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18 June 2012

Nano breakthrough wins backing from The North West Fund for Venture Capital

Press Release 18th June 2012

Two scientists who have found a way to manufacture tiny or nanoscale electrodes on a commercial basis have won a significant investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital, managed by EV.

The breakthrough by Dr Neville Freeman and Dr Amy Farrington of Nanoflex could have a significant impact in fields ranging from medical diagnostics and environmental testing to energy storage.

The North West Fund for Venture Capital is part of the £185m North West Fund, financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Neville and Amy, who are both experts in electrochemistry, set up their company Nanoflex at Daresbury Science and Innovation Park in 2008. Since then they have been working with Edinburgh University to develop their ideas using their own funds. The technology is already being sold into the chemistry research market. The new investment will help the couple to explore different uses and accelerate the global sales process.

Neville has won a variety of awards for his achievements in the past and is the founder of the Farfield Group, an instrumentation company. He left the business in 2008 following its sale to a Swedish company. Amy has a background in technology commercialisation in both the private and academic arenas. She has brought technologies to market in sectors such as nuclear, software and bio-materials. 

Neville said: "Nano-electrodes have been manufactured within laboratories for some time and people are excited about the benefits they can offer. However until now no one has found a way to reproduce them on a commercial scale.

"Electrodes are the basis for many of the technologies we use in everyday life. For example, in the medical field, they are used in sensors for diabetic tests and other diagnostics which millions of patients use to monitor their own conditions. Nano-electrodes offer greater sensitivity and could therefore result in better tests and the creation of new ones that have not been possible so far."

Doug Stellman, investment manager with EV, which manages The North West Fund for Venture Capital, said: "Neville and Amy have strong track records in developing and commercialising new technologies. We were attracted to invest in the business as the novel sensor architecture provides a platform for exciting new developments in a wide range of sectors."

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