Two businesses based at the University of Manchester, are to share £70,000 for winning the Eli and Brit Harari Graphene Enterprise Award. This is for developing commercially viable proposals which offer resolution for future issues in food and energy security.
First place winners, NanoPlexus, have been granted £50,000 for developing a renewable energy by using graphene in hydrogen production.
NanoPlexus’ founding team Jae Jong Byun, Dr. Suelen Barg, Francis Moissinac, Wenji Yang and Thomas Moissinac worked under the Nano3D lab in formulating their idea into a marketable product.
NanoPlexus will be developing a range of products using their platform technology; the unique nano-material aerogel technology will offer cost-effective renewable hydrogen production with increased material efficiency for a sustainable green-economy.
Jae commented: “Recently, there has been an increased footprint and sense of urgency to transition into renewable energy to tackle climate change. Our concept is ideally positioned to support this transition by acting as a stepping-stone for innovative technology growth into conventional energy systems. Our idea of 2D material-based cells supports the forecasted need of renewable energy implementation, as it uses low to zero carbon energy resources.”
Runner up, AEH Innovative Hydrogels Ltd, has been granted £20,000 for developing an eco-hydrogel designed to increase crop production in infertile land using minimal water and fertiliser.
Founder of AEH Innovative Hydrogels Ltd, Beenish Siddique, has developed a technology that aims to provide farmers with an eco-friendly hydrogel that not only increases crop production but also has potential to grow crops in infertile and water stressed lands, with minimum use of water and fertilisers.
Beenish said: “Many farmers, especially in third world countries with warmer climates, are interested in my product. I have a solution that offers higher crop yield with less water and fertiliser usage, hence, less greenhouse gases emission and a much cleaner environment.”
The award is co-funded by the North American Foundation for The University of Manchester through the support of one of the University’s former physics students, Dr Eli Harari, founder of global flash-memory giant, SanDisk, and his wife, Britt. It recognises the role that high-level, flexible, early-stage financial support can play in the successful development of a business targeting the full commercialisation of a product or technology related to research in graphene and 2D materials.