University of Bath entrepreneurs have been shortlisted for 10 National StartUp Awards, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the university’s 2022 winner Naturbeads, which was recognised for its innovative work in developing a sustainable alternative to harmful plastic microbeads.

The StartUp Awards National Series is a collaboration between the founders of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards - an established national programme receiving over 5,000 applications annually - and the Wales Start-Up Awards, the only national and regional awards currently celebrating new businesses in the UK. The awards recognise the achievements of entrepreneurs who have spotted an opportunity and taken risks to launch a new product or service.

“We are delighted that our start-ups and entrepreneurs have been shortlisted as finalists for an unprecedented 10 awards in the National StartUp Awards (South West) 2023, in the same year that we received the accolade of Times/Sunday Times University of the Year,” said Professor Jonathan Knight, Vice-President Enterprise.

“For a single institution to be recognised so widely reflects the phenomenal and impactful enterprise activities which are emerging from our entrepreneurial ecosystem, from both our earlier and our more established entrepreneurs. We look forward to the ceremony and congratulate all those who have been shortlisted,” Professor Knight said.

The University of Bath nominees are Aerogel, Ensilitech and Transdermal Diagnostics, all of which have been shortlisted for both the Rebel StartUp and Innovative StartUp awards. Aerogel has also been shortlisted for Bath StartUp of the Year, while Mechanical Engineering graduate Waleed Lattouf has been shortlisted for two awards – Graduate StartUp and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. ECOZE, creator of an innovative carbon footprint tracking app, has also been shortlisted for Graduate Startup, and also Mobile and Emerging Technologies StartUp of the year

Aerogel Core Ltd, created by a team of engineers from the University, specialises in ultra-light ‘aerogels’ that can be used as soundproofing and heat-shielding materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

EnsiliTech, formed by Dr Asel Sartbaeva and her team from the University of Bath, together with Spin Up Science, aims to make vaccines that are safe and stable at all temperatures and prevent them from spoiling.

Trandermal Diagnostics is developing technology to help people with diabetes monitor their blood glucose levels painlessly. Waleed Lattouf recently won an Innovate UK award for his innovative web-based platform that allows online companies to streamline their supply chains.

ECOZE is an innovative carbon footprint tracker app, which shows the impact of consumers' purchases on a product-by-product basis. Each purchase tracked is a vote for a sustainable brand and the app can show the collective impact that users are having on environmental sustainability.

“I am absolutely delighted that the University of Bath has made such an impact in this year’s awards. The higher education sector is absolutely vital in developing new businesses that can make such a difference to the future economic success of this nation,” said Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, founder of the National StartUp Awards.

“It is encouraging to see that the high-quality research undertaken at the University is being successfully commercialised through the creation of these spin-out firms. Congratulations to all the finalists and I look forward to following their progress in the next few years,” Professor Jones-Evans said.

The University of Bath, under its Enterprise and Entrepreneurship programme, supports staff, students, graduates and local entrepreneurs with their enterprise ambitions. It offers a range of development and collaboration opportunities including support for start-ups, consultancy, access to expert research networks, and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

In 2022, Naturbeads, which was founded by researchers from Bath’s Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (CSCT) and Department of Chemical Engineering, along with an alumna of the School of Management, won the Manufacturing and Engineering StartUp of the Year award. They have developed a range of innovative and renewable biodegradable cellulose-based products that can be used in cosmetics, paints, coatings, additives for the oil and gas industry packaging, and composites.