Industry News: Phasefocus Nominated for a Small Business Innovation Award

10 Oct 2016

Phasefocus, a company from Sheffield, has fought off competition from across the country to be nominated for a prestigious national innovation award which will see the company heading to Parliament later this month.

Phasefocus is one of just five companies nominated for the Innovation Attracting Investment category in Innovate UKs Small Business innovation awards. They also have a chance of winning the best of the best Inspirational innovation award.

The awards aim to recognize examples of innovation excellence among the projects funded by Innovate UK. The awards celebrate projects and companies that demonstrate the impact of innovation on business growth and driving the economy, and can inspire others.

Phasefocus is bringing to market a range of products based on a novel microscopy method originally developed at the University of Sheffield in which image formation is performed by a computer rather than by lenses. The technology provides information that is often invisible or distorted in conventional microscopes. Its newest product, Livecyte®, which enables closer to real life cell assays for cancer research, stem cell research and drug discovery, was supported by an Innovate UK Grant for R&D, and an Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Program with the University of York that was judged to be Outstanding. The company has raised a total of £9.6 million venture capital and currently employs 18 people in the UK and 1 in the USA.

Phasefocus CEO Martin Humphry said: Innovation is at the heart of everything Phasefocus does. I am delighted that this has been recognized through our nomination for the Innovation Attracting Investment category of the Innovate UK Small Business Awards. We are grateful for the support we have received through our very successful participation in Innovate UKs Grant for R&D and Knowledge Transfer Partnership programs, which have contributed to our technology development and fundraising activities.

Innovate UK Chief Executive Ruth McKernan said: Our small business awards showcase the stories behind some of the excellent new innovations that Innovate UK helps to get closer to market every year. They also help Parliamentarians see how vital business-led innovation is to growing the economy and any industrial strategy. I want to congratulate Phasefocus on being shortlisted for an award and Im looking forward to meeting them in Parliament and hopefully sending them back with an award.

The awards will be presented by Universities and Science minister Jo Johnson MP, and Chief Executive of Innovate UK, Dr Ruth McKernan on 25 October in the House of Commons.

Since 2007 Innovate UK has invested around £1.8 billion in innovation, which has been more than matched by the private sector returning up to £13.1 billion to the economy. Innovate UK has supported innovation in 7,600 organizations, creating around 55,000 new jobs more than 7 for each company we have worked with.