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Finalists in the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards 2018 revealed

The judging panel for the awards. Front, from left, Barbara Fleck, of Appleyard Lees, editor Paul Brackley and Kristen Riley, of Grant Thornton. Back, from left, entrepreneur and The Cambridge Phenomenon author Charles Cotton, Sabine Jaccaud, of AstraZeneca, and Martin Smith, from Woodfines Solcitors
The judging panel for the awards. Front, from left, Barbara Fleck, of Appleyard Lees, editor Paul Brackley and Kristen Riley, of Grant Thornton. Back, from left, entrepreneur and The Cambridge Phenomenon author Charles Cotton, Sabine Jaccaud, of AstraZeneca, and Martin Smith, from Woodfines Solcitors

Winners of 12 categories will be announced on November 1

The sponsors of the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards
The sponsors of the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards

From pioneering start-ups to game-changing leaders in their field, they faithfully represent the region’s plethora of talents.

The finalists in the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards, now in their second year, were selected from a huge number of high quality entries received across 12 categories.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on November 1, following a judging session on Friday September 7.

Chaired by editor Paul Brackley, the panel of judges also included Cambridge entrepreneur Charles Cotton, AstraZeneca’s Sabine Jaccaud, Barbara Fleck from patent attorneys Appleyard Lees, Kristen Riley from business and financial advisors Grant Thornton, and Martin Smith from Woodfines Solicitors.

Paul said: “The response to our awards has been fantastic, and that made for a hugely engaging – and very challenging – judging day.

“Cambridge is a world leader in so many fields of science and technology, and these awards are a celebration of this quality.”

Companies were able to enter more than one category in the awards. This year, two individual categories have also been introduced – for Researcher of the Year and CEO of the Year.

The awards, which will be held at the Hilton Cambridge City Centre Hotel, are sponsored by Allia, Appleyard Lees, AstraZeneca / MedImmune, BioStrata, Cambridge Precision, Chesterford Research Park, COEL, Cofinitive, Grant Thornton, Regus, SmithsonHill and Woodfines Solicitors.

Start-up of the Year, sponsored by Regus

Fluidic Analytics

The Chesterton Mill-based company is building pioneering lab tools for protein characterisation and aims to create a machine for everybody’s home enabling us all to profile our protein fingerprint and access information about their biology, quickly and easily.


The Chesterford Research Park firm is revolutionising gene synthesis, which underpins synthetic biology. It can assemble DNA molecules with a very low error rate, with implications for research, genomics, industrial processes and more.


Babraham-based PredictImmune has developed a prognostic test for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which tells you how it will progress, enabling patients to receive the most suitable treatment path. The company has a pipeline of tests under development for other diseases.

Elpis BioMed

A University of Cambridge spin-out, its technology enables the highly controlled ‘reprogramming’ of cells. It provides a scalable source of pure, mature and consistent human cell products that can be used in research, drug development and cell therapy.

Kalium Diagnostics

Developing the world’s first blood potassium test for home and bedside use, Kalium’s technology has the potential to improve the health of millions with renal disorders causing hypokalemia or hyperkalemia.

AI Company of the Year, sponsored by Cambridge Precision


With the world’s first smart ledger, Fetch is building a platform which breathes life into machines, data, services and infrastructure with digital representatives that can trace autonomously and unsupervised.


With an impressive revenue growth of 72 per cent in the past year, the speech-to-text company is powered by AI and machine learning. Its speech engine has learned Hindi in just a matter of weeks, and even understands any English accent in the world.


The world’s first company that can track your changing health and wellbeing by harnessing the epigenetic information found on your DNA.


The PowerPoint creation process for product managers in high tech is painful. Nolojy, which is in its second year and currently a team of three, is helping to bring more automation to their work, so they can get out more.


After creating the world’s first AI platform enabling decision-making in complex business environments, PROWLER.io is already having a big impact in financial portfolio management, and in the logistics, ridesharing and energy markets.


With pioneering real-time, machine learning software for managing fraud, risk and compliance, Hauser Forum-based Featurespace’s technology is increasingly in demand from gaming companies, banks and card issuers.


Using the cloud to deliver hands-free, real-time, 3D image overlays to the operating theatre, Barrington-based Cydar enables quicker, more precise procedures, with lower doses of radiation for the patients.

Researcher of the Year, sponsored by AstraZeneca / MedImmune

■ Dr Charlotte Coles, reader in breast radiation oncology and honorary consultant in clinical oncology, Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre

■ Dr Feras Alkhalil, leader of the research team at PragmatIC

■ Dr Meritxell Huch, group leader at the Gurdon Institute

■ Dr Fabrice Gorrec, support scientist at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

■ Dr Peter Rugg-Gunn, group leader in the epigenetics research programme at the Babraham Institute

CEO of the Year, sponsored by Grant Thornton

■ Heather Richards, Transversal

Martin Frost, CMR Surgical

■ Dr Catherine Beech, Exonate

■ Dr Toby Norman, Simprints

■ Dr Chiraz Ennaceur, CorrosionRADAR

Tom Stubbs, Chronomics

Dr Peter Pack, Crescendo Biologics

Fiona Nielsen, Repositive

Games Company of the Year, sponsored by Woodfines Solicitors

Ninja Theory

Now acquired by Microsoft, this games studio self-published the game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to commercial and critical acclaim, receiving BAFTA nominations in nine categories and winning five, including best British game.


Employing 350 people, Jagex is the company behind the world’s most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Runescape, which has made $1billion in revenue in its 17-year history and which will soon be playable on mobiles.

Frontier Developments

It’s been a landmark year for the independent games company, which moved to a new HQ on the Science Park and enjoyed its biggest launch to date with Jurassic World Evolution – a title that sold one million copies in five weeks.

Cleantech Company of the Year, sponsored by Allia

Azuri Technologies

Bringing clean solar power to off-grid households in sub-Saharan Africa, Milton-based Azuri enables some of the world’s poorest people to power lights, charge phones and even watch TV or listen to the radio, helping to close the knowledge gap.

Origami Energy

A technology provider for energy traders and suppliers, Origami’s unique solution provides real-time monitoring and control. It enables more renewables to be used by enabling the electricity system to manage many smaller, cleaner flexible energy sources.

The VaioPak Group

Helping the food service packaging industry to be more sustainable, VaioPak has this year created the fully recyclable reEco Coffee Cup with a revolutionary interior lining called EarthCoating rather than traditional PE (polythene) or PLA lining.

Agritech Company of the Year, sponsored by SmithsonHill


From research and development trials, to the commercial food supply chain, KisanHub’s cloud-based platform connects agri-business, enterprise and growers with the multiple data sources they need to better understand their business.

■ Herdsy

The start-up has developed a collar with sensors which allows farmers to monitor any domestic animal, and pledges to put the technology in the hands of those who are ignored by others.

■ Agrimetics

Making big data user-centric, Agrimetics has launched products and services this year that offer all players in the agri-food industry a single point of access to a growing body of available datasets.

Dogtooth Technologies

Amid a global shortage of picking labour, Melbourn-based Dogtooth has created an autonomous strawberry-picking robot that uses machine learning and computer vision. It will send a fleet of 24 of its latest robots into the field next year.

Biotech Company of the Year, sponsored by Appleyard Lees

Crescendo Biologics

With novel Humabody therapeutics that harness the immune system to target cancer cells with fewer side effects and lower toxicity, Crescendo closed $70m funding round this year and has begun reaching milestones in its deal with Takeda, worth a potential $790m.

Cambridge Epigenetix

Aiming to reduced several important diagnostic screening tests for disease detection to one simple blood draw, the Chesterford Research Park company is using the power of the epigenetic modification 5hmC, which occurs early in disease development.


Probing the secrets of gut bacteria, Microbiotica is a leading player in the fast-evolving field of microbiome-based therapeutics and biomarkers and signed a deal in June with Genentech that could be worth up to $534m.


Babraham-based F-star is using bispecific antibodies to develop cancer and other drugs. In a deal with Merck, it received an upfront payment totalling 115million euros – which could rise one billion euros – while a deal with Denali could unlock payments up to $447million.


With its Affimer protein technology providing a viable alternative to antibody drugs, Avacta is working in immuno-oncology and is on track to deliver the first in-human trials of its platform in 2020.


See Start-Up Company of the Year.

Medtech Company of the Year, sponsored by Chesterford Research Park

Cambridge Respiratory Innovations

Developing an easy-to-use low-cost personal respiratory monitor, CRiL’s work could help the 400 million people globally with conditions like asthma and chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder to avoid unnecessary hospitalisation.


A global provider of clinical decision support software and services, Congenica’s Sapientia helps to address the need for rapid and accurate clinical diagnosis of rare diseases by bringing together all the databases and tools that clinicians require.


See AI Company of the Year


Based at St John’s Innovation Park, Endomag has developed a tiny magnetic seed for insertion into breast tumours to act as a beacon for accurate surgical removal and magnetic fluid to replace the radioactive tracers used to determine whether the cancer has spread.

Owlstone Medical

Measuring the volatile organic compounds using its breathalyser platform, Owlstone aims to save lives and healthcare costs by enabling early diagnosis of cancer and other conditions, and providing dynamic information on a patient’s disease activity.

The One to Watch, sponsored by Cofinitive

ANB Sensors

The Haslingfield company’s patented technology is set to revolutionise the pH sensor industry by providing smart, self-calibrating, drift free sensors.


This start-up is developing remote sensing technologies and advanced analytics systems for smart infrastructures and its CEO, Dr Chiraz Ennaceu - shortlisted in the CEO of the Year category - is also one to watch. Since winning £250,000 investment from early-stage technology investor, Mercia Fund Managers in December 2017, she has gone on to receive further national accolade, winning the Entrepreneur of the Year at the first English Women’s Awards in June.


The Science Park company has developed an eye drop to treat retinal vascular diseases by using mRNA targeted therapies.

PhoreMost Ltd

The Babraham firm aims to aid drug development with its SITESEEKER platform to identify new therapeutic targets.


Providing organ-on-chip technology, Stemnovate is disrupting animal-based drug testing and enabling personalised drug development.

Mursla Ltd

This nanosensor start-up is developing a diagnostic device for cancer using liquid biopsy.

Sphere Fluidics

The Babraham firm has created a single cell screening system called Cyto-Mine that can reduce costs and speed up therapeutic discovery.

Fluidic Analytics

See Start-Up of the Year.


See AI Company of the Year.


See AI Company of the Year.

Kalium Diagnostics

See Start-Up of the Year.


See AI Company of the Year.

Technology Company of the Year, sponsored by COEL


The Cambridge-based, extreme-scale, data integration company provides a location intelligence engine that can help plan smart cities, operate autonomous vehicles, serve personalised advertising and much more.

Origami Energy

See Cleantech Company of the Year.


The nonprofit company has built low-cost, rugged fingerprint scanners for frontline workers in developing countries to help track healthcare for pregnant women, enable better vaccination coverage, record attendance at school and more.

Cambridge Mechatronics

With more than 100 patents, Cambridge Mechatronics is pioneering shape memory alloy (SMA) technology. Its SMA wire, thinner than a human hair, remembers its shape and is already used in mobile phone cameras.


See AI Company of the Year.


The knowledge automation company helps enterprises such as John Lewis, Barclays and the BBC to connect customers, agents and employees through its platform Prescience, which uses AI to add intelligence to customer interactions.

Life Sciences Company of the Year, sponsored by BioStrata


With a flagship initiative to drive enhanced validation of antibodies across the industry and the provision of in-depth data and technical expertise, Abcam is leading the identification and global supply of the right antibody to support research, as well as therapeutic and diagnostic development. In July it announced the global availability of the PD-L1 clone it developed with Merck KGaA. Its data driven e-commerce platform recorded an average of 330,000 visitors per month, up 13 per cent on last year.


See Biotech Company of the Year.


See Biotech Company of the Year.


See Biotech Company of the Year.

Crescendo Biologics

See Biotech Company of the Year.


See Start-Up of the Year.


The awards night is also supported by Zyme Communications, Chocolat Chocolat and The Good Plant Company.

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