News

Find out more about the key developments in the ecosystem and our communities latest successes and challenges.

Your May update on the ecosystem

Find out what has happened in deep tech chemistry this month

29 May 2024

Are you interested in what is happening in the innovation ecosystem? Read selected news to keep up to date with what is impacting deep tech chemistry.

 

Updates from the ecosystem

Commitment to tackling antimicrobial resistance by 2029

The government has announced a new national action plan on antimicrobial resistance with a 20 year vision to contain and control AMR by 2040. This national plan includes reduction and exposure to antimicrobials, as well as investing in innovation, supply, and access to new vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutic alternatives.

Read more

£86 million invested in developing new wind turbine technologies

An advanced testing facility for wind turbine blades will be launched with the goal to test turbines up to 150 metres long and help prevent millions of tonnes of CO2. This new R&D infrastructure will support the growth of UK supply chains and the industry’s goal of 60% offshore wind farm content coming from the UK.

Find out more

New manufacturing research hubs for areas including semiconductors and medicines

Five new hubs will be launched to address the challenges of commercialising early-stage research within key areas of manufacturing, including semiconductors and medicines. The hubs will leverage total support of £99 million and will support UK researchers with cutting edge facilities to benefit technologies such as AI and support the UK as a global leader in sustainable manufacturing.

Find out more

£1.5 million announced through the Faraday Battery Challenge

SMEs developing battery technologies will benefit from £1.5 million from the Faraday Battery Challenge to support their scale up process. The successful projects include cylindrical and pouch cell technologies and bring advanced lithium titanate oxide and new cathode active material technologies to the UK for the first time.

Find out more

Updates from our community

Thermulon co-founder recognised by Forbes 30 under 30

Congratulations to Thermulon co-founder Alexander Murdock for his Forbes recognition. Thermulon is a process chemistry start-up developing groundbreaking technology for the low-cost production of super-insulating silica aerogels.

Their process significantly reduces the cost of producing silica aerogels for use in high-performance, non-flammable thermal insulation, with one Thermulon industrial facility saving 20 megatons of CO2 when installed in homes and building.

Read more

Nanomerics wins King’s Award for Enterprise

This award recognises the commercial and scientific excellence of the company and its Molecular Envelope Technology (MET).

Former winners of our Emerging Technologies Competition, Nanomerics develops precision medicines that reduce typical development costs, resources, and timelines, This is done by fabricating nano-scaled polymer aggregates to package or specifically interact with drugs or biological molecules and overcome delivery problems.

Read more

Eutecthics receiving recognition from multiple awards and reports

Welcome to our latest inductee to Change Makers and congratulations on their recent recognitions. Eutechtics featured in the UKII Intelligence Report , which features 500 UK companies that are pioneers in sectors shaping the future, and also won the Innovative Startup of the Year and Green Startup of the Year for the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber region .

Eutechtics have developed EvoCarbon, a process license aimed at utilising carbon dioxide emissions as feedstock to produce valuable carboxylic acids for various industries, including pharmaceuticals, agriculture, fine-chemicals, and textiles. This process is designed to be circular, operate with higher energy efficiency, and maximises the atom economy of the process.

Find out more

 

Updates from Innovation Zero and CHEMUK

Innovation Zero

Focussed on the race to net zero, Innovation Zero covered topics from the technologies, investment, and infrastructure that are needed to deliver on our climate commitments. A running theme throughout this event is the urgency of this challenge and how innovation and policy must deliver faster if we are to meet net zero by 2050.

One of the things that we find most exciting about deep tech chemistry is not just the innovation and the ways it can improve everyone’s quality of life, but also how it can make sustainable choices more accessible and affordable for all consumers to help them deliver their part in the net zero puzzle.

A key item that we want to hear about in the run up to the next election and beyond is investment and support in these technologies. Companies in this space are typically less understood and their needs often unmet by generic funding and support from the government. If the UK is to be a global science superpower and leader in the push for net zero, we need funding and support to help these businesses, so that everyone can have affordable renewable energy in their homes, access to transport with reduced emissions, plastic alternatives, and any of the other ways deep tech chemistry can help us live more sustainable lives.

This is why Change Makers will be educating and working with policymakers to help them create the right mechanisms for these technologies and businesses, as well as educating investors and consumers to raise awareness of deep tech chemistry, its challenges, and the technologies that are coming to market and their potentials.

Read more

CHEMUK

Bringing together businesses from across the chemical sciences, including manufacturing, supply, regulation, and more, this event provided a key opportunity for deep tech chemistry businesses to network and find the services they need to scale-up and commercialise their technologies.

As we met with a number of companies, one of the key challenges that came up throughout the day was the difficulties with scale-up, including finding the right location and facilities to build and test pilot plants in the UK.

Through Change Makers’ access to laboratories work and our time working closely with our businesses, we know that this is something faced across the Change Makers community. This is why we will deliver resources through our masterclasses programme and professional services provision, as well as connecting you with experienced mentors who have been through this, to support earlier stage businesses through their scale-up challenges. We are also conducting research through our access to laboratories work to understand the facilities in the UK and how ventures can better access the right equipment and space for their needs.
As part of our attendance, we were also delighted to catch up with the following Change Makers ventures in attendance across the two events:

  • Bindethics Ltd
    Sustainable binder for engineered-wood boards derived from food waste. 

  • Celtic Renewables Limited
    Sustainable, biologically-derived, green chemicals, produced in harmony with planet earth.

  • Holiferm Limited
    Developing processes for manufacturing sustainable, environmentally friendly biosurfactants. 

  • Mission Zero Technologies Ltd
    Electrochemical atmospheric carbon removal technology for carbon use or storage.

  • Oxford Nanosystems Ltd
    Development of nanocoatings for improving heat transfer and hydrogen generation.

  • ViridiCO2
    Catalysts to transform CO2 into high-value chemicals. 

We hope to meet more of our Change Makers businesses at the 2025 editions of these events and would encourage attendance to find out more about the trends affecting deep tech chemistry and relevant updates on the infrastructure, policy, investment and more.

Being part of Change Makers


Our Change Makers ventures receive a monthly newsletter with signposting and support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and other identified external sources. If you are an early stage start-up or scale-up focussed on deep tech chemistry, we invite you to get in touch and discuss joining Change Makers for ventures

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Share your news

If you are a deep tech chemistry venture or part of the innovation ecosystem, you can share your news for the opportunity to be featured to our deep tech chemistry venture and entrepreneurial ecosystem of investors, mentors, industry experts, and more.

Your May update on the ecosystem

Your update on what is happening in deep tech chemistry.
More info...

May venture spotlight

Get to know a selection of our deep tech chemistry ventures

29 May 2024

Every month we take a deeper look at some of the deep tech chemistry ideas coming from our community. Find out more about what our ventures are developing: 


            

BindEthics


BindEthics has developed an adhesive that is sustainable, non-toxic and not derived from fossil fuels. When replacing traditional adhesives with this biobased alternative, the engineered wood panels turn into sustainable products that can be recycled and become part of the circular economy cycle. 

Find out more about BindEthics' process and its role in the circular economy. 
 

Figura Analytics

Figura Analytics counts particles to give a fingerprint of what a sample should look like and then allow rapid identification of potential contaminants. Their business also uses AI to improve the accuracy of the data they create and DNA aptamers to deliver specificity of a contaminant where required.

Learn more about Figura Analytics and how they are analysing liquid samples.

 

Lambda Energy Ltd

Lambda Energy synthesises molecules and incorporates them into polymer films that, through doping, allow for luminescent downshifting and quantum cutting properties. Their technology has been developed into a light changing spray coating for greenhouse panels that can increase crop yields by 20%.

Read more about Lambda Energy's breakthrough technology and how it can be used.
 

Medisieve

MediSieve uses nanoengineered magnetic particles for blood filtration, enabling unprecedented levels of selectivity and efficacy and revolutionising the treatment landscape for a wide range of currently underserved patients.

Explore MediSieve's technology and how it can be used.
 

Colorifix

Colorifix uses a biological process to produce, deposit, and fix pigments onto textiles, cutting the need for harsh chemicals and aiming to deliver huge environmental savings. Their process finds a colour created by an organism such as an animal, plant, insect, or microbe. Then via online DNA sequencing they pinpoint the gene that lead to production of the pigment and then translates this DNA code into their microorganism, resulting in an engineered microorganism than can produce the pigment.

Explore Colorifix's breakthrough   and how it can be used.


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The latest news, reports, articles and resources.

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Want to be featured here?

This monthly spotlight is shared as part of our Change Makers for Venture newsletter, in addition to featuring on the website. If you would like to be profiled, please do not hesitate to get in touch .

May venture spotlight

Get to know a selection of our deep tech chemistry ventures.
More info...

May opportunities for Change Makers Ventures

Read this month's summary of opportunities for deep tech chemistry ventures 

29 May 2024 

Bringing you monthly updates on funding, guidance, and other support schemes from government and other organisations throughout the innovation ecosystem.

Opportunities from Change Makers

These activities are open to companies who are part of Change Makers. If you are interested in taking part but have not yet joined, please contact us to discuss an application.

Get matched at our Venture Mentoring event on 19 June

Our deep tech chemistry venture mentors have a wide variety of experience in commercialising technologies and scaling up a business. Through our matching event we will pair you with two experienced mentors to work on your most pressing challenges.

Register your interest
 

Masterclass on Strategic IP Management for Deep Tech Chemistry Ventures on 27 June

This event aims to maximise the value of your current and future IP assets. There will be a session lead by Patent Attorneys covering IP strategy and culture, its impact on new and existing relationships, freedom to operate, and common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

This will be followed by a talk from an experienced, exited founder covering how they crafted their strategy and used it to drive value for investment rounds and exit. Finally, an investor will cover how VC funds value formal IP rights and the process of IP due diligence and how investors ensure IP strategy is optimised pre- and post-funding.

Register your interest

Drop in sessions on commercial law, insurance, IP/patents and accounting

Meet our enthusiastic and experienced team of partners providing free support to our Change Makers ventures on a variety of the topics that our businesses have found difficult and costly to get the right advice on. 

 
5 June  IP/Patents

Patents, Licencing, Trade marks, Copyright, Design rights, IP Strategy, IP Disputes.
 
6 June  Insurance

D&O cover, Employers’ liability, Professional indemnity, Key person, Commercial legal protection, Business interruption, Product liability, Cyber protection.
 
10 June  Legal

Company secretarial, Commercial contracts, Shareholder agreements, Joint ventures, Confidentiality / NDAs, MoUs, Heads of Terms, GDPR, Investment, M&A.
 
3 July  Accounting

Financial systems, HMRC/payroll/tax, Employee share scheme, Financial modelling, Equity investment (inc. EIS, SEIS, VCTs), Non-dilutive R&D funding, R&D tax credits.
 
10 July  Legal

Company secretarial, Commercial contracts, Shareholder agreements, Joint ventures, Confidentiality / NDAs, MoUs, Heads of Terms, GDPR, Investment, M&A.
 
16 July 

IP/Patents

Patents, Licencing, Trade marks, Copyright, Design rights, IP Strategy, IP Disputes.

 
17 July  Insurance

D&O cover, Employers’ liability, Professional indemnity, Key person, Commercial legal protection, Business interruption, Product liability, Cyber protection.

Register your interest

Are you interested in joining the cleantech peer-to-peer network?

 
We are building a network of founders and leaders in the cleantech space, where we aim to connect you with others to help you share your experiences, learnings, and challenges along the way. If you’re interested in joining this network and attending upcoming events, please get in contact to discuss your needs and eligibility to take part.

Get in touch

Opportunities from the ecosystem

Horizon Europe Pump Priming Programme

This initiative supports small to medium sized companies wanting to explore and access Horizon Europe collaborative research and innovation opportunities. Successful applicants will have access to grant funding up to £6,000 and are advised to work with a UK National Contact Point to support their project.

Read more

Women in Innovation Award and application support 13 May – 10 July

 
Women within UK-registered SMEs can apply for a share of £4 million to develop their innovation. The grant also includes bespoke business support and is open to female founders, co-founders, or senior decision makers.

If you are interested in applying there will be four online Q&A support sessions  to guide you through your application.

Find out more

Eat. Sleep. Grind. Webinar series

Watch this series from Techstars CEO Maëlle Gavet covering market trends in 2024 and topics such as work life balance for entrepreneurs.

Watch the first episode

Interested in further updates like this? 

Our Change Makers ventures receive a monthly newsletter with signposting and support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and other identified external sources. If you have not yet joined Change Makers for Ventures and are an early stage start-up or scale-up focussed on deep tech chemistry, we invite you to get in touch and discuss an application .

If you would like to receive our wider ecosystem newsletter, please register your interest here, and we will send the first edition when this launches.

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The latest news, reports, articles and resources.

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Getting involved

We host a number of events with the goal to connect experts with entrepreneurs to develop their technology and businesses, develop the skills of our venture community, and support investment in deep tech ventures.

Read more

May round up of support

Read this month's summary of opportunities for deep tech chemistry ventures
More info...

Is deep tech chemistry just jargon?

Exploring how this new term adds value to our community.

10 April 2024

Find out more about our usage of the term "deep tech chemistry" and how it can create action for our Change Makers.

From our journey supporting SMEs across the chemical sciences to our current focus on start-ups and scale-ups with Change Makers, we coined the term “deep tech chemistry” to describe the businesses that we support. But why add chemistry to the end?

Deep tech is a well-established term, which denotes start-ups with a business model based on significant scientific advancements. These businesses are solving intractable problems in the world and if you asked a member of the public they would probably say it’s about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and electronics. But it’s not just them with that association; policymakers, investors, and experts from across the ecosystem typically have that idea too.

That doesn’t mean that chemistry isn’t there; it’s in the definition for those who dig a bit deeper. However, the ways it could turn the tide on cancer research, food shortages, and reach net zero often gets buried. It tends to take a backseat to technologies that deliver faster gratification for users and quicker returns on investment, or that are simply more prominent and more easily explained to and supported by policymakers.

In short, chemistry has been largely invisible in the deep tech space, and we are here to make a much-needed change.

What does deep tech chemistry mean?

First used in our Igniting Innovation report, when we refer to “deep tech chemistry” we are referring to a sub-set of deep tech businesses that are using chemistry as the core of their intellectual property and scientific advancement.

Their ideas are novel, significant technological advances, with the power to create their own markets and disrupt industries, but they are also dependent on significant R&D effort. 

"We have made advances with many invasive human diseases but there are still a lot of people dying from the big ones, cancer, heart disease. But chemistry is really the cornerstone of [addressing] all of that."

Health and Pharma SME

Examples of deep tech chemistry businesses

To understand what deep tech chemistry means, it’s best to look at examples of what they are developing:

  • Owlstone Medical are developing a non-invasive sample collection technique with the goal to save lives and reduce healthcare costs. Their Breath Biopsy technology collects breath samples and investigates the biomarkers for early disease, with the goal to catch respiratory diseases early.

  • ViridiCO2 takes captured waste CO2 and turns it into high value chemical products, such as surfactants and polymers. This has the combined bonus of removing atmospheric carbon dioxide and also creating a circular economy to create textiles, cosmetics, and furniture from this waste material.

  • Mimica has produced a temperature sensitive cap or tag that is made from a material that mimics the degradation process of food and changes the cap from a smooth to bumpy texture. This means users can touch the lid and know when food has spoiled, reducing the need for overly cautious best before dates and ensuring that only food that is actually spoiled goes to waste.

The unique challenges of deep tech chemistry

All deep tech ventures have similar challenges: finding funding; developing the knowledge, teams and leadership needed to take an idea to market; and getting the market profile and validation in order to make a business successful. However, through Igniting Innovation, we found that deep tech chemistry’s challenges are amplified and distinct from the rest of deep tech.

"I would say that the use of government grants, and so on is an essential part of the funding mix to help translate technologies to the market. But the problem with this sort of funding is it's only three years. It's an extremely short period of time to be building up capacity. You're just about getting to the point when everything is working when you suddenly pull the plug."

Chemistry industry expert

Due to the long time to prove an idea can work safely, scale it, and the specialist equipment and experts needed, chemistry start-ups typically require very large amounts of funding to survive before there’s a chance of revenue. This long time to return on investment can be off-putting to investors or mean that their milestones don’t match public grant support schemes. Then, if they do get the funding they need, they face a widespread lack of facilities with the space or equipment suitable for R&D and scale-up.

Finally, they need to develop a specialist set of skills; both for the technical teams turning their idea into reality and for the team leading the venture. Often SMEs are led by the people who founded the technology, and this requires leaders who can upskill in the business side and find the teams needed to commercialise.

"There might be a lot of incubators but as soon as the company gets to 30 staff, there's nowhere it can go or anywhere near."

Health SME
Overall, the challenges of deep tech chemistry SMEs are not synonymous with those faced by the wider community, and whilst there are similarities with start-ups in the life sciences, as an example, other disciplines are typically better understood by investors, policymakers, and decision makers. They are also generally better understood and provided for by these support systems.

Is it just jargon?

So if chemistry is already part of deep tech, why not just say deep tech?

We know that currently “deep tech chemistry” might not yet resonate or have wider recognition within the ecosystem. But by naming this community, we will carve out a clear space in this area for chemistry and create short-hand for use with investors, policy-makers and decision-makers across the ecosystem.

This allows us to: highlight these ventures’ unique challenges and contributions, as well as the gaps in the support available; align the research and data that is relevant to this community; shine a spotlight on them and surface them in the narrative. This will then allow us to provide the voice and catalyst for change that will help deep tech chemistry make greater impact.


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The latest news, reports, articles and resources.

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Share your news

If you are a deep tech chemistry venture or part of the innovation ecosystem, you can share your news  for the opportunity to be featured to our deep tech chemistry venture and entrepreneurial ecosystem of investors, mentors, industry experts, and more.

Is deep tech chemistry jargon

Find out more about our usage of the term "deep tech chemistry".
More info...

April opportunities for Change Makers Ventures

Read this month's summary of opportunities for deep tech chemistry ventures 

10 April 2024 

Bringing you monthly updates on funding, guidance, and other support schemes from government and other organisations throughout the innovation ecosystem.

Support from the Royal Society of Chemistry

Venture Mentoring event on 19 June

Do you have any specific challenges that you would like help addressing from a pool of carefully pre-screened and highly experienced deep tech chemistry mentors? Ventures can request and receive the support of two co-mentors, who will each bring a unique perspective to the challenges faced. Ventures will also benefit from the multiple ad-hoc ideas, connections, and suggestions that our mentors can offer.

Register your interest
 

Strategic IP management masterclass on 27 June 

We are providing you with a free masterclass on how to protect your intellectual property; sign up now to hear from experts on the subject.

Register your interest

Investment Catalyst on 10 June

For those raising investment this year, 10 June will be the first ever Change Makers branded investment event. This brings together hand-picked investors active in numerous sectors relevant to deep tech chemistry. Pitching on the day will be ventures whose technologies drive society towards a more sustainable future. We will be running more events soon; get in touch to be the first to know about upcoming events.

Register your interest

Sessions with our Chartered Patent Attorneys on 23 April, 5 June, and 16 July

 
We have partnered with Chartered Patent Attorneys that share our goals on supporting deep tech chemistry and demonstrate the sustainability credentials that are indispensable when working with Change Makers. In these free, informal chats, our specialists can support you on topics including patents, trade marks, and commercial IP strategy.

Register your interest

Webinar series on the Design of Experiments

Design of Experiments is a statistical approach to planning your experimental work that has huge potential benefit for chemistry start-ups and scale-ups, including deeper understanding of your product, better and less expensive solutions, and reduced experimental effort.

Register now to access these on-demand sessions, covering how to use experimentation more efficiently and achieve better outcomes faster.

Watch the series

Activities and support in the wider ecosystem

Unlock the secrets of commercialisation from 1 May - 31 July 

 
Register for this free webinar series from the Government Knowledge Transfer Office, which will upskill your core commercialisation activities in topics including your intellectual property rights, business case development, market valuation, and more.

Sign up

Innovation Zero taking place 30 April - 1 May

 
The UK’s largest sustainability conference, Innovation Zero , will cover topics such as funding and infrastructure around sustainability, as well as providing a showcase of new technologies and giving you the opportunity to connect with individuals across the ecosystem.

Change Makers will also have staff in attendance, so get in contact if you would like to arrange a catch up about how we could support your business.

Register to attend

Horizon Europe Guarantee applications accepted 12 May – 31 December   

The UK agreed a deal to associate to Horizon Europe on 7 September 2023. This guarantee scheme covers all businesses who were unable to receive their Horizon Europe funding whilst the UK was in the process of associating.

If you are based in the UK; had success applying for a Horizon Europe grant during the Work programme 2021, 2022, or 2023; and have been included on the initial grant proposal as a beneficiary with an assigned budget, you can apply from 12 May – 31 December.

View this funding

UK REACH registration: data essentials training 26 – 27 June

 
This workshop explains the key data endpoints you will need for a UK REACH registration, covering data quality, validity, conflicting results, and potential means to save costs. This training is delivered across two days and will benefit regulatory specialists, safety data sheet authors, product managers, and R&D scientists screening novel chemicals.

Book now

ChemUK from 15 - 16 May

 
Bringing together experts across the industry, CHEMUK is your opportunity to connect with exhibitors and learn more across chemicals supply, chemicals management, process and chemical engineering, and chemical laboratories and their equipment.

The Royal Society of Chemistry will be in attendance, along with members of the Change Makers team, so get in touch if you would like to arrange a discussion  and find out how you could get support from Change Makers.

Register now

Learning at work week from 13 - 19 May

Finding the time to develop your skills and those of the team can difficult, find out how you can build this culture and get resources to support learning on the job through Learning at Work Week.

Read more

Interested in further updates like this? 

Our Change Makers ventures receive a monthly newsletter with signposting and support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and other identified external sources. If you have not yet joined Change Makers for Ventures and are an early stage start-up or scale-up focussed on deep tech chemistry, we invite you to get in touch and discuss an application .

If you would like to receive our wider ecosystem newsletter, please register your interest here, and we will send the first edition when this launches.

Latest

More news

The latest news, reports, articles and resources.

View all news

Getting involved

We host a number of events with the goal to connect experts with entrepreneurs to develop their technology and businesses, develop the skills of our venture community, and support investment in deep tech ventures.

Read more

April round up of support

Read this month's summary of opportunities for deep tech chemistry ventures
More info...

Your April update on the ecosystem

Find out what has happened in deep tech chemistry this month

10 April 2024

Are you interested in what is happening in the innovation ecosystem? Read selected news to keep up to date with what is impacting deep tech chemistry.

 

Updates from our ventures

Earthshot prize winners, Notpla, visited by Prince William

In 2022, Notpla received an Earthshot prize for their plastic alternative made from seaweed. This innovative solution allows them to create packaging that either biodegrades without toxic waste, which has already been demonstrated in applications such as takeaway containers and laundry sachets, or can be consumed in sporting contexts as energy gel sachets.

Earthshot President, Prince William, visited Notpla at the Kia Oval Cricket Ground in London to hear about their multi-million pound contract with Levy UK + Ireland. This will see Notpla bring 75 million of their seaweed based food packaging materials to over 50 sporting and event venues around the country. 

Read more

EnsilTech win an Audience Choice Award

Former Emerging Technologies Competition winner, EnsilTech utilises protective silica nanoshells on the surface of biological components to prevent degradation. This means that products can be stored and transported with reduced refrigeration and longer shelf-lives, with key applications in biological therapeutics and diagnostics.

Whilst attending the Animal Health, Nutrition & Technology Innovation Europe conference, EnsilTech pitched their technology and its advancement for animal vaccines. They received the accolade of the Audience Choice Award. Congratulations to EnsilTech for this recognition!

Find out more

BindEthics receive £500,000 grant from InnovateUK

Adhesive is a necessary part of the production of wood panels, but it is also synthetic, toxic, and non-recyclable. BindEthics are a start-up that are replacing traditional fossil fuel-derived adhesives with their novel Ecohesive®, a bio-based alternative.

This month BindEthics announced that they have been granted a £500,000 grant by Innovate UK, which will support the development of their adhesive. We look forward to how they will use it for their next stage of growth and exploration.

Find out more

Mission Zero Technologies secure £21.8M in Series A investment

Developing deep tech chemistry ideas can often be a long and expensive process, so we are delighted to announce that Mission Zero Technologies secured £21.8M in Series A investment.

Mission Zero Technologies has developed a versatile direct air capture technology that will recover historic CO2 emissions anywhere that has access to water and electricity. This is with the goal to lock these into rock underground, turn them into building materials to create urban carbon sinks, or create fuels from air instead of petrochemicals.

We’re excited to see how Mission Zero Technologies utilise this funding to accelerate their scale-up and create significant impact on carbon emissions by the end of the decade.

Find out more

Updates from the ecosystem

Get the latest ecosystem updates that have relevance for deep tech chemistry.

Trailblazing pilot programme tries new co-creation approach to investment

Led by Innovate UK, this programme is injecting £100 million into 26 high potential projects in Glasgow City region, Greater Manchester, and the West Midlands. The Innovation Accelerator programme is taking a new co-creation approach to investment and seeks to bridge the gap between national strategies and locally empowered decision making and insights.

This programme has supported the Modular Chemical Robot Farm for Chemical Manufacturing and helped secure a new partnership to apply chemistry artificial intelligence robotics to accelerate the discovery of non-addictive opioids. They have also supported technology to transform organic material, such as sawdust, into commercially valuable bioproducts, such as soil and plant growth enhancers.

Read more

£388 million invested into the tools and digitisation needed for discovery

Five new infrastructure projects will cover a range of needs, including:

  • Digitising the UK’s natural science collections.
  • The world’s most powerful high energy electron microscope.
  • Supporting international collaboration.
  • Advancing the UK’s mass spectrometry capabilities.

Read more

£63m investment benefits net zero transport, disease therapies, and translational medicine

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) will invest £63M into four new research centres. Since 2012, this funding has also attracted £2.5 billion in co-investment from over 400 businesses and charity, including industry giants such as AstraZeneca, Cancer Research UK, and Unilever.

The projects benefitting in this round will advance sectors such as net zero transport, medical manufacturing, the rail industry, and childhood mental health.

Find out more

 

Being part of Change Makers


Our Change Makers ventures receive a monthly newsletter with signposting and support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and other identified external sources. If you are an early stage start-up or scale-up focussed on deep tech chemistry, we invite you to get in touch and discuss joining Change Makers for ventures

If you would like to receive our wider ecosystem newsletter, please register your interest here , and we will send the first edition when this launches.

Latest

More news

The latest news, reports, articles and resources.

View all news

Share your news

If you are a deep tech chemistry venture or part of the innovation ecosystem, you can share your news for the opportunity to be featured to our deep tech chemistry venture and entrepreneurial ecosystem of investors, mentors, industry experts, and more.

Your april update on the ecosystem

Your April update on what is happening in deep tech chemistry.
More info...

April venture spotlight

Get to know a selection of our deep tech chemistry ventures

10 April 2024

Every month we take a deeper look at some of the deep tech chemistry ideas coming from our community. Find out more about what our ventures are developing: 


            

Clyde Hydrogen Systems Ltd


Existing electrolysers for hydrogen production face a number of challenges, including managing intermittent renewable energy sources, complexity and high cost, and mechanical compression needed for high pressure hydrogen. Clyde Hydrogen Systems have developed a breakthrough decoupled hydrolysis process that allows hydrogen and oxygen to be made in separate places and at different times and rates.

This decoupled hydrolysis offers significant improvements in a number of areas:
  • By separating the hydrogen and oxygen, this means that the system is safer to use.
  • It is compatible with renewable energy sources.
  • It produces high pressure hydrogen without mechanical compression.
  • Its simple design lends itself to easier scale up.
  • The costs are reduced.

Find out more about Clyde Hydrogen Systems and how they are creating alternative energy sources.

 

Figura Analytics

Driven by the mission to speed up liquid analysis and increase the accuracy of this analysis, Figura Analytics have developed a new nanopore technology. Using this technology, they count the particles and give a fingerprint of what the sample should look like, identifying contaminants and enabling the resolution of problems in less time.

Currently they have used this technology to characterise nanomaterials, proteins, heavy metal ions, colloids, bacteria and algae in materials from sea water to blood and beverages.

To start their commercialisation journey, they are launching first in the food and beverages market, but this technology has applications across the life sciences, health, and semi-conductor industries.

Learn more about Figura Analytics  and how they are analysing liquid samples.
 

Interface Polymers Ltd

Polymer scientists have historically had difficulty with the compatibility of polyolefins with other materials. Interface Polymers have created a co-polymer that joins a polyolefin segment to a polar polymer segment, which renders the material more attractive for polar materials such as metals, ceramics, and polar plastics like acrylic and styrene.

Using their additives, they can transform the performance and cost effectiveness of polyolefin-based materials with potential to add substantial value in the packaging, construction, agriculture, and automatic industries.

Explore Interface Polymers’ breakthrough  and how it can be used.


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The latest news, reports, articles and resources.

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Want to be featured here?

This monthly spotlight is shared as part of our Change Makers for Venture newsletter, in addition to featuring on the website. If you would like to be profiled, please do not hesitate to get in touch .

April venture spotlight

Get to know a selection of our deep tech chemistry ventures.
More info...

Access to lab space and equipment workshop

Get an update on this crucial work to aid ventures in spinning out and scaling up

29 February 2024

Find out more about our work bringing together key stakeholders from developers to start ups.

Update on our February workshop

In 2022, the Royal Society of Chemistry identified that access to suitable laboratory space and equipment was a key constraint on business growth and success for deep tech chemistry ventures, particularly at their early stages. We have since gathered further insight to understand the causes and impacts.

Our recent workshop marked the first time we convened key stakeholders from across the ecosystem to build on this work. We hosted attendees with expertise in a breadth of sectors at our Burlington House office with the goal of collaborative discussion, exploring key themes that have come out of our research so far, and identifying any trends.

We spent time discussing the importance of data to promote confidence and support decision-making around lab space, looking at the problem from multiple perspectives, the need to consider regional differences in access to labs – and much more!
"It was certainly an eye opening event. It was really good to get the property perspective and some areas especially on the accelerator/incubator points and the need for further scale up space I hadn't considered before."

Alex Reip - CTO, Oxford Nanosystems
It was a successful day and we’re grateful to everyone who attended. Our next step will be to reconvene in the coming months to look at potential solutions for sustainable change. 

Getting involved

If you work within a deep tech chemistry venture, operate lab space, or just have an interest in this work and would like to get involved, please get in touch .

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If you are a deep tech chemistry venture or part of the innovation ecosystem, you can share your news  for the opportunity to be featured in our updates to our entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

Access to labs workshop

Get an update on this crucial work to aid ventures in spinning out and scaling up.
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February round-up of support

Read this month's summary of support available for deep tech chemistry ventures 

29 February 2024

Bringing you monthly updates on funding, guidance, and other support schemes from government and other organisations throughout the innovation ecosystem.

Future economy investor partnership SME competition: briefing event 1 May 

This programme is directed at highly innovative SMEs carrying out R&D projects and seeking equity funding to deliver their technology and research. Watch this briefing event to find out about taking part in round 7.

Innovate UK has selected a ‘pool’ of investor partners who have demonstrated that they have the credibility, capability, capacity, and appetite to invest in innovative, technology-led businesses in areas that align with their objectives in programme areas.

Find out more and sign up
 

New tool to find out about your local innovation cluster and investment in this area

This new tool from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology gives an overview of innovation activity based on location and Real-Time Industrial Classifications. Through the tool, you can also find out more about investment happening and known investors in your location and sector.

To use the tool you will need to select filters to see the results. You can then explore by filters such as the Real-Time Industrial Classification and Standard Industrial Classification, then click on the cluster to find out more about investment, including known investors in this area. Read their full instructions to understand how to make the most of this tool.

Read more

Embracing global markets: webinar series

This webinar series provides crucial market intelligence and information regulatory requirements to help companies expand in fast growing markets in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Provided by experts from various European Commission Services and the Enterprise Europe Network, upcoming events include:

  • 7 March: Doing business in Vietnam: commercial opportunities for the EU clean tech industry
  • 21 March: Doing business in the United States: Everything start-ups need to know
  • 18 April: Doing business in the United States: tax considerations for international companies

Sign up to watch

Measurement for Business programme 

 
This gives industry access to specialist measurement science and engineering experts and facilities, at no cost, to help your business grow.

This is open to companies developing technology in compound semiconductors, emerging new semiconductor materials, and advanced packaging who require assistance with characterisation, process control, quality, and performance assessment.

Successful companies get 20 days free of charge to investigate the feasibility of innovative products and services, accelerate their commercialisation, increase confidence in the data, and support their decision making.

Find out more and apply

Future Leaders Fellowships: open 27 March – 4 July

Open to people in universities, businesses and other research and innovation environments. You can apply for funding over four years to tackle ambitious and challenging research and innovation.

The aim of this scheme is to develop the next wave of world-class research and innovation leaders in academia and business. The FLF scheme provides long term support enabling fellows to tackle ambitious programmes or multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research or innovation.

Applicants must be early career researchers or innovators who are either:

  • looking to establish or transition to independence
  • developing their own original and ambitious plans within a commercial setting.

  • There is no minimum or maximum project cost.

    Find out more and apply

    Innovate UK innovation loans future economy: multiple rounds 

     
    This is open to SMEs with innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy. Loans can be between £100,000 and £2 million.

    These loans are for highly innovative late-stage research and development projects with the best potential for the future economy. They must have a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact. The project must lead to innovative new products, processes, or services that are significantly ahead of others. This current round closes on 6 March and will be followed by an additional round on 7 March – 1 May.

    Find out more and apply

    Innovate UK smart Grants: closing 24 April

     
    Apply for a share in £25 million for game-changing and commercially viable research and development innovations that can significantly impact the UK economy.

    Your project must be business focussed, with deliverable, realistic, adequately resourced plans to achieve a return on investment, growth, and market share following project completion. Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy. Projects of 6—18 months must have total eligible project costs between £100,000 and £500,000 and can be single or collaborative.

    Find out more and apply

     

    Chemical Industry Awards 2024: closing 12 April

     
    Designed to honour outstanding achievements at the company, site, or individual level, these awards showcase the best in the chemical sector and give you the chance to demonstrate your commitment to innovation, enhance customer confidence, and raise your profile.

    The categories include the GSK Innovation Award, Sustainability Award, Company of the Year, and more. The awards close for nominations on 12 April, see the competition categories for more information about taking part.

    Find out more and apply

    UKBIC SME credit round 2 – processing for electrode and cells: closing 6 March

     
    Apply for a share of £1.5 million funding from the Faraday Battery Challenge. This will support SME R&D for the scale-up of battery technologies.

    SMEs will be able to access UKBIC's giga-scale facilities for:

  • complete cell development project iterations.
  • proving electrodes at scale.
  • developing cell to module and pack assembly processes and associated testing.
  • testing process measurement and control systems on the UKBIC cell manufacturing process line, while considering integration for closed loop control of processes.
  • using novel software analytical methods for manufacturing and cell formation data.

  • Your total project costs must be between £100,000 and £1 million and your technology must be at technology readiness level 5 or above.

    Find out more and apply

    Good application guide: a reminder of advice available

     
    Whether you’re new to the guide or need a refresher, the KTN’s Good Application guide will help you to apply for funding with a higher chance of success.

    Read the guide

    Interested in further updates like this? 

    Our Change Makers ventures receive a monthly newsletter with signposting and support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and other identified external sources. If you have not yet joined Change Makers for Ventures and are an early stage start-up or scale-up focussed on deep tech chemistry, we invite you to get in touch and discuss an application .

    If you would like to receive our wider ecosystem newsletter, please register your interest here, and we will send the first edition when this launches.

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    Getting involved

    We host a number of events with the goal to connect experts with entrepreneurs to develop their technology and businesses, develop the skills of our venture community, and support investment in deep tech ventures.

    Read more

    February monthly round-up of support

    Read this month's summary of support available for deep tech chemistry ventures.
    More info...

    What is happening in deep tech chemistry?

    Your February update for what is happening in deep tech chemistry

    29 February 2024

    Are you interested in what is happening in the innovation ecosystem? Read selected news to keep up to date with what is impacting deep tech chemistry.

     

    Updates from the innovation ecosystem

    Labour pledges £10 billion for life sciences

    Liverpool and Imperial College to lead UK’s flagship £12M for AI for Chemistry Hub

    A new research hub (AIChemy) to develop artificial intelligence for chemistry will be led by University of Liverpool and Imperial College London. This UK-wide consortium will connect AI researchers and those focussed on the interface of AI for chemistry.

    Find out more

    New tool mapping innovation clusters launched by Department for Science, Innovation and Technology

    The Innovation Clusters Map provides details of innovation activity across the UK and allows users to explore the geography, distribution and strength of clusters. In combination with local intelligence and engagement, this tool will help investors, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations understand, engage, and invest in the innovation ecosystem.

    Find out more

    International Women's Day Entrepreneurship Event - 7 March

    In celebration of International Women's day, the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is hosting their annual IWiSE Conference , taking place on Thursday 7 March at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire. With a line of up speakers talking about their experiences as woman on the business side of STEM, this event highlights the importance of diversity in science with a focus on entrepreneurship and an emphasis on innovative business approaches.

    Updates from our deep tech chemistry ventures

    We would like to take a moment to appreciate just a small selection of the recent achievements of our Change Makers community.

    Despite being at the cutting edge of technology and persevering through the significant and unique challenges of commercialisation of a deep tech chemistry idea, often these ventures do not receive the visibility or recognition they deserve, so we want to celebrate their achievements.

    Mimica goes above and beyond their funding target

    Driven by a mission to reduce food waste, Mimica has created “Bump”. Using a temperature sensiste plant based gel, this cap changes texture to indicate when food is actually spoiled. This reduces reliance on use-by dates and means that food doesn’t need to be thrown out as a precaution.

    Former winners of our Emerging Technologies Competition, Mimica has gone on to enjoy great recent success, including their current Crowdcube funding opportunity. With a goal of £150,000, Mimica has raised over £300,000 and still climbing. This is a great success, taking Mimica further along the commercialisation journey that will bring this technology to fridges across the nation.

    Find out more

    Albotherm’s CEO and CTO recognised as Top Young Entrepreneurs

    Albotherm is developing glass coatings that change from transparent to white to reduce solar gain in hot weather. This allows buildings and greenhouses to regulate their own temperature without electrical input. With temperature regulation being a huge contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and air conditioning accounting for 20% of electrical usage, this has potential to reduce global energy usage, with current applications in food production and commercial buildings.

    This month, Albotherm CEO, Molly Allington, and CTO, Sian Fussell, have been recognised by Hurun UK with Under30s Young Entrepreneurs to Watch. Congratulations to Molly and Sian, it’s great to see the leadership and innovative vision needed for a deep tech chemistry venture recognised, we hope you will continue to lead your team with the same dedication as you continue on your journey.

    Find out more

    Sonichem to lead a £600K consortium to revolutionise the automotive industry

    Using the novel Sonichem technology and process, this former Emerging Technologies Competition winner breaks down the chemical bonds in feedstock and processes the liberated cellulose, sugars, and lignin fractions into high quality bio-chemical products. The goal is to maximise the value of the world’s green resources and create green chemicals safely, cleanly, and sustainably, which can be used in pharmaceuticals, food and drink, cosmetics, and vehicles.

    To this final point, this month Sonichem has announced that they will lead a £600K Innovate UK-funded consortium. Their carbon-neutral agroforestry-derived resins to materials for automotive applications (CARMA) project aims to develop and commercialise bio-based feedstocks for the transport industry, with the goal to support net zero vehicle manufacturing. 

    Find out more

    Being part of Change Makers


    Our Change Makers ventures receive a monthly newsletter with signposting and support from the Royal Society of Chemistry and other identified external sources. If you are an early stage start-up or scale-up focussed on deep tech chemistry, we invite you to get in touch and discuss joining Change Makers for ventures

    If you would like to receive our wider ecosystem newsletter, please register your interest here , and we will send the first edition when this launches.

    Latest

    More news

    The latest news, reports, articles and resources.

    View all news

    Share your news

    If you are a deep tech chemistry venture or part of the innovation ecosystem, you can share your news for the opportunity to be featured to our deep tech chemistry venture and entrepreneurial ecosystem of investors, mentors, industry experts, and more.

    What is happening in deep tech chemistry

    Your February update for what is happening in deep tech chemistry.
    More info...

    February venture spotlight

    Get to know a selection of our deep tech chemistry ventures

    29 February 2024

    Explore our community of Change Makers and how their technologies are tackling key societal problems.

     

    Our spotlight series

    This month we are starting a series focussed on businesses from Change Makers for Ventures.

    A requisite for joining this community is being an innovative start-up or scale-up with a focus on deep tech chemistry research and development and a drive to make the world a better place. Through their ground-breaking technologies, our Change Makers ventures all aim to create a healthier, more sustainable world, and our goal is to champion the ways that they are making a difference and accelerate them on the road to impact.

    Through this series, find out more about how these businesses are posing solutions to challenges from climate change to incurable diseases and future food or resource shortages.

    The ventures

    In honour of the Emerging Technologies Competition opening for applications, this month we’re featuring Change Makers for Ventures companies who represent each of the Change Makers categories and were selected as finalists or winners for the Emerging Technologies Competition.

    Lambda Energy

    2023, Energy

    Lambda Energy have designed materials to efficiently convert UV light into red light through luminescent downshifting. These materials can then be used in greenhouses to increase the crop yield with the goal to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture and improve food security.

    Read more

    Low Sulphur Fuels
    2022, Environment

    Through the development of their Fast Electrochemical Process (FEP), LSF have created a low emission process that efficiently creates recovered distillate and naphtha from end-of-life hydrocarbon materials. The enables the reuse of a significant volume of waste materials that would otherwise be consigned to damaging incineration, chemical treatment, or landfill.

    Read more

    Micropore Technologies
    2018, Enabling Technologies

    This venture has developed a scalable process for manufacturing mono-sized microparticles, micro-capsules, and emulsions for use in medicines, nutrition, skincare, agriculture, and construction. By surrounding tiny droplets in coating or a polymer matrix, or enclosing material in a wall made of hard or soft soluble film, it could have impact such as reducing dosing frequency, preventing pharmaceutical degradation, reducing waste, and improving patient experience in the case of injectable pharmaceuticals.

    Read more

    Apeikon Therapeutics
    2023, Health 

    Apeikon Therapeutic’s platform technology labels proprietary drug-filled carriers for MR imagine, which will help to focus thousands of ultrasound transducers on a lesion within the body. This concentrates the drug dose in a tumour for optimum therapeutic effect whilst limiting the system toxicity. This technology is suitable for improving existing approved and experimental anticancer agents and can co-deliver drugs for combination therapy.

    Read more

    A special mention to our first inductee to Change Makers

    Last but not least, a special mention to former Energy & Environment winner, ViridiCO2. Following the completion of their application form, they were the first company to be admitted into this new community.

    Their technology represents a significant advance in Carbon Carbon Capture Utilisation Technology. Using a novel technology, they enable chemical manufacturers to use carbon dioxide instead of fossil fuels to make sustainable products, such as cosmetics, furniture, and clothing.

    Read more

    Taking part in the Emerging Technologies Competition

    If you’re interested in taking part in the Emerging Technologies Competition, apply now  for your chance to access valuable profile, cash prizes, and indispensable validation and feedback for your deep tech chemistry idea.


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    Want to be featured here?

    This monthly spotlight is shared as part of our Change Makers for Venture newsletter, in addition to featuring on the website, if you would like to be profiled, please do not hesitate to get in touch .

    February spotlight on our ventures

    Get to know a selection of our deep tech chemistry ventures.
    More info...

    Find out more about events

    We offer a wide range of opportunities to network, build the skills your business needs, and access funding opportunities. See our events page to find out how you can get involved.