Competition judges, partners and sponsors

Applications are open until 15 April

Apply now

Who are they?

Our interdisciplinary judging panel is made up of of scientists, industry specialists, entrepreneurs and investors who have experience in launching chemistry ideas to market, building businesses, and innovating technologies. 

They are best placed to select the 24 finalists and subsequently the 4 winners in each of the competition categories.

Find out more about our judging panel, partners, and sponsors below.
 

Our judges

Jo Slota-Newson, Venture Capital Investor

Enabling Technologies

Background

Jo Slota-Newson is a venture capital investor supporting early stage and growth ventures across deep technology sectors. Jo has worked in technology commercialisation for 17 years, in technical, commercial and investment roles. She has experience working with high growth technology businesses in the advanced materials, electronics, photonics, cleantech, industrial engineering, medical technology, and software sectors.
  
Jo started her career as a research scientist in nanotechnology and applied electronic materials at the University of Cambridge, and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, where she also lectured in biomedical engineering and renewable energy technologies. She has also served as CTO for an early stage photovoltaics company, and director of operations for an online equity investment platform focussed on the Life Sciences and Biotech sectors.
 
Jo holds an MA, MSci and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge, and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

 
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''As well as getting to see a broad mix of technologies, in judging the Emerging Technologies Competition we see a wide range of stages of innovations - from those still in the lab to more commercially developed ventures. It’s exciting to think about the potential impact of these innovations, and see them benefit from the unique platform the competition gives them.''
 
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Kevin Matthews, Scott Bader

Enabling Technologies

Background

Kevin is Group CEO of Scott Bader Company Ltd, a speciality polymers business, and a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Vectura plc, a listed specialist contract development business. Kevin has more than 25 years’ experience in senior management roles in the chemical, technology, and pharmaceutical sectors.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Kevin has a strong interest in commercialising technology. He has previously held CEO roles at technology companies including Itaconix plc, an AIM listed biobased polymers business, Isogenica, an antibody drug discovery company and Oxonica plc, an advanced materials business.

Previously, Kevin served as a Non-Executive Director and Remuneration Committee chair of Low & Bonar plc, a FTSE listed performance materials business and Elementis plc, a FTSE 250 specialty chemicals business. He also served as a Non-Executive Director of Cellectricon AB, a Swedish biotechnology company dedicated to drug discovery and research in the areas of chronic pain and neurodegenerative disease.

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''This competition provides the opportunity for great entrepreneurs to showcase exciting, innovative, technologies. As a judge, I see my role as providing helpful feedback on how to improve the prospect of successfully commercialising an idea that provides a benefit to society.''
 
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Ellen Norman

Enabling Technologies

Background

Ellen is the Lead for Safety and Regulatory Service at Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL).  As a service provider RSSL needs to be agile and adaptive to the market needs ensuring the capabilities match client expectation on quality and cost. She also coordinates major investigative projects covering a wide variety of issues including contamination, adulteration, developing new analytical techniques and troubleshooting product failures.

She originally joined RSSL in 2007, having previously worked for 10 years at Brewing Research International (now part of Campden BRI). Throughout her career she has had a variety of responsibilities including running training courses, research, surveillance and government funded projects. She has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham.

 
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''I have been involved with the emerging technologies competition mainly through judging for more than five years now. It is a fantastic way for people in established industries to connect with innovators and entrepreneurs in the chemical sciences, perhaps an area where innovation is sometimes hard to bring to a wider market. 

The competition enables us to make lasting connections, seeing the passion that people have for their amazing ideas and being able to guide and support the growth of those businesses is immensely rewarding. The emerging technologies that we see are addressing some of our key challenges in society and it makes you feel proud to be part of such an amazing community''.

 
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Steve Mcbride, Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry

Enabling Technologies

Background

Steve is the Head of Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). A materials scientist by training his career spans aerospace, automotive and chemicals sectors, working in global supply chains to commercialise highly engineered materials and products.

Applying his industrial experience to knowledge transfer, he leads the KCMC to drive collaboration across academia, industry and the wider innovation network, supporting the research and innovation needs of companies to establish new product and processes. 

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“It’s a pleasure to be involved in the RSC’s Emerging Technologies Competition and be able to see the portfolio of fantastic ideas and technologies being developed here in the UK. Translating great science and discovery into marketable product is complex and this competition gives a unique platform for the most promising chemistry-led technologies to make a difference in everyday lives and to help tackle societal challenges.”
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Steve Dobson, Nexeon Ltd 

Enabling Technologies

Background

Steve is a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. After a 40-year career in the chemical industry, Steve retired from full-time work last year and returned to the UK, having lived the previous 31 years in Germany, Singapore, Belgium, South Korea and Taiwan.

For the last ten years, Steve was Head of the Electronic Chemicals division of Solvay SA, a business which grew more than tenfold under his leadership to around 250M USD turnover, with 14 operating plants all over the world and in which commercializing new technologies and materials for the semiconductor, display, battery and PV industries played a key role, including working with a number of start-ups and spin-out companies.

Steve holds various degrees and postgraduate diplomas from the University of Nottingham, Manchester Metropolitan University, MIT Sloan Business School, INSEAD and FT Pearson and presently serves in a number of part-time roles including as a Non-Executive Director in Nexeon Ltd, a Non-Executive Director in Tullis Russell Group Ltd, a member of the Governance Board in the IChemE and a Governor and Council member at the University of Chester.

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''Far from becoming disheartened or intimidated by many of the problems facing our society there are plenty of young scientists and engineers who are zeroing in on a problem of concern to them, coming up with innovative technology based solutions and then taking steps to roll them out to the market.

As a Judge on the annual RSC Emerging Technologies Competition it is motivating and inspiring to be presented with many of these projects and if we can also help to challenge here or there or raise one or two pertinent questions based on some decades of real world experience then so much the better.  The most difficult aspect is picking a winner in each category when really every project which makes it to the final is already a "winner".

Hats off to the Royal Society of Chemistry for initiating and continuing this wonderful competition for more than a decade already in which time many of the finalists have already gone on to find success and make a real difference.''
 
 
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Jeremy Compton, Givaudan

Enabling Technologies

Background

Jeremy Compton is the Global Head of Science and Technology - Fragrances at Givaudan. With over 35 years experience in the Fragrance and Flavours industry since graduating in Chemistry he has had a diverse global career with significant management positions in commercial, development and research functions and has held senior management positions in the Fragrances, Flavours and the Fragrance Ingredients businesses.
 
He is passionate about the positive impact Fragrance can have on consumers' lives and how research into new materials, formulations, methods and forms of delivery can make this true.
 
In addition to the UK he has lived and worked in Brazil, Indonesia, France, the United States and Singapore and is now based in Kemptthal, Switzerland.

 


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''Whenever I bump into science based start-ups in the UK who are looking to take the next step or added exposure for their innovation I often suggest they think about the RSC Emerging Technologies competition as a great way to take that next step.

Over the last 3 years judging the Enabling Technologies category we have seen some fantastic ideas, science and great ways igneous teams have found to stretch their discoveries into very relevant business ideas. And each year the participants seem to be even more inventive than the previous one - showing there is no shortage of great innovation that involves good Science.''
 
 
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Jessica Jones, Cargill

Energy

Background

Jess is the Applications Team Leader for the Cargill Bioindustrial Energy Technologies team. The UK Energy Technologies application team focusses on delivering tailor-made solutions to complex customer problems within the automotive and industrial lubricants sector.

Jess started her industrial career at Croda as a research scientist within the synthesis team, subsequently working in several roles across the UK synthesis group she joined the Energy Technologies team in 2020. Following the acquisition of Croda’s Performance Technologies business she joined Cargill in July 2022 within the Bioindustrial group. Jess holds an MCHEM from the University of Liverpool and PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Nottingham.

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“The RSC's Emerging Technologies Competition is a great way for industrial scientists to keep up to date with the latest developments in both academic and SMEs. I really enjoy judging the competition. Its great to connect with peers in the industry on the panel as well as meeting all the contestants. The final at Burlington House brings a great sense of occasion and is a fitting location to reflect the hard work put in by the entrants.”
 
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Edwin Raj, Johnson Matthey

Energy

Background

Edwin Raj is a Senior Programme Manager in Johnson Matthey’s Catalyst Technologies Transformation Office where he manages FT-CANS/HyCOgen sustainable solutions programme. Prior to moving to Transformation Office, Edwin was a Principal Scientist at Johnson Matthey Technology Centre at Sonning Common where he led several R&D NPI projects in automotive conductive pastes and black pigments as well as leading the Flame Spray Pyrolysis facility.

Edwin has a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Madras and carried out postdoctoral research at Imperial College London and University of St Andrews. Edwin is a Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, Charted Chemist and APM PMQ certified project manager.

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''The RSC's Emerging Technologies Competition brings together inventors and innovators from various fields, showcasing groundbreaking ideas and products that are poised to shape our future. As a judge, I enjoy most is witnessing the sheer passion of competition participants and their relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries and revolutionizing the way we live, work, and interact with the world. The Emerging Technologies Competition encapsulates the true spirit of technological advancement.''
 
 
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Rory Back, NSG

Energy

Background

Rory Back is the NSG Group’s R&D Incubator Technical Manager. The Incubator is a dedicated R&D resource for building partnerships with start-ups, global companies, and academic institutions. Its purpose is to enable early-stage innovation to find new methods and products for glass technology, relating to Architecture, Automotive, and Solar Power applications.

He joined NSG in 2015 after studying Chemistry at Durham University. He began as a Technologist in the Thin Film Technology department, developing nanocoatings for advanced optical and surface-functional properties.
Rory moved to his role in the Incubator in 2018, working on innovation, collaborations, and product development. He is the author of multiple patents in thin-film coatings and glass technology.

In 2021, an advanced multifunctional glass roadside barrier concept developed by Rory won in the Environment Category of Highways UK’s Civils and Materials Innovation Awards. Rory is a Chartered Chemist and a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, including the committees of the Surface Coatings Interest Group and the Liverpool Local Section. He is a regular speaker at surface science and glass conferences, including Glass Performance Days, Advanced Building Skins, Surfex, and RSC Formulating Functional Thin Films and Coatings.

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''It has been a privilege to be a part of the judging panel for the Emerging Technologies Competition since 2022. The technologies and businesses generated by the applicants and finalists showcases the potential of chemistry in the UK. It is a must-attend event for those seeking out the latest and most innovative chemistry/materials-based start-ups. Additionally, it has been an excellent networking opportunity for meeting academics, industrialists, and investors engaged in chemical science technologies.''
 
 
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Geetha Srinivasan, PETRONAS

Energy

Background

Dr. Geetha Srinivasan as an applied chemist with 23 years of research experience is passionate about sustainable chemistry, currently with PETRONAS as a Principal Scientist in R&D Chemistry. Richly experienced in leading and directing research and development at the interface between academia and industry with a strong innovation record of technologies.
 
Recipient of several awards including the outstanding women in science award from L’Oreal-UNESCO-Royal Society in 2012 for her work on ionic liquids in biomedical applications.
 
This was followed by three Institute of Chemical Engineering – IChemE awards and Don Nicklin Medal in 2013 as a key researcher in an environmental mitigation project dealing with toxic heavy metal removal from petrochemical streams, showcased by RSC as one of the 175 faces of Chemistry, recipient of Rising Star in Science and Engineering Category Award UK in 2018. Recently, recipient of Industry Project Award and highly commended for Energy Award from IChemE 2024, as key technical personnel of the Team developing PETRONAS PEM hydrogen technology.
 
Professional recognition includes Elected Member Appointment in the Royal Society of Chemistry Industry and Technology Division in 2020, International Editorial Member for ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, and Associate Editor in Green Chemistry Reviews and Letters. Geetha is a Chartered Chemist (CChem), Chartered Scientist (CSci), Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). 

She has mentored and supervised numerous doctorates at different stages of their careers and passionate about talent development.

Besides chemistry, Geetha is a diversity and inclusivity champion.

 
''The Royal Society of Chemistry's Emerging Technologies Competition energies me every year to look forward to see the efforts on frontier chemistries maturing into working technologies. In my opinion there isn’t much ground-breaking science the world needs but requires desperately innovative approaches to sustain the planet. Kudos to the RSC to champion those technology innovations through this award process to the next level!''
 
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Mark Selby, Ceres Power

Energy

Background

Dr. Selby is Chief Innovation Officer at Ceres where he is looking for the next generation of clean technology leaders to build partnerships that accelerate their route-to-market, improving their probability of success and lowering the barriers to commercialisation.

Mark's goal is to build collaborations with progressive companies to solve hard science and engineering problems to get world-changing science out of the lab and into their products changing the world. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

 
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Aldo Guiducci, bp

Energy

Background

Aldo is the head of analytical chemistry in bp’s Applied Sciences. The teams he leads are responsible for safely generating data using proprietary analytical capability, providing insights to their customers to enable better decision-making for the business. He has held a number of previous roles within technology, including helping formulate the materials science strategy for the company, and managing the EPSRC ICASE allocation process within bp. He has a strong track record of developing new technologies and is a past winner of the bp-Tallow Chandlers’ Award for Excellence in the Innovation and Application of Technology.

Aldo has 20 years’ experience of working in chemical sciences, including chemical R&D (Shell International Chemicals B.V), consultancy work in mass spectrometry and forensic science (M-Scan Ltd.) and a broad portfolio of technology activity within bp.

He holds a degree and doctorate in chemistry from the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. A Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist, Aldo is also chair of the RSC Admissions Committee, a member of the Professional Standards Board, and former treasurer of the Formulation Science and Technology Interest Group.

 

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''The RSC’s Emerging Technologies Competition showcases some of the most novel, innovative and creative ideas in the chemical sciences that can have real impact on the technological challenges of our time. It is inspiring to see the breadth of concepts within each of the categories, and as a judge in the Energy category I am excited to understand more of the thinking behind the ideas, and to see the application of them to the real world.''
 
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Susan Brench, Akemi Associates

Environment

Background

Since founding Akemi Associates in 2018 Susan has successfully established a portfolio of interests. Building on the foundations of over 30 years' experience in the manufacturing sector; commercial management, stakeholder engagement, marketing and international business development. Throughout her career Susan has worked with clients across the globe including Europe, the USA, and Japan. Her expertise is derived primarily from the chemical manufacturing sector and she has also worked for 2 major UK financial institutions.

A Physical Natural Sciences – Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Cambridge, Susan passionately believes in the importance of innovation in science & engineering, as applied to the manufacturing sector, for building a more sustainable society.
Mentoring of start-up businesses is a particular focus. In 2019 Susan took on the challenge of driving the former University of York green chemistry spin out, Starbons Ltd, towards commercial success by taking on the role of CEO. She is also on the Advisory Board of Women in Chemicals and seeks to promote diversity and visibility to attract women and girls into STEM careers.

 
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Andrew Muir, UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund

Environment 

Background

Andrew is Investment Director for the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (a £102M early-stage venture capital fund building and growing technology companies stemming from the UK’s research base) and the Stephenson Fund at specialist venture capital firm Future Planet Capital. Our funds hold investments in some of the UK’s most innovative companies, in areas as diverse as fusion energy, ocean carbon capture, cancer therapy, biostimulants for improved crop yields, “green” chemicals and airport security.
 
Andrew has a degree and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Oxford. After an initial research career at ICI and Zeneca he went on to roles in business development at the medical device company Biocompatibles and to be Vice President of Technology for Sterilox Technologies. Andrew started his career in venture capital with the Invention and Innovation seed capital fund at NESTA.

 
 
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“It is a privilege to be a judge on the Emerging Technologies Competition, with an opportunity to meet such a diverse range of ambitious, talented founders and to see first-hand the potential for chemistry to be a force for good at the heart of solutions to the grand challenges we face today.” 
 
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Imran Afzal, Worth the Squeeze

Environment

Background

Imran is a free-lance consultant and board level advisor to start-up founders and consumer packaged goods companies in the foods and beverages space.  As Founder of Worth The Squeeze, he helps companies to accelerate their growth and to create value now.

He has held product category roles at Tesco and at Sainsbury’s, where he helped managed a diverse range of products worth in excess of £200 million annually. He was also at ASDA as their Head of Quality, delivering the largest private label consumer testing program in UK history. He then joined the Board of a start-up creating gluten and dairy free products for retail and foodservice customers, where he led the creation of a factory, and set the R&D agenda resulting in a range of award-winning products. And finally, at PepsiCo he led open innovation programs across Europe working with an array of stakeholders.  Imran is a passionate advocate for the role of start-ups as we transition to a net zero economy.  

 
 
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''Witnessing innovation bloom, igniting a ripple of impact, and leaving the ordinary behind - judging start-ups at the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Emerging Technologies Competition has given me a front-row seat to help shape the world, one audacious pitch at a time.''
 
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Tony Gough

Environment

Background

Tony Gough is Director of Innovation for Sustainability at Innospec and is responsible for identifying routes for making Innospec’s Performance Chemicals portfolio of products free of virgin fossil-derived materials and making their manufacturing processes more efficient to increase their sustainability profiles.
 
Tony has a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry and has worked in R&D/technical roles for over 35 years, mainly within the personal-care product industry, but also spent several years in homecare and industrial products areas. Prior to joining Innospec, Tony held management/senior-management roles at Unilever, Alberto-Culver, COSi, Surfachem and ISP/Ashland; has numerous patents and publications, and has a track record of innovation and successful major product launches. He is also Immediate Past President of the International Federation of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC), was President of CESIO  from 2021 to 2023 and is a member of CESIO’s Executive Committee. He is also a past President of the UK and Ireland’s Society of Cosmetic Scientists (SCS) and remains active in the SCS as a member of its International Journal of Cosmetic Science (IJCS) committee and is on the IJCS editorial board.

 
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''The Emerging Technologies Competition provides a wonderful chance for entrepreneurs to make their chemistry-led innovations known to the world and get important help they need on their pathway to getting their innovations into the market place. This will be my third time as a judge for this excellent competition and it is a real pleasure, an honour and great education experience for me to be involved in this prestigious event. The applications I see are always of a very high quality and cover a fascinating and diverse array of chemistry-related technologies making it a challenging but enjoyable experience to ultimately decide upon the winning applicant with my fellow judges on the judging panel.''
 
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Julie Dimakou, PA Consulting Group

 
Environment

Background

Julie is a Management Consultant Chemist at PA Consulting’s Global Innovation Centre in Cambridge. Bringing 29 years’ experience in manufacturing, Physics, Chemistry and innovation in the Food and Drinks sector, she is responsible for leading innovation programmes through Process Design and inventing novel packaging barrier films, as well as advising start-ups and multinational corporations on Business Case building, sustainability strategies and Intellectual Property.
 
Julie has invented and patented novel products and processes, as well as novel home-compostable packaging films. She started her career with rheology, cereal science, meat and fat replacers. She subsequently worked for Foss, creating in-line analytical chemistry solutions enabling businesses to run intelligent data-driven high yield processes before moving to a start-up as a CEO. During her career she has worked with dairy, bakery products, oils, wine, juice, beer, coffee and functional ingredients.

 
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''I feel honoured to be a judge in a competition that offers a unique platform for exposure, insight exchange, networking and funding of the best start-ups in our scientific community. I thoroughly enjoy discussing the scientific breakthroughs, the shaping of the business cases and identifying areas for improvement together with other industry experts.’'
 
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Jason Harcup, Unilever

Environment 

Background

Jason is Unilever’s Global Vice President for Skin Care Research & Development, responsible for the end-to-end R&D delivery from innovation to market across several billion Euros of turnover. Additionally, he is Global Vice President for the Prestige Division, New Business Creation Unit and the Consumer Technical Insights Group.
He leads a team of several hundred scientists located in laboratories across the world. In his 2 decades with Unilever, he has been site leader for the Shanghai R&D facility and headed Unilever’s Research organization in China, and has led Unilever’s R&D Campus in the United States.

The teams Jason has led have delivered a string of technologies totalling several hundred million Euros of turnover in global Beauty & Personal Care brands. He has been on the Faculty of Health and Beauty America, a Beauty Disruptor with the CEW network and a co-convenor of the Unilever Asian Dermatological Forum. He is a Fellow of both The Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Prior to Unilever, Jason graduated from Cambridge University, worked as a scientist for the UK Ministry of Defense, and has been an adjunct Professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is the author of various publications, holds several patents, and has delivered numerous invited talks as an industry leader.

Quote from judge about ETC

 
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Tilly Bingham, GIO Therapeutics

Health

Background

Tilly Bingham is a drug discoverer with >20 years’ experience of working in the pharmaceutical R&D sector (Organon, Schering-Plough, MSD, Redx Pharma, Concept Life Sciences) and is currently CSO/COO at GIO Therapeutics and Executive in Residence at Cumulus Oncology. 

Tilly’s early career was spent working as a medicinal chemist in CNS therapeutic areas where her research focussed on design strategies for getting small molecule therapeutics across the blood brain barrier for targets including the GPCRs OX2R, V1R and CGRP. Then, as Head of Research and Operations at Redx Pharma she oversaw the discovery and development of oncology and fibrosis clinical candidates, including the clinical candidate porcupine inhibitors RXC004 (oncology), RXC006 (fibrosis,/AZD5055), Pan RAF inhibitor (JZP815) and FDA approved BTK inhibitor (Pirtobrutinib /Jaypirca®). As CSO/COO at GIO Therapeutics Tilly is bringing to bear her proven ability to craft strategic roadmaps and metamorphose fresh ideas into impactful new products

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''What I love about this competition is that I get to see the way that innovative chemistry is being applied in other industries not just my own. The creative ways people find to apply chemistry solutions to problems in healthcare and beyond never ceases to impress me and it is a great forum to network with likeminded entrepreneurs.''
 
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Simon Turner, Alacrita

Health

Background

Simon has over the past three decades focused on the development and commercialisation of life science technologies in early-stage companies, as an entrepreneur, executive, venture capital investor and advisor. 

After an early career as a bench chemist at Eli Lilly and ICI Agrochemicals and 10 years as a strategic management consultant to blue chip life science companies, he became the first CEO of University of Cambridge spin-out Biotica Technology, an early-stage venture-capital backed drug-discovery company based on microbial genetic engineering, which he led for five years. 

He has since been involved as an investor and advisor to research-based life science companies and IP owners in two investment firms and more recently as Managing Partner of boutique biopharma management consultancy Alacrita. In the latter capacity, he has been involved in identifying and advancing several bioscience spin-out opportunities. He was also a Non-Executive Director at Green Biologics Ltd, a biobutanol company, and is a founder director of Foothold America, a business which assists UK companies to establish a presence in the USA. 

Simon has an MA in Natural Sciences and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 
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Victoria Steadman, Sai Life Sciences

Health

Background

Dr. Vicky Steadman is Vice President Business Development and Integrated Partnerships at Sai Life Sciences. A medicinal chemist by background, Vicky has nearly 20 years industry experience in Big Pharma and within CROs. She is named on over 25 peer reviewed publications and patents including a Nature paper, and has worked in the therapeutic areas of anti-virals, antibiotics and neuroscience.

Vicky has a BSc in chemistry from Imperial College and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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''The diversity of applications, teamwork and talent on display across the ‘Health category’ innovation landscape gave the judges a difficult choice. I enjoyed hearing all the different scientific and commercial plans and look forward to judging again in 2024.''
 
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Nima Roohpour, Reckitt Benckiser

Health

Background

Nima Roohpour is the Head of the Polymer and Formulation Science Platform at Reckitt, he is responsible for the finding and evaluation of inventions and new technologies/products and identifying innovation partners for Reckitt health and nutrition businesses. Passionate about scientific breakthroughs, Nima has worked with many health-tech start-ups negotiating partnerships and commercialisation, he is continually looking for the next big ideas, identifying cross-category platforms that can bring significant growth for Reckitt.

During his career Nima developed expertise in product research and development through developing new technologies, evaluating external opportunities, innovating and supporting new product claims together with managing R&D teams and projects including all stages of the product lifecycle from exploration to launch.

Nima joined Reckitt in 2019 from GSK consumer healthcare where he was a Principal Scientist in consumer health R&D with more than 12 years of experience in innovation and new product development. Nima is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry with Ph.D. in Biomaterials from the Queen Mary University of London.

 
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Sarah Davidson

Health

Background

Currently working as Technology Development Lead at Croda, Sarah has a diverse role assisting Croda’s research and technology teams across Chemistry, Biotechnology and open innovation. In this role, her goal is to champion new sustainable technologies, seeing them progress from ideation through to research and development and to scale up. Building on her previous experience working in Croda’s Group Sustainability team, Sarah brings life cycle thinking to each project, ensuring it has sustainability embedded from start to finish. Her previous work has included developing a sustainability checklist for use during research and development, and tools to predict the carbon footprint of a new product before manufacture. 

Prior to this, while on Croda’s highly sought after Graduate Development programme Sarah had placements within Research and Development in Croda’s product applications and chemical synthesis teams. This played to her educational background, whereby she attained a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2018.

Alongside her day job, Sarah also plays an active role advocating within and for the sustainable future of the chemical industry. This includes her current role within the Society for Chemical Industry’s committee on Sustainable Materials for Consumer Products and previously as the Chemical Industry Association’s Young Ambassador. 

 
 
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William Goundry, AstraZeneca

Health

Background

William Goundry is a Principal Scientist in Early Chemical Development at AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield Campus. Following his DPhil in organic synthesis at Oxford University and Post Doc at Indiana University Will joined AZ at Macclesfield in 2006. He has developed a strong track record in process design and scale up working from grams to tonnes, including Biocatalysis and flow chemistry.

Will is currently AstraZeneca’s scientific lead for the early phase scale-up of New Modalities, including antibody drug conjugates (ADC), peptides, and nucleotide based drugs. In this role he is developing the commercial routes and processes for ADC payloads, whilst directing the manufacture of clinical trial material.

He has a strong innovation track record including winning an internal AstraZeneca technology competition through delivering a pitch. He is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Manchester in the Division of Pharmacy, and an industrial lead for both the Centre for Biocatalytic Manufacture of New Modalities and the Centre for Doctoral training (CDT) in integrated catalysis. William is both a Chartered Chemist (CChem) and a Fellow (FRSC) of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 
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Our partners

Future Planet Capital

Environment

Background


Future Planet Capital is an impact-led venture capital firm built to back growth companies from the world’s top universities and research ecosystems. Founded in Britain, with global outlook and reach, we manage and advise on over $400M for public and private investors.  With 140 portfolio companies across geographies and stages our mission is to invest in high-growth companies solving global challenges. Mapped against the UN Sustainable Development Goals, these include climate change, education, health, security, and sustainable growth.

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Unilever

Background

On any given day, 2.5 billion people use Unilever products to feel good, look good and get more out of life – giving a unique opportunity to build a brighter future. We want our business to grow but we recognise that growth at the expense of people or the environment is both unacceptable and commercially unsustainable. Sustainable growth is the only acceptable model for our business. Our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) is central to our business model. It sets out how we are growing our business, whilst reducing our environmental footprint and increasing our positive social impact.

We believe that innovation will solve some of the greatest challenges facing our world. We are interested in transformational technologies that will help reduce the environmental impact of our products or improve health and well-being for our consumers. In particular we are interested in technologies that will help us to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of our products, with a real focus on sustainability, and in technologies that will help people to clean themselves and their homes in environments where there is a lack of water, or poor water quality.

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Scott Bader

Background

Scott Bader is a global chemical company. Established in 1921, it has a century of expertise in manufacturing Adhesives, Resins, Gelcoats and Functional Polymers for a variety of markets around the world. Scott Bader now employs 700 people across 6 manufacturing sites and 15 offices worldwide.

Scott Bader is committed to expanding its global reach, with recent ventures including North America, India, Japan, and Australia, while continuing to build on its reputation for innovation, outstanding quality and technical expertise.

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bp

Background

bp’s purpose is to reimagine energy for people and our planet. We have set out an ambition ‎to be a ‎net zero company by 2050 or sooner, to help the world get to net zero and have a ‎strategy for ‎delivering on that ambition.

We aim to dramatically reduce carbon in our operations and in our production, and grow new low carbon businesses, products, and services. We want to be an energy company with purpose; one that is trusted by society, valued by shareholders, and motivating for everyone who works at bp.

We believe we have the experience and expertise, the relationships and the reach, the skill and the will, to do this.

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AstraZeneca

Background

AstraZeneca is a global pharmaceutical company with a major UK presence. Our purpose is to push the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines. The best way we can help patients is to be science-led and share this passion with the scientific, healthcare and business communities of the UK.

At AstraZeneca, health is our business and our contribution to society. How we operate supports sustainable ecosystems for healthcare that benefit people and our planet through science-based innovation. Our aspiration is for the future to be healthy and for us to be an active participant in a healthy society, planet, and business. Our pioneering medicines touch the lives of millions of people, so it is a business imperative that we are partners and advocates for solutions to global health. At the heart of our sustainability approach is access to healthcare and its connection to environmental protection and ethics and transparency

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Ceres

Background

Ceres is a world-leading developer of electrochemical technologies: fuel cells for power generation and electrolysis for the creation of green hydrogen and energy storage. Our asset-light, licensing model has seen us establish partnerships with some of the world's largest engineering and technology companies, such as Bosch in Germany, Doosan in Korea and Weichai in China, to develop systems and products that address climate change for power generation, transportation, industry, data centres and everyday living.

Ceres is proud to be a UK technology company with 500 passionate scientists and engineers partnering with global giants of industry to deliver a net zero future.  As a licensing business it is imperative that we continue to drive innovation, both through investment in our core technology and through partnering in new areas. We aim to leverage our experience in electrochemistry, device engineering and commercialisation of technology to deliver clean energy for a cleaner world.

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NSG Group

Background

The NSG (Nippon Sheet Glass) Group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass and glazing products for architectural, automotive, and established creative technology to support NSG Group’s future growth. With around 26,000 permanent employees, it has principal operations around the world and sales in over 100 countries and achieved a revenue of ¥601 billion in FY2022.

NSG operates in three main sectors:

  • Architectural supplies glass for Buildings and Solar Energy applications
  • Automotive serves the Original Equipment, Aftermarket Replacement and Specialized Transport glazing markets.
  • Creative Technology was established on 1st October 2020 to support NSG Group's focus on future growth.

Innovation has been at the heart of NSG Group since its inception. Inventions and continuous advancements in the production of flat glass have enabled cutting-edge façades, automotive glazing, and technical glass applications.

Because of this, NSG Group has been able to offer customers new products, greater performance, and excellent service, thanks to the efforts of NSG Group R&D. NSG Group is also using glass innovation to tackle many 21st century challenges, including addressing climate change through decarbonisation. They can take on these challenges as a result of a strong history in innovation, a diverse talent pool of scientists and engineers, and a progressive approach to academic and industrial collaboration. Historically, the glassmaking industry has been insular and slow-moving. Knowledge was less likely to be shared and collaborative approaches were not common. In the modern world, in addition to the challenges of climate change and globalization, the pace of development and changes in technology mean the historical way of working is no longer sustainable. Companies must be open to different perspectives, and quicker to react to the changing world. Consequently, NSG Group has been developing productive and collaborative partnerships with universities, tech start-ups, and key global business partners.

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Croda

Background

Croda is a speciality chemical manufacturer supplying ingredients into a wide range of consumer markets. Through the imaginative and practical use of science, we create ingredients and technologies that improve people’s lives by enhancing the performance of everyday products. Croda is the name behind the high-performance ingredients in some of the biggest, most successful brands in the world, creating products that are relied on by industries and consumers worldwide.

Innovation and sustainability are at the heart of Croda. Through close collaborations we have an in-depth knowledge of customers’ needs, which enables us to focus Research and Development in areas that will allow customers to meet new market opportunities. We do this by creating, co-creating, acquiring or licensing new technology and taking a proactive, leading position on sustainability. This can be seen from the materials we use and the way they are used, to the ingredients we create and the way they are created.

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Innospec

Background

Innospec is a global supplier of speciality chemicals with manufacturing plants, research centres and additional facilities across twenty-three countries. We provide high-performance chemicals, additives and formulations for markets including personal care, home care, fuel additives, agrochemicals, metal extraction, oil field and polymers and waxes.

Innospec's world-class Research & Technology and other business teams continually provide innovative products and solutions across all our business units; recognising that we have a responsibility to strive for ever-greater sustainability to reduce the environmental footprint of the products we make. We have collaborations in science and technology with several institutions and are always on the lookout for exciting new science and technology areas for potential collaboration.

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Givaudan Fragrance & Beauty

Background

Driven by passion and innovation, Givaudan Fragrance & Beauty aims to bring delightful and memorable sensorial experiences to consumers around the world. Currently present in all major markets, we strive to be the creative partner of choice for customers not only in personal, fabric, hygiene, and home care but also in fine fragrances and overall beauty. The Company is driven by its inspiring Purpose of creating fragrances and beauty products for “happier, healthier lives with love for nature.
In our quest to implement our Company Purpose, science and technology plays a leading role in advancing our mission and achieving our goals towards more sustainable fragrances. 

At Givaudan, we believe in the power of possibility by continuously researching new sustainable innovative molecules to be used for fragrance creation and developing emerging scent technologies that make a difference. Our renowned team of scientists is the core of our ground-breaking research, working together to bring innovative fragrant solutions to our customers that also enhance the lives of their consumers around the world.

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Johnson Matthey

Background

Johnson Matthey (JM) is a global leader in sustainable technologies. We take our unrivalled expertise in chemistry and materials and use it to solve complex problems for our customers, whether that is scaling up, manufacturing or developing new and next generation products.

With over 200 years of sustained innovation and technological breakthroughs, our technologies have enabled cleaner air, improved health and the more efficient use of our planet's natural resources. And now, as the world faces the challenges of climate change and resource scarcity, JM is accelerating the big transitions needed, driving down transport emissions, decarbonising the energy and chemical industries and creating a circular economy.

Innovation is at the heart of JM. From our earliest origins as a gold assayer to our market-leading inventions in catalytic science and metal chemistry, our scientists have long been at the forefront of innovation. We are committed to creating an environment where innovation can flourish, encouraging creativity within our business and engaging with organisations outside of JM in a spirit of partnership and collaboration.

JM is full of incredibly talented people with a real passion for science and sustainability and a commitment to innovation. We take pride in the fact that we are catalysing the net zero transition for our customers, and for society.


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PETRONAS

Background

Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS) is a global energy and solutions company, ranked amongst the largest corporations on Fortune Global 500®. We seek opportunities in energy investments both in hydrocarbon and renewables across the globe and maximise value through our integrated business model. Our portfolio includes conventional and unconventional resources as well as a diverse range of fuel lubricant, and petrochemical products. This is further strengthened with a successful product delivery track record. Our customers are at the heart of everything that we do, and our businesses are anchored on meeting their needs.

Our technology is our differentiator and the key to ensuring excellence in all that we offer – energy, products, and solutions, as well as unlocking new business frontiers. Sustainability is at the core of everything that we do, as we believe in harnessing the good in energy to add quality to everyday lives. People are our strength and partners for growth. We believe in progressing with our partners in addressing the evolving needs in today’s changing energy landscape.

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Cargill

Background

Cargill, Incorporated is an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial and industrial products and services with 155,000 employees in 70 countries. Founded as a grain warehousing and merchandising company, Cargill is one of the largest privately owned companies in the world. The company provides distinctive customer solutions in supply chain management, food applications, and health and nutrition. Cargill currently has 60+ business units that operate in 4 geographies, and approximately 50% of the company’s assets are located outside North America.

The Energy Technologies business in Cargill Bio industrial creates, makes, and sells speciality chemicals and additives for the global energy market. Working in close collaboration with our customers, we apply sustainable concepts and deep scientific expertise so that together we can efficiently power the world of tomorrow. At our core, we are experts in synthetic ester and polyalkylene glycol chemistries, taking products from lab scale through to full manufacturing. Investing in the development of new chemistries allows us to support our customers in meeting new industry challenges. For those who dare to imagine a brighter future, we establish long-lasting relationships and create bespoke industry solutions through our integrated research & development and global manufacturing capabilities. Being both global and local, you have direct access to our network of technical experts. We look forward to talking to you.

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RSSL

Background

Reading Scientific Services Limited (RSSL) is a global leader at the forefront of scientific analysis, consultancy, product development and training, serving the food, drink, and consumer goods industries as well pharmaceutical and healthcare providers. For over 30 years we have been helping world leading companies and SMEs to develop and supply products that are safe, innovative, of the highest quality and meet the demands of legislation and consumers.

We are looking for innovative solutions which support our strategic growth needs and to create partnerships where everyone involved succeeds. We are interested in emerging technologies which in can radically improve our analysis offering or give new avenues for our product innovation, especially in the realms of healthy living, for example in helping us develop new vegan or low sugar products for our customers. Other areas of interest include novel or natural stabilisers for either texture enhancement or microbiological preservation applications.

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Reckitt

Background

Reckitt is a world-leading consumer goods company helping people deal with the ever-more demanding pace of life. Reckitt is one of the fastest-growing companies in the health, nutrition, and household hygiene categories.

In Reckitt, we’re a growing community of 43,000+ diverse, talented entrepreneurs – united in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. Drawing on each other’s skills and working together, we put people at the heart of our business. Through research and development, science, and partnership, we make products that people have loved and trusted for generations. Our focus on cutting-edge science and our strong sense of social responsibility stretches back to 1819. Together they have enabled us to help people lead healthier lives and have happier homes for over 200 years.

All our brands are grounded in science and led by consumer needs. Our purpose is to innovate continuously and work with like-minded partners to transfer good ideas into products and provide them with customers all over the world. The results can be seen in brands including Durex, Enfamil, Finish, Gaviscon, Harpic, Lysol, Mortein, Mucinex, Nurofen, Nutramigen, and Strepsils. These trusted global products are found in stores in nearly 180 countries across the globe.

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