Incubator client SIME Dx Announces New Design for Lung Maturity Diagnostic Device

Imperial White City Incubator client, SIME Dx, a digital molecular medicine company focused on the development and commercialisation of point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, today announced a new device design that fully automates the company's novel neonatal Lung Maturity Test (LMT). LMT, the first application on the patented Digital Molecular Diagnostics (DMDx) platform, has been clinically proven to predict Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) with high accuracy. RDS is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in premature babies, and can only be prevented with early diagnosis and targeted treatment.

LMT addresses this urgent unmet clinical need in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where speed is critical and rapid screening has the potential to change the standard of care. To achieve real-time, lab-quality diagnostic results within minutes, SIME Dx developed an automated digital platform - DMDx. Powered by photonics and machine learning, DMDx measures multiple biomarkers simultaneously, in real-time, without the use of reagents or laboratory expertise. This transformative approach to diagnostics is ideal for POC and offers considerable advantages over central laboratory testing, such as fast and simple sample handling, early diagnosis and preventative care.

To develop the LMT device, SIME Dx partnered with Integrated Technologies Limited (ITL), an award winning and innovative medical device design house and manufacturing group based in England, the United States and China.

"Completion of the LMT device design is a major milestone for SIME Dx. For the first time we are able to demonstrate exactly how our technology translates into a viable point-of-care product." said Povl Verder, CEO of SIME Dx. "The focus is now on performance testing the device in a programme of clinical work in NICUs across Europe and China, as the company prepares for regulatory approval and early commercialisation."

This project was part funded by the EU Horizon2020 Phase II SME instrument, project number 666668.

About SIME Dx

SIME Dx is a digital molecular medicine company developing novel point-of-care diagnostics. Our reagent-free platform, DMDx, analyses a single fluid sample for multiple biomarkers in real-time. Delivering precise diagnostic results to clinicians in critical moments. Our technology converges photonics, machine learning and medical science to enable preventative medicine.

Developed by world-renowned scientists, the first DMDx application is a Lung Maturity Test (LMT) for premature infants used to help neonatologists diagnose Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) minutes after birth. SIME Dx is an EU Horizon2020 Phase II and Microsoft Ventures alumnus based in London (UK), Shanghai (China) and Holbaek (Denmark). Further information can be found at http://www.simedx.com .      

Contact:
SIME Dx
Povl Verder
CEO
media@simedx.com
+44(0)-20-7193-8041

Ooho! in trial with Just Eat

Skipping Rocks Lab, an Imperial spinout and Imperial White City Incubator company, has entered a trial with Just Eat, the online food ordering service, to trial the use of its Ooho! compostable packaging as condiment sachets in an effort to reduce the impact of plastic waste.

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The trial will last for six weeks, with the Ooho! sachets being used to distribute sauces from Just Eat's restaurant partner, The Fat Pizza, in Southend. The trial will test the feasibility of rolling out the seaweed sauce sachets more broadly across Jus Eat's network of 29,000 restaurants. Altogether, over 11 billion plastic condiment sachets are sold globally.

The sachets, which are filled with either ketchup or garlic sauce, are made from an alginate based material. They are opened just like normal sachets and can be thrown into the home compost, or otherwise the normal bin, to fully decompose. The collaboration comes as part of Just Eat's package of measures to reduce excess plastics included in UK takeaway deliveries.

Pierre Paslier, Co-Founder, Skipping Rocks Lab, said:

“As an innovative sustainable packaging startup, we are passionate about pioneering the use of natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed to create packaging with low environmental impact. 

“We’re thrilled to be working with Just Eat to trial the use of our novel sauce sachets. They are 100% plant based, naturally biodegradable and decompose within six weeks, making them a natural and sustainable alternative to single-use plastic packaging.”

Graham Corfield, UK Managing Director of Just Eat, said:

“At Just Eat, we’re committed to helping reduce the impact of the takeaway industry on plastic waste levels and we’ve already taken measures to drive more environmentally-friendly behaviour among our restaurant partners and customers. We’re delighted to now be taking our commitment a step further through our partnership with Skipping Rocks Lab. 

“The Ooho Sauce Sachets trial and the results from it, will form an important part of our ongoing work to develop innovative and credible alternatives to traditional single-use plastic packaging currently in use across the takeaway sector.”

Upcoming Imperial White City Incubator and Petit Miracles business event collaboration

The Imperial White City Incubator will be co-delivering two workshops with local charity Petit Miracles on Thursday 31st May 2018: Marketing and Social Media for Business and Face-to-Face Selling in a Digital World.

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Petit Miracles is a charitable social enterprise, teaching furniture restoration, interior design, and basic DIY to those needing help to get back into work. The organisation also has retail premises Petit Miracle Interiors in the West12 Shopping Centre. Petit Miracles also offers a Petit Miracle Hub within the same location, providing space for business incubation projects giving access to the retail market. Customers can expect a varied, one-of-a kind shopping experience where they can meet the designers, hear their stories and purchase bespoke designs and products.

The upcoming workshops will further support the Petit Miracle’s Hub programme Start Your Own Enterprise.

The Marketing and Social Media for Business workshop will focus on identifying and understanding new and existing customers as well as creating messages sustaining an interest in the business. Additionally, attendees will be given examples and guidance on selecting the right messages for social media and the role of different platforms as a marketing tool.

Face-to-Face Selling in a Digital World will demonstrate the ability to plan sales goals and objectives, understand the target audience, and identify customer behaviour. The event will also provide real life customer meeting scenarios to overcome objections leading to a successfully closed deal.

The events will be free for residents of Hammersmith and Fulham council, in line with the charity’s and Incubator’s goal to support local business ventures and giving them an opportunity to expand their knowledge.

You can find and register for these events on Eventbrite.

SpiraSense wins May 2018 edition of Innovators’ Programme

On 24th May 2018, the Imperial White City Incubator hosted the final pitching event for the Innovators’ Programme (May 2018 edition). The winning pitch was delivered by George Winfield from SpiraSense, which is developing paper-based sensors to monitor respiratory rates in hospital patients.

The company was awarded a £7,000 prize package, comprising a 12-month membership at the Incubator and £5,000 to support the business’s growth.

The evening was the culmination of the four-week mini-accelerator programme that saw the participation of eight exciting early-stage companies. The event showcased the participants’ business ideas and how far they had progressed since joining the Innovators’ Programme in the beginning of May.

 SpiraSense founder George Winfield accepting the award presented by judge Peter Ryan-Bell

SpiraSense founder George Winfield accepting the award presented by judge Peter Ryan-Bell

In addition to SpiraSense, the judges selected three runners up. These were:

  • 2nd place – Rightly, presented by Alexander Arbuthnot and Tom Andrews, who won a 12-month membership at the Incubator and £3,000 to support the business’s growth;
  • 3rd place – SP Tracked Safety Jackets, founded by Sasha Pinnock, who won a 6-month virtual membership at the Incubator;  
  • 4th place – ifPlus, formed by Tassilo Vogel, who won a 3-month virtual membership at the Incubator. 

The Programme was delivered at the Imperial White City Incubator, with further support by NatWest. NatWest is an active supporter of the Tech sector and helps businesses from university spinouts to FTSE100 get the 3B’s: get Backing, get Big and get Bought. The banking giant is involved in accelerator schemes across the UK and regularly works with innovation programmes to promote great ideas, partner on fintech, or explore large enterprise problems they can solve together.

White City Innovators Programme announces new cohort

 Nick Howe - Enterprise Manager, NatWest sharing his knowledge and expertise on 'Writing a successful business plan'

Nick Howe - Enterprise Manager, NatWest sharing his knowledge and expertise on 'Writing a successful business plan'

Third iteration of the White City Innovators Programme launched on 1st May 2018.

The Imperial White City Incubator has launched the Spring 2018 edition of the White City Innovators Programme, with the support of NatWest. The four-week programme gives entrepreneurs and start-up companies free access to work space, workshops and mentoring to help them grow and develop.

The Programme will ensure companies are ready to take the next steps from learning about the responsibilities of company directorship to what angel investors really look for. At the end of the four weeks participants will have the opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of judges, giving them insight into the process of showcasing their company for future accelerator programmes or potential investors. Entrepreneurs will also familiarise themselves with how to market and fund their company or product and build an effective team. The first four frontrunners will receive a cash prize and additional support worth up to £7,000.  

The successfully shortlisted startups taking part in the White City Innovators Programme are:

  • Doctor Be – interested in the microbiome, but more specifically on the potential benefits of probiotics for the wellbeing of the skin;
  • ifPlus – an online platform that aggregates the most helpful situational advice by categorising situations into different subcategories;
  • Indigo Works – offers a service that captures the wealth and breadth of professional advice from experienced and qualified professionals as they travel about on their daily business to and from appointments on the UK rail network;
  • LSN – a non-invasive approach to documenting endangered heritage, used to open new avenues of research and means of community outreach, education, and advocacy;
  • Rightly – a platform that puts the consumer in complete control over how their personal data is used. Rightly’s dashboard will provide consumers with an overview of where their data is and the ability to control their data at any organisation;
  • SP Tracked Safety Jackets – GPS-tracked safety jackets for primary school children and vulnerable road users who suffer from Dementia, Alzheimer's and other disabilities. The jackets can be tracked via an app that works on all mobile platforms and gives real-time updates;
  • SpiraSense – SpiraSense is developing inexpensive paper-based sensors to monitor breathing rates and employ artificial intelligence to warn clinicians of impending trends toward deterioration.
  • Survivormap – provides a victim identification platform that integrates workflows within the hospital and facilitates the crowd-sourcing of information to rapidly match victims with their loved ones.  

The Programme is delivered at the Imperial White City Incubator, with further support by NatWest. NatWest is an active supporter of the Tech sector and helps businesses from university spinouts to FTSE100 get the 3B’s – get Backing, get Big and get Bought. The banking giant is involved in accelerator schemes across the UK and regularly works with innovation programmes to promote great ideas, partner on fintech, or explore large enterprise problems they can solve together.

Ohoo! now used in Seflridges

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Ohoo!, the edible packaging developed by Imperial spinout Skipping Rocks Lab, is now being used at Selfridges. The biodegradable packaging's adoption is part of the department store's wider efforts to eliminate single-use plastic bottles from it's shelves, and reducing overall plastic pollution.

Skipping Rocks Lab is an innovative sustainable packaging start-up based in London. We are pioneering the use of natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed, to create packaging with low environmental impact. The company was supported initially by Imperial Create Lab and is now a tenant at the Imperial White City Incubator.

CustoMem Wins Transformational €1.4m Grant From Horizon 2020

Incubator tenant CustoMem has received a €1.4 million (£1.2m) grant from the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. The new funding will enable the company to bring its next generation granular media, optimised to capture and recycle specific challenging micropollutants found in industrial waste water, to market.

CustoMem, which was founded by Imperial College London graduates Henrik Hagemann and Gabi Santosa, firs joined the Incubator community when the company entered the Venture Catalyst Challenge in 2015. Since then, the team has rented laboratory space at the IWCI and applied its expertise in biomaterials and synthetic biology to create CustoMem Granular Media  (CGM). This novel bio-adsorbent can selectively capture micropollutants, like Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) from wastewater. CGM can be used with existing infrastructure, providing significant cost savings to customers compared with traditional adsorbent materials. 

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Having, demonstrated the capabilities of CGM in laboratory and client trials, the company now has plans for industrial pilots.

The SME Instrument is a translation and innovation grant within the EU's Horizon 2020 scientific framework programme. The SME Instrument aims to support small and medium enterprises with "groundbreaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes that are ready to conquer global markets". Grant recipients also receive coaching from industry leaders to help drive forward their business. 

Henrik Hagemann, co-founder and CEO of CustoMem, said:

“Our products’ superior performance and cost-effectiveness have been validated in our laboratory and initial trials with clients. This grant enables us to scale up to industrial pilot trials of greater than 100 m3/day flow rates.

“With under 3 percent of all applicants securing a grant, our success demonstrates confidence in our company, our product and the quality of CustoMem’s team. As part of the award, we will continue to receive mentoring from world renowned experts and critical business acceleration services including linking us to potential customers and investors.”

RebelBio and Imperial College London join forces to accelerate the next generation of life sciences startups

The Imperial White City Incubator, Imperial College London's premiere science innovation centre, welcomes RebelBio, the world's first life sciences accelerator, to host its fifth cohort from the Incubator. This new partnership will help RebelBio launch its latest batch of 10 exciting companies which began in January 2018.

RebelBio, an accelerator fully owned by SOSV - The Accelerator VC, is committed to the funding & development of startups looking to change the world through the use of  biology as a technology. The accelerator started operating in 2014 and has since invested in more than 40 companies. Previous graduates of the RebelBio accelerator include leaders in cellular agriculture Perfect Day Foods, PiliHexafly & MicrosynbiotiX.


RebelBio's latest batch of companies

AlgiKnit - Bio textiles for a sustainable future

Encelo Labs - Bringing genetic diversity into the the preclinical stage making personalised stem cell treatments more cost effective

VivoKey Technologies - Next generation blockchain enabled cryptobionics to improve security & the privacy of data

Chronomics - Epigenetic testing A.I platform to drive the future of personalised wellness

Corticare - A smart device for personalised, affordable, quick and accurate hormonal testing

Magellan Life Sciences - Using novel protein engineering & synthetic biology advances to address the global challenges of creating protein derived sweeteners

Visusnano - A novel medical device that will revolutionise cataract surgery & reduce surgical complications

Biomimetic Solutions - Developing scaffolds, bandages and nano-materials from 3D cell culture to produce organs and functional human tissue growth in vitro

Daekitech - Non invasive devices to diagnose and monitor chronic diseases, such as diabetes, with a disposable test strip that only uses saliva

Neurocreate - Neurofeedback and artificial intelligence, to augment human cognition and achieve 'Flow' neurological states for peak performance and stress alleviation


The ability to leverage Imperial's resources, including a close relationship to support companies, is a significant boost to SOSV’s already impressive global network of 600+ startups. In order to create advances in life sciences & healthcare, and solve global challenges, startups need to adapt and have access to cutting facilities & edge gene-editing tools. Support from ecosystem partners such as Clustermarket allow companies to get rapid access to expensive lab equipment & services at lower cost throughout the Golden Triangle also.
 

The RebelBio Team with each the CEO’s of each of the 10 companies of Cohort V hosted at the White City Incubator

Steven O Connell, Associate Director & Programme Manager at RebelBio, said:

“We are excited to launch our first international cohort in the UK with Imperial Innovations at the White City Incubator, the leading support for coworking labs in the biotech field. We look forward to working together with Imperial and these innovative startups to broaden the scope of our support” 

Imperial Incubator launches White City Innovators Programme

Imperial White City Incubator and Imperial Innovations today announced the launch of the White City Innovators programme. The White City Innovators programme is designed to give start up technology companies free space to work and access to experts. 

Speaking at the launch of the programme James Sheppard, Marketing & Community Manager stated, 'The programme gives companies both inside and outside of Imperial College London the chance to engage with the Imperial White City Incubator and benefit from the expertise of Imperial Innovations. We look forward to welcoming applications from across the tech sector.'

If you are interested in finding out more about the White City Innovators programme please see here

Imperial White City Incubator Announces first company to join the Incubator

The Imperial White City Incubator today announced the arrival of its first company to move into the new incubator, Polymateria Ltd. 

The first company to move into the Imperial White City Incubator, Polymateria, a company that has developed a plastic which is 100 per cent biodegradable into biomass, water and carbon dioxide. The resulting products are recyclable, customisable and cost-effective.

Lead Scientist at Polymateria, Dr Graham Chapman – who completed his PhD at Imperial – said: “Non-biodegradable plastics are an unchecked and growing source of pollution worldwide. Our new technology has been developed by a team of world-class chemists, material scientists and plastic specialists with support from Imperial and provides a completely biodegradable plastic.

“As we develop our product, the Incubator provides both the facilities we need and an exciting new community of researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs at the heart of the White City Campus.”

Incubator Manager, Graham Hewson said " We are delighted to have Polymateria join us at the Imperial White City Incubator. They are a truly innovative company and we look forward to working with them during their time in the incubator. "

 

Imperial launches its new hub for innovation at White City

The I-HUB, Imperial's new translation and innovation hub, launched this week at the White City Campus.

Providing more than 185,000 square foot of new laboratory, incubator, accelerator and office space, the facility will enable the co-location of start-ups, entrepreneurs, and major corporations alongside Imperial’s academic community.

A core aim of the 13-storey building will be to support the commercialisation and translation of research and innovation for the benefit of society.

Welcoming representatives from industry, partners and Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council to Wednesday’s launch, Imperial’s Vice President (Innovation), Professor David Gann, said:

“We are delighted to be opening this new landmark hub for innovation, incubation and collaboration, reaffirming London’s position at the forefront in applying leading-edge science.  Businesses in the I-HUB will be focused on taking fantastic research ideas out into the market where they can have a direct positive impact for society.  This is another chapter in Imperial College’s mission to apply the results of our world-class work in science, engineering, medicine and business, creating economic growth, high-value jobs and benefits for society.”

The development of the I-HUB, and the interconnected Molecular Sciences Research Hub, was supported by the award of £35 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) through the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund. 

The I-HUB is operated by Imperial College ThinkSpace, which provides high quality laboratory and office workspaces to companies at every stage of their growth, co-locating them with Imperial College London.

Imperial College ThinkSpace Chief Executive, Dr Eulian Roberts, said: “The opening of the I-HUB is a significant milestone in the development of the White City Campus.  It will help businesses, both new and established, to reach new heights as they benefit from co-location with Imperial College London’s leading academics and the wider London research community.”

The building is the second to open at Imperial’s White City Campus - a research and innovation centre that is in its initial stages of development. At the 25-acre site, researchers, businesses and higher education partners will co-locate to create value from ideas on a global scale.

Working as a long-term partner and neighbour in the local community is core to Imperial’s vision for the Campus. Speaking at yesterday’s launch, the leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Borough Council, Stephen Cowan, said: “The I-HUB is a hugely exciting addition to White City, providing a massive boost for business and scientific research. It is also testament to the Council’s commitment to partner with the best and brightest institutions in the world, making Hammersmith & Fulham a fantastic place to learn, work, create and invest.”

Cllr Cowan added:  “It will pitch the brightest Imperial College London brains alongside cutting-edge businesses, support start-ups and help foster Hammersmith & Fulham as London’s hub for innovation. Imperial College London is a great partner for us to have in White City. It performs an important role in supporting the local community and getting them excited about what’s going on in their neighbourhood.”

The launch was followed by a two day Global Challenge Showcase at the I-HUB, with guests from industry and partner organisations invited to find out more about Imperial research and the new facility.

Imperial College Incubator opens in I-HUB

Imperial College ThinkSpace has opened an 18,000 sq ft technology incubator at Imperial College London’s White City Campus, providing a new home for early-stage research and technology based companies.

The new Imperial White City Incubator provides facilities for laboratory-based start-ups and spinout companies looking to commercialise their research into innovative products and services. These new ventures will operate from a mix of fully-fitted laboratory and office spaces, alongside meeting rooms and conference facilities.

The Incubator opened in December 2016 at Imperial’s recently completed Translation & Innovation Hub, the I-HUB. The Incubator is a key tenant within the I-HUB, which provides a total of 187,000 sq ft (17,373 sq m) of space for corporate partners, start-ups, spin-out companies and entrepreneurs at every stage of their development and growth. The facility is managed by Imperial College ThinkSpace, which specialises in the co-location of knowledge-intensive organisations with Imperial research groups. 

The I-HUB is the first co-location building to open at the College’s new White City Campus. 
Still in development, the 23-acre site will be similar in scale and ambition to Imperial’s South Kensington Campus and will support the College’s mission to achieve enduring excellence in research and education in science, engineering, medicine and business for the benefit of society. The first company to move into the Imperial White City Incubator is Polymateria, a company that has developed a plastic which is 100 per cent biodegradable into biomass, water and carbon dioxide. The resulting products are recyclable, customisable and cost-effective.

Lead Scientist at Polymateria, Dr Graham Chapman – who completed his PhD at Imperial – said: “Non-biodegradable plastics are an unchecked and growing source of pollution worldwide. Our new technology has been developed by a team of world-class chemists, material scientists and plastic specialists with support from Imperial and provides a completely biodegradable plastic.

“As we develop our product, the Incubator provides both the facilities we need and an exciting new community of researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs at the heart of the White City Campus.”

The Incubator is managed by Imperial White City Incubator Limited. Imperial Innovations Group plc has been selected to act as service provider following a competitive tendering process and will handle day-to-day operations at the Incubator. Since 2006, Imperial Innovations has operated the successful Imperial Incubator at South Kensington, which has supported more than 60 science and technology-focused spinouts and start-up companies that between them have raised over $1 billion. Imperial Innovations is Imperial’s technology transfer partner and combines the activities of technology transfer, intellectual property licensing and protection, company incubation and investment.

Dr Simon Hepworth, Director of Enterprise, Imperial College London and chairman of Imperial White City Incubator Limited, said: “Imperial’s start-up and spinout networks are growing and becoming more sophisticated. This new agreement with Imperial Innovations gives us the depth and breadth of business and technical help that will enable many more firms to join the community in purpose-built facilities in White City. We have already had a great deal of interest from companies and I am delighted to welcome Polymateria as our first licensee.”

Tony Hickson, Managing Director of the Technology Transfer team and an Executive Director on the board of Imperial Innovations Group PLC, said: “The new facilities at the I-HUB are an exciting opportunity to build on the tremendous success of the Imperial Incubator at South Kensington.”

Dr Eulian Roberts, Chief Executive of Imperial College ThinkSpace, said: “Establishing the incubator facilities in the I-HUB is more than just about providing physical space. The Incubator offers a great platform for start-up businesses that need laboratory infrastructure to enable them to commercialise their products and services. This facility provides the necessary infrastructure and benefits from a wide range of on-campus support, world class research and healthcare innovation.”