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Cascade Fund invests in Reading's nanoscience technologies – University of Reading

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Cascade Fund invests in Reading's nanoscience technologies

Release Date 04 January 2005

Professor Edman Tsang with his iAc AwardEdman Tsang, Professor of Nanomaterials and Catalysis at The University of Reading, is the latest recipient of seed investment from the Cascade Fund. The investment will support the establishment of a business case for the application of a novel technology for manufacturing magnetically separable nanoparticles. Nanotechnology essentially involves manipulating material on the scale of atoms and molecules. At these minute sizes, materials' behaviour and performance are transformed. For example, gold is an inert metal but in nanoscale form becomes a very efficient catalyst; similarly non-magnetic materials can become magnetic, potentially allowing massive quantities of data to be stored in tiny areas. Professor Tsang's expertise in nano-architecture of catalyst particles has led to the development of novel catalytic materials with widespread potential applications in biotechnology, biomedical, chemical and engineering sciences. Recent research has included collaboration with a Manchester hospital to investigate the application of nanoscale encapsulated radioisotopes for use in medical diagnosis. The Cascade Fund investment will enable an assessment of the technology's potential markets, narrowing down the number of possible applications. Further detailed research into each of these selected markets will lead to the development of a business model for further commercialisation of the technology. Professor Tsang's research group received acclaim earlier this year after being awarded the distinguished 2004 Institute of Chemical Engineers iAc Award for Innovation in Applied Catalysis, with commercial partners Johnson Matthey Catalysts, for the development of a new class of carbon coated magnetic separable nano-sized catalysts. The University of Reading is home to a growing cluster of nanotechnology expertise and has launched a Nanoscience & Technology Network to capitalise on the multidisciplinary potential of these new technologies. The cluster is supported by significant investment in new research facilities including the Royal Society funded Wolfson NanoScience Laboratory, which will house ultra-high vacuum chambers for the growth of low dimensional nanostructures on surfaces such as dots, wires and films, and high specification microscopy facilities at the Centre for Advanced Microscopy. end Note to Editors The Cascade Fund Cascade is an early stage or Seed fund available to five partner universities in south east England: Brunel, Reading, Royal Holloway, Surrey and Sussex. It invests in activities that have moved beyond the scope of Research Council funding but which are still too early for conventional funding sources. The Cascade Fund has £4 million, 75% funded by the Office of Science & Technology (with contributions from the Wellcome Trust and the Gatsby Charitable Foundation) under the second round of the University Challenge Scheme, and 25% by the partner universities. The Cascade Fund is managed by an independent fund manager, Generics Asset Management Limited (GAML). Web: Generics Asset Management (GAML) GAML is the wholly-owned FSA-regulated investment management company of The Generics Group Ltd. GAML manages and maintains investment assets on behalf of both external investment funds and The Generics Group. GAML invests in technology-based opportunities and aims to make investments in enterprises to which GAML or other parts of the Group can add significant value and reduce the inherent technology risk. The Generics Group is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (Reuters: GEN.L) Web: Professor Edman Tsang Professor Tsang obtained his PhD from the University of Reading (1991) and undertook post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford, later becoming a Fellow at Oxford. In 1996 he returned to Reading as a Lecturer at the School of Chemistry and became a Reader in Materials and Catalysis. He was appointed as Professor in Nanomaterials and Catalysis in 2004 and is Head of the Surface and Catalysis Research Centre and Director of Research in the School of Chemistry. Web: The University of Reading The University of Reading is a top-rated international research institution, in the top 20 research intensive universities in the UK, with over 13,000 students from over 100 countries; it is listed in the Top 20 of the Sunday Times Good University Guide. The University employs nearly 4000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the county of Berkshire. Web: For further information editors should contact: Sue O'Hare, Technology Transfer Manager, University of Reading. Tel: +44 (0)118 935 7198, Fax +44 (0)118 935 7330, Email: or Phillip Carter, The Generics Group, Tel +44 (0) 1223 875200 Fax +44 (0) 1223 875201, Email

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