Graphene@Manchester picks up four prizes at CogX Festival Awards

Graphene@Manchester and its partners enjoyed a night of success at the CogX Awards in London, winning four prizes for innovation at a gala evening in London.

The awards event, held on Monday 14 March at the Samsung KX venue in London’s King’s Cross, was a precursor to the main CogX Festival, an annual conference held every summer in the capital, focusing on advanced technology, data science and AI.

The winners were decided by a judging panel of academics and tech industry experts, who ran the rule over entries in six categories: Recognising Leadership, Best Innovation, Best Tech Product, Global Goals, Outstanding Research and Achievements and Best Climate Innovation.

Among 24 prizes on offer in the Innovation categories, four went to graphene-related products and projects, all four being part of the Graphene@Manchester community, as follows:

Best Climate Change Innovation in Carbon Emissions and Clean Energy

Concretene – low-carbon concrete developed by Nationwide Engineering Group and The University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre and Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering.

Best Innovation (Food Tech):

AEH Innovative Hydrogel – technologies around vertical farming to minimise water waste, energy consumption and cost, led by Dr Beenish Siddique.

Best Innovation (Diagnostics): 

Dr Rob Wykes at Nanomedicine Lab – for work around epilepsy using graphene to develop flexible, highly sensitive neural probes.

Best Innovation (Space):

Graphene Space Habitat – design concept and composites technology for space habitation by Dr Vivek Koncherry and global architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

Chief Executive of Graphene@Manchester James Baker said: “I’m really pleased for the companies and groups involved in these projects. Sometimes we haven’t been as quick as we might to put ourselves forward for these sorts of awards, so it’s great to see to see recognition for the hard work that’s gone into all of these innovations. I look forward to us playing our part in the conference in June.”

Dr Rob Wykes said he was delighted to win the award. “Dissemination of this collaborative scientific work to a larger audience through the CogX platform will bring to the public’s attention the advantages of graphene-based brain interface devices,” he added.

“This work specifically highlights the innovation of graphene micro-transistor arrays, and their superior ability to record a wide range pathological brain signals associated with several common neurological conditions, in particular epilepsy. We believe that future clinical translation of this technology will result in a diagnostic tool that promises to improve patient management and treatment options.”

In addition to the awards, CogX invited Alex Bornyakov, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister for Digital Transformation, to explain how the UK tech community can help the humanitarian crisis in eastern Europe. Bornyakov was introduced by Chris Philp MP, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, who gave opening remarks and a call-to-action for the UK community.

The CogX Festival runs from 13-15 June. Find out more about how you can get involved at the CogX website .

Advanced materials is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons – examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet. #ResearchBeacons.

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