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NextGen Invest Companies 

1 & 2 July


1 July (3pm – 5pm)


SMDR – University of Bath: Optimising manufacturing for pharma/fine chemicals

The Spinning Mesh Disc Reactor (SMDR) is a novel technology that leads to an improved manufacturing method for therapeutics. Current manufacturing uses slow and inefficient batch technology, while the SMDR is a modular, flexible and scalable solution for a range of reactions carried out by the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries. Proof of concept examples have shown that productivity and reaction yield was 100% higher in the SMDR.

HydRegen – University of Oxford: Answering the call for a cleaner chemical sector

HydRegen is a platform that develops cleaner, faster and safer chemistry for the synthesis of complex chemicals such as pharmaceuticals, flavouring and fragrances. The leading-edge HydRegen catalysts address key chemical transformations, enabling them to replace toxic metal catalysts and decarbonise biocatalysis – all while operating under mild conditions and achieving higher precision. This new technology supports several markets including the contract pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, which is estimated to reach $108 billion this year.

SOOBA Medical – University of Southampton: Urological device innovation

SOOBA Medical has developed a platform to provide novel and more reliable urological devices to reduce the financial burden on healthcare providers. Working with urological device manufacturers, they test and re-design existing products to improve urinary tract clinical outcomes. Their rigorous testing reduces time, costs and further unnecessary animal trials to offer scientifically and technologically sound urological devices.

TopMD – University of Southampton: Gene pathway biomarkers for universal precision diagnostics

TopMD has created proprietary algorithms to map the specific gene pathway activations that cause disease, so patients can be precisely matched with available drug trials and clinical treatment. The mapping can be carried out from patient blood samples and the type of testing is common in hospitals around the world. The technology presents enormous value in drug development and healthcare. Investment is sought to enable rapid scaling of their product catalogue and to meet immediate market demand.

Rheality – University of Birmingham: Reducing waste in liquid products manufacturing

Rheality measures in real-time the rheology of fluids in pipelines. It reduces production waste and increases productivity for the FMCG sector (e.g. food & drink, personal care, etc.). Currently rheology measurements are limited, mostly off-line, and inaccurate, causing significant losses in production, overall valued up to £1,752 billion of revenue per annum. Rheality can reduce them potentially by more than 10%.

GlycoScore – Newcastle University: Blood-test diagnostic for prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer (1.2 million men diagnosed each year). The first-line screening for prostate cancer  relies on a blood test called PSA. The PSA test has low diagnostic accuracy i.e. it misses 15% of aggressive prostate cancer  and also over-diagnoses >60% of healthy patients. Therefore, many men without prostate cancer currently undergo unnecessary procedures such as tissue biopsy, which are invasive, can be painful and have potentially long-term side effects.

GlycoScore is patented blood test that detects a panel of novel biomarkers and can accurately diagnose prostate cancer, 95% sensitivity and 98% specificity (PSA sensitivity 85%, specificity: 33%). The GlycoScore analytes are detected using a simple method called ELISA making the test easily adoptable by pathology labs worldwide with no additional capital investment needed. The superior diagnostic accuracy of GlycoScore will reduce unnecessary treatments for healthy patients, improve clinical outcomes and provide substantial savings for health care systems.

Lifelab – University of Southampton: Childhood wellbeing through science engagement

Lifelab’s mission is to empower children and young people through scientific discovery to make positive lifestyle choices. It is the only facility of its kind in the UK, offering a state-of-the-art laboratory dedicated to giving school students opportunities to learn first-hand the science behind the health messages. When healthy habits are established early in life, children develop the ability to make lifestyle choices that support their physical and mental health, wellbeing and resilience now and in the future.

Senisca – University of Exeter: Cellular rejuvenation therapeutics

SENISCA’s innovative research addresses the underlying mechanisms of ageing through the development of approaches targeting a newly discovered driver of aesthetic and disease-related changes to tissues and organs. Current cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications only treat the symptoms, not the causes of ageing. SENISCA initially plans to formulate anti-ageing cosmetic products both for early commercialisation of the technology, and to act as a springboard to drive their long-term goal of developing pharmaceuticals to treat age-related disease.



2 July (3pm – 5pm)

Data tech/AI / Creative tech / Enabling tech

Albotherm – University of Bristol: Reactive polymer additives for shade automation

Albotherm is a novel polymer additive that creates responsive shade for plants in greenhouses, by reflecting heat and light at high temperatures. Plants such as soft fruits, herbs and decorative flowers suffer from scorch and this is an issue in the greenhouse agriculture industry, damaging up to 25% of a crop in the summer. The tomato market alone is worth $190 billion, meaning $48 billion worth of tomatoes are lost to sunscald.

Albotherm also has huge potential in the smart cooling market, worth $138 billion. Our additives can passively regulate building temperature, saving customers money and reducing global carbon emissions.

Seclea – Royal Holloway, University of London: Enabling explanation and auditing of AI decisions

Regulatory bodies have identified bias and the lack of AI transparency as a significant problem. For example, the Apple credit card algorithm sparked gender bias debate that led to Goldman Sachs currently being under investigation. Furthermore, the European Commission is developing an AI regulatory framework to govern AI usage similar to GDPR. Seclea enables organisations using AI applications to be able to trust, audit and explain their AI’s decisions. Thus empowering organisations to comply with AI regulations. Seclea has the potential to achieve a serviceable obtainable market worth £10.6 million by 2025 – with 83 customers.

3finery – Edinburgh Napier University: Creative AR immersive marketing experience

3finery is an immersive augmented reality inbound marketing software that enables products to ‘come to life’ and interact with the user’s environment, allowing them to engage, play and receive messages remotely. These interactive experiences can be brought to the customer in a variety of locations, provided a targeted way for brands to engage with their audience. 3finery offers unique experiences that offer huge potential for viral social media engagement and they can also be easily integrated to existing solutions.

Mesmerix – University of Bath: AI real-time verification and feedback

For current manufacturing procedures to fully achieve ‘Industry 4.0’ and enable data-driven processes, significant modernisation of inspection and verification practices is required. This requirement cuts across nearly all fabrication industries and if overcome could enable a huge redefinition of current fabrication business models.

Mesmerix’s platform will address this, saving valuable time and resources as global competition increases pressure for cost-effective and quality fabrication.

The Mesmerix platform will be unique worldwide. By combining computer vision with substantive advances in sensor/AI interaction it overcomes the multiple challenges posed by process inspection and verification.

It has the capability to create a new standard which seamlessly links inspection and support of all fabrication stages, whether undertaken by humans or machines, with a complete data overview of the process to develop improvements.

Material Evolution – Queen’s University, Belfast: Smarter cleaner concrete innovation

At Material Evolution we make smart, sustainable concrete. We are bringing sustainable concrete to the global market and encouraging industrial decarbonisation.We are doing this by creating software that allows us to create sustainable mixes local to construction sites, anywhere on the globe. We deploy the insights and data from the technology industry into the construction industry, moving concrete into the 21st century. Our first market will be the permeable paving and non-structural roads market. This is an underdeveloped market in terms of sustainability, design, and innovation but the most relaxed market in terms of code and compliance.

By applying cutting-edge research and data insights, to produce concrete made from up to 90% industrial waste which reduces the concrete’s carbon consumption by up to 85%.

INFINECT – Heriot Watt University: Smart mobile antenna for broadband connectivity

INFINECT is a pre incorporation  spin-out from Heriot-Watt University, convening a multi-disciplinary team of engineers and academic experts who are actively developing high performance electrically steerable Flat Panel Antennas to enable fast and reliable end to end Satellite connectivity services on remote locations where poor GSM coverage exists or the cost of fix infrastructure is unviable.  This disruptive technology meets the growing data demands for safety critical systems across transport networks, in secure logistics and the emerging IoT robotics to offer industrial users an infinite connectivity with INFINECT.

ClearWater Sensors – National Oceanography Centre, Southampton: A new generation of water quality sensors

Lab-on-a-chip are miniature chemical sensors that can be submerged into a river, lake or ocean to accurately analyse and test water quality without the need for manual sample collection and laboratory tests. Currently the testing for chemicals, such as nitrates and phosphates, is expensive and it relies on the manual collection of individual water samples being sent to a laboratory for analysis. The commercialisation of this cost-effective sensor technology has potential worldwide for industrial and environmental applications.


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SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey