Microsulis Medical Ltd was founded in 1997 by the University of Bath to
Nigel Cronin's invention of a device for microwave endometrial ablation
(MEA) for use in treating
excessive menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia). This minimally invasive
therapy has a success rate
exceeding 80% and remarkably short treatment and recuperation times. It
has been used to treat
over 20,000 patients worldwide since 2008. In Feb 2011 Microsulis sold the
rights to its MEA
device for $3m to a US company in order to concentrate on another
application of Cronin's
microwave technology, namely microwave tissue ablation (MTA) for use in
Microsulis MTA systems are in place in over 100 hospitals worldwide and
have been used in over
5000 treatments of tumours of the liver, lung, kidney and bone, including
cases. In Feb 2013, the company was bought by AngioDynamics (a major
of healthcare devices) for $15m. This acquisition is expected to provide a
major boost to both the
reach of the life-saving MTA technology and global sales. Currently
Microsulis employ around 20
people at their base near Portsmouth, producing and developing their MTA
devices. Their sales
revenue since 2008 totals over £11m.
Impact: Economic and societal
The Millimetre Wave and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) group has
developed internation-ally award-winning instrumentation, and associated
components that have been produced commercially by Thomas Keating Ltd.
They have also led a pio-neering public understanding programme (PUP).
Significance: Thomas Keating have developed a range of new product
lines serving > 20 international customers including [text removed for
publication] of recent orders. The PUP has reached ~82 000 at-tendees.
Reach: Systems have been sold internationally and PUP has
developed into specific exhibitions at a range of science centres.
Attribution: The work has been led by PHYESTA Researcher Dr Graham
Translational research created new techniques for medical biosignal
analysis in both the ECG and Pulse Oximetry areas. CardioDigital, a
university spin-out company, was incorporated in 2001 to commercialise the
research and became a world leader in the development and supply of signal
analysis solutions for the medical device industry. The technology has
been applied to defibrillation techniques to improve survival rates
following sudden cardiac arrest, with a range of closely linked pulse
oximetry based technologies applicable for general ward use. The
technologies provide both enhanced and extended performance of the pulse
oximeter leading to improved patient care and hospital workflows.
Research on high-voltage power devices by the University of Cambridge
Engineering (DoEng) was commercialised by its spin-off company, Cambridge
Limited (CamSemi), which, in the REF period, has:
CamSemi chips are more efficient than traditional linear power supplies.
The CamSemi chips that
were produced before the end of the REF period are estimated to save of
the order of 100GWh of
electricity and 50,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year in
Wave power research at Queen's has led directly to the development of two
types of convertor by Aquamarine Power Ltd (Edinburgh) and Voith Hydro
Wavegen (Inverness). Direct employment totalling 400 person years has
resulted along with hundreds of people in other companies delivering the
different phases of the prototype machines. Financed by over £60 million
from both the public but mainly the private sectors, this represents 20%
of the total investment in wave power worldwide during this period.
Internationally recognised success in wave power has led to the
establishment of the Queen's team in tidal stream energy and environmental
monitoring of marine renewable systems.
Practical Waveform Engineering, developed at Cardiff, is having a major
impact on how modern- day microwave power amplifiers are designed,
delivering real competitive advantages for global communications companies
such as Nokia-Siemens-Networks and M/A-COM.
Economic impact is through reduced time-to-market and lower
design costs, leading to high- performance power amplifier products.
Examples include $40M revenue and employment of additional staff for
M/A-Com, and the successful spin-off company Mesuro Ltd., generating
revenue in excess of £2.5M.
Impact on practice is through successful demonstration of
new device technologies and amplifier architectures, the introduction of
PWE-based CAD models, and most significantly, the introduction of the
"Cardiff Model" into mainstream simulation tools.
Environmental Impact is by improving the efficiency of
power amplifiers and significantly reducing the carbon contribution of
mobile communications systems, translating into savings of approximately
£2.5M/year and a 17 kiloton reduction in CO2 emission for a
typical EU network.
Guidelines and standards underpinned by Strathclyde research have
improved the design, assessment and the safety of marine structures
subjected to wave impact in large steep waves. The guidelines and
standards are widely used in the design of floating structures,
particularly Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessels (FPSOs)
and offshore wind turbines. Since January 2008 the work has impacted the
design, strength assessment and failure analysis of fixed offshore oil and
gas platforms, renewable energy devices and ships. The guidelines and
standards are used by designers to mitigate against damage caused by
breaking wave impact, thereby improving the safety of mariners and
offshore workers, reducing lost production due to downtime, and cutting
the risk of environmental impact due to oil pollution. The research has
also been used by Strathclyde researchers in industry-focussed studies, in
legal work related to the loss of the oil tanker Prestige (2009-2013), in
the assessment of the Schiehallion FPSO for BP (2010), and design of a
Scottish harbour wave screen (2009) that allows ferries to access and stay
in the harbour in more severe weather.
The impact of this research has been of commercial benefit for TgK
Scientific Ltd, a Wiltshire- based SME, who have successfully
commercialised a FT-IR Stopped-Flow instrument. This has achieved market
share as a result of incorporating an innovative cuvette designed and
fabricated by the University of Birmingham's School of Biosciences. The
company has sold nine of these instruments since they were first marketed
in 2008, generating ~£200,000 in sales. This has made a substantial
contribution to the company's total sales, most obviously in 2012 where
sales of four instruments accounted for around 10% of their ~£800,000
turnover. The instrument allows the study of fast biological reactions by
rapid scanning Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. The Birmingham
contribution is a cuvette of a unique design that enables biological
materials to be mixed and observed after 2-3 ms, allowing enzyme-catalysed
reactions which have non- chromophoric substrates to be studied in
physiological conditions. TgK have combined the cuvette with their
stopped-flow drive system and a spectrometer produced by Bruker to make a
complete apparatus; it is believed that this gives the instrument a unique
functionality valued by a significant niche market.
Edinburgh Designs Ltd., (EDL) was spun-out to exploit ERPE research from
the original Wave Power Group. With six staff and an annual turnover
approaching £2M EDL has supplied the equipment and control systems for
wave tanks in 19 countries including the world's largest
computer-controlled wave test facility, the US Navy Manoeuvring and
Station Keeping Tank. They are currently completing the world's first
circular tank, combining waves with currents in any relative direction,
which is operated by the 6 person company, "FloWave" EDL, still run by the
founding staff, it is the world-leading supplier of wave-making technology
for scientific and recreational facilities.
Analysis of partial discharges for management of high-voltage assets has
become commercialised in the last 20 years. Work at the University since
1993 has improved asset management techniques used by companies
world-wide. This was achieved in two ways: first, improving power network
reliability, enabled through two start-up companies employing 59 people
and turning over £5m/annum; and second, by providing techniques for
testing and verifying safety of new electrical power components for
aerospace applications (e.g. A380). In four illustrative case studies,
over £3m savings are identified for end-users through improved reliability
of power networks. Further impact has been delivered by ensuring the
reliability of power networks in aircraft.