Top entrepreneurship award for Leeds researcher

A researcher from the University of Leeds has won a national entrepreneurship award for his work in developing a new method of counterfeit-proofing glass.

Dr Matthew Murray, a research fellow in the University’s School of Chemical and Process Engineering, is spearheading the commercialisation of a new laser technology that creates patterns of new material in the structure of glass that are impossible to counterfeit.  

Dr Murray will receive the 2015 Royal Academy of Engineering-ERA Foundation Entrepreneurs’ Award, one of the Academy’s most prestigious awards for entrepreneurs. 

The technology will be a huge boost to sectors that rely on glass containers such as pharmaceuticals, alcohol and perfumes, helping to tackle the production of counterfeit goods. Fakes in these industries are not only responsible for massive financial losses but, in some sectors, major health risks.

Dr Murray, said: "The challenge now facing us is to make the technology into a viable commercial product. This award will give us a tremendous boost and, for me personally, it will help me make the transition from researcher to entrepreneur.

"We are determined to develop these products within the UK. All too often, we see British universities developing amazing technologies and then watch the manufacturing go abroad. We are committed to developing a company around this technology that will provide a platform for further innovation."

Dr Murray is a member of the team behind Ultramatis Ltd, a new University of Leeds spinout established to commercialise the technology, dubbed Alpin.

The RAEng-ERA prize will be presented on the 16th of July at an annual awards ceremony. Awarded for innovation in electro-technology, the prize brings the backing of the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, including a £30,000 investment and mentoring for Dr Murray from a senior member of the Academy’s fellowship. 

Matthew will be given intensive training in business skills over the next year, access business networks as a member of the Hub and a £10,000 personal prize.

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