The Innovation Centre for Applied Sustainable Technologies (iCAST) has been selected as a finalist for the 2023 Triple E Awards in the global category of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team of the Year.
The Triple E Awards are an international recognition of efforts toward the quest for entrepreneurship and engagement in higher education. Created by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial & Engaged Universities (ACEEU), it aims to foster change in universities and to highlight their role in their communities and ecosystems.
Whilst most of the awards are categorised by region, iCAST has been shortlisted as a finalist in the global category of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team of the Year, which recognises a support team that has shown an outstanding performance in facilitating innovation and entrepreneurship activity and outcomes.
Funded by Research England, iCAST is a research and development centre that brings together industry with the expertise at the Universities of Bath and Oxford, the National Composites Centre (NCC), Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) and innovation experts at SETsquared, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Swindon Borough Council and investors.
The Centre, hosted within the University of Bath Institute for Sustainability, partners academic researchers with companies working in the sustainability sector to support businesses to bring new sustainable innovation to market and provide a platform for collaboration and networking within the sector.
It has offices and labs based at the University of Bath, University of Oxford and the Workshed in Swindon.
Director of iCAST and Whorrod Professor of Chemical Sustainable Technologies at the University of Bath, Professor Matthew Davidson, said: “iCAST provides an easy and unique mechanism for industry to access the world-leading expertise and facilities of a consortium of research organisations to accelerate the commercial adoption of sustainable technologies.
“We have been amazed by the response from companies wanting to work with us: since our launch in November 2021, over 90 member companies ranging from spinouts to high-growth SMEs and multinational corporations have joined iCAST.”
Reducing lab waste
Amongst the new members of iCAST is recent Bath PhD graduate, Dr Helen Liang, who co-founded LabCycle, a company that recycles plastic waste from scientific laboratories.
iCAST has worked with LabCycle to demonstrate their technology and significantly strengthen their relationship with prospective commercial partners. This has already helped the company secure public and private funds of around £500K, putting LabCycle on a firm path to future success and growth.
Collaboration and innovation
Professor Charlotte Williams OBE FRS, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Oxford and Deputy Director of iCAST, said: “One important aspect of iCAST is that our members represent different parts of the value chain and are very keen to work together.
“By bringing them together in a facilitated, creative environment, with academic expertise, unexpected and fruitful new collaborations have really blossomed.
“We’re delighted that iCAST has been selected a finalist at these prestigious international awards, which recognises the progress we have made since our launch and ambitions for the future.”
The award ceremony will take place in Barcelona at the end of June.