Imperial spin-out raises £1m

A spin-out from Imperial College, London, has raised £1m for its development of the next generation of renewable polymers.

Plaxica has attracted new investment from the Carbon Trust Investments Limited and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), as well as further backing from Imperial Innovations, the technology transfer office.

The company is producing cheaper, stronger and more environmentally-friendly biopolymers from those currently available, and which can be used in packaging, textiles, electronics and automobile parts. The technology it’s using is based in research by Professor Vernon Gibson FRS and Dr Ed Marshall at Imperial College London

CEO of Imperial Innovations Group, Susan Searle, who is also a board member of the company, said: “Existing plastics are no longer sustainable because of the oil they use and the waste they leave. This investment will help Plaxica develop a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative for a wide range of industrial and consumer applications.”

Imperial invested £400,000 in this round of funding, which follows the £250,000 of seed capital it provided when Plaxica was launched in 2008 by Professor Gibson, Dr Marshall and Imperial Innovations Entrepreneur in Residence, John Hamlin. The company moved into the Imperial Innovations incubator in May this year.