, biodiesel and organic fertiliser – in a cheap, scalable and sustainable process.
The project will offer an innovative alternative to current food waste disposal methods, which can be expensive, carbon-intensive and convert waste into substances with limited commercial value.
You can find out more here: http://www.entomics.com/.
Day 100: Darwin
Charles Darwin moved to Cambridge to study at Christ’s College in 1828, before heading overseas. After travels abroad, Darwin returned to 22 Fitzwilliam Street, and here he organised his specimen collection from the voyage and updated his journal.
It was these discoveries that would lead Darwin to develop his theory of evolution by natural selection over the course of 20 years, which he then published in his seminal book ‘On the Origin of Species’ in 1859.