The inaugural Launch: Great West awards taking place in Bristol this June, provides the opportunity to showcase scientific commercialisation which has emerged from the universities in the region.

As a centre of world leading academic expertise and innovation excellence, the Great West has been identified as a key region in the UK Industrial Strategy.

This inaugural event brings together the innovation community for an evening of celebration, inspiration and building connections, spanning all fields of science.

Following an announcement from event organiser Spin up Science, the judging panel has now selected the category finalists. These are scientific companies at all stages, as well as the members of the community and organisations supporting these businesses.

Several of the categories include companies which have developed from the scientific innovation at the University. These are:

Ones to Watch award

This award highlights research at the early stages of the commercialisation process, either pre-incorporation or incorporated within the last 12 months.

Naturbeads Ltd is a company scaling up the production of cellulose microbeads, to replace plastic beads used in personal care products, wastewater treatment plants and many other applications.

Giovanna Laudisio, alumna of the School of Management Executive MBA programme, is CEO and Co-Founder with Professor Janet Scott, Department of Chemistry, and Professor Davide Mattia, Department of Chemical Engineering. They decided to bring together their expertise to commercialise the technology.

Naturbeads Ltd were participants in the Bath SETsquared Sustainable Technologies Business Acceleration Hub (STBAH) programme, supporting companies to reach their market potential.

BioDesign award

This award that recognises the fusion of engineering with biology to accelerate innovation and enable new impacts in life sciences and biotechnology.

Ceryx Medical span out from the Universities of Bath and Bristol in 2016, following successful joint scientific research programmes, and is now a member of the Bath SETsquared Innovation Centre.

Ceryx Medical is developing bioelectronics based on unique, patent protected, chip technology which is able to mimic nerve centres within the body called Central Pattern Generators (CPGs).

These CPGs help to control a range of autonomic or rhythmical processes within the body such as peristalsis, heart rate and even walking. It is hoped that Ceryx’s artificial CPGs can restore normal performance where these processes have been affected by disease or injury.

Global Good award

This award recognises innovations that are bringing about positive change and striving to tackle global challenges.

The BioFactory Ltd is a start up company from University of Bath graduate Eoin Sharkey, who graduated with a MEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering (with industrial placement) on the 10 July 2018.

Eoin’s start up ‘The BioFactory’ has designed an all-in-one latrine and waste processing plant that utilises biodigestion to convert human waste into cooking fuel and soil conditioner. Their system is rugged and easily deployable without the need for construction, and will be ready to use within an hour.

The BioFactory has also been shortlisted for the People’s Choice award, which invites attendees on the night to nominate their choice for the best science start up in the region.

Eoin Sharkey, Founder and CEO of the BioFactory says: "I am very excited to be one of the companies shortlisted for both the People’s Choice and the Global Good Award. The event will help to increase our reach and the exposure of The BioFactory, attracting the attention of the large organisation we will be working with in the future. This will help us rollout our systems into the camps more effectively. I look forward to the event on 6 June, watch this space to see how we do!”.

This announcement follows recent success for the Bath SETsquared member company, which was an Alumni Innovation Award winner in 2018.

Bath SETsquared is a sponsor of the Launch: Great West awards, sponsoring the Rocket Fuel award.

Further information on the category winners will be available when announced, following the event.