Winners announced for the 2023 Harari Graphene Enterprise Award
The Eli and Britt Harari Graphene Enterprise Award, in association with Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Andre Geim, is awarded each year to help the implementation of commercially-viable business proposals from our students, post-doctoral researchers and recent graduates, based on developing the commercial prospects of graphene and other 2D materials.
Firstly the assembled finalists and guests heard from Physics alumnus and founder of global flash-memory giant SanDisk, Dr. Eli Harari, who joined the awards event as a guest speaker, live from the USA. He described the aim of the competition, since it started in 2013, to encourage students, researchers and visionaries toward innovation and risk taking.
Eli Harari Graphene Enterprise Award Winners
The award winners were announced and presentations made by chair of the judging panel Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Manchester.
First prize of £50,000 was awarded to Liam Johnson, Ph.D. Student (Engineering) and his team (Ed Hayter) who are manufacturing the first on-skin device for wirelessly monitoring the cardiovascular activity of free-moving mice (using electrocardiography, or ECG).
Professor Luke Georghiou presenting first prize to Ed Hayter.
MouseAble will use screen printable graphene inks to engineer an on-skin, wireless ECG sensor for laboratory mice. This device would reduce animal burden and allow ECG acquisition immediately without need for recovery or invasive surgery. A non-invasive device will also enable the collection of better quality data, as removing the burden of an implant may reduce animal stress and the impact this has on the results. By providing a faster, more humane method of collecting data a non-invasive system could offer researchers freedom to be more ambitious with their experimental plans.
In second place and claiming the £20,000 prize was Aayush Chadha, Ph.D. Student (Graphene NOWNANO CDT) with Eye Venture, aiming to manufacture smart contact lens systems using 2D materials in order to deliver unobtrusive detection and monitoring of ocular and systemic diseases (glaucoma and certain types of neurodegeneration) which pose high social and economical costs.
This year again saw the inclusion of an additional prize that celebrates the University's position leading the world on sustainable development. The winners of the £10,000 Eli Harari Sustainability award were Dinara Mangusheva, undergraduate student (Biomedical Science) and team (Luke Marden, Atif Riaz, Izehiuwa Ehimatie) with Aqua Catalysis. This venture aims to enhance the treatment of industrial wastewater by refining existing technologies and boosting photocatalysts through UV absorption.
Once again we are seeing breakthrough ideas for the commercialisation of graphene and 2D materials coming from our brightest young minds, enabled by the generosity of the Harari Award. The support provided by Eli and Britt Harari over the last ten years has enabled many new and exciting ventures to be developed and provides our winners with the early-stage funding that is so vital in developing these businesses.
Introducing the Eli Harari Graphene Enterprise Award 2023 Finalists
The three winning teams were selected by a panel of professional judges from a shortlist of five finalists all seeking to secure funding to drive their ideas forward. Watch the video to find out more.
The award is co-funded by the North American Foundation for The University of Manchester through the support of Dr. Eli Harari 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.