Professor Hagan Bayley, Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Royal Society of Chemistry at last night’s Industry and Technology Forum Awards.
The award recognises Professor Bayley’s excellence in science and contribution to British industry. He is the founder of Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd., which is developing the first single-molecule, label-free method of sequencing DNA.
Professor Bayley has researched nanopores for nearly 20 years, at world-leading institutions that include Harvard, MIT, the University of Massachusetts and now the University of Oxford. He founded Oxford Nanopore to transform the accumulated knowledge of nanopores into a highly competitive technology for single molecule analysis. Nanopores may be used to identify single molecules of DNA, and also a broad range of other analytes that might include proteins, biological or chemical weapons, drugs of abuse and much more.
Oxford Nanopore has raised £24 million in the last year, against a backdrop of a challenging environment for growing technology companies. This has allowed the company to accelerate its development, expanding from 25 people to more than 60 scientists, engineers and informaticians.
“I would like to thank the RSC for this award, which not only recognises the exciting work underway at Oxford Nanopore, but also the strong British tradition of producing revolutionary scientific ideas,” said Professor Bayley. “These are difficult times for those wishing to develop academic science into useful technologies and I am privileged to be part of a team that is attracting the funds to support that process. I would like to commend the many pioneers within the UK who are currently working hard to produce innovative products and build our technology industry.”
Dr James Clarke, Principal Scientist at Oxford Nanopore, has been highly commended by the RSC in the Young Industrialist of the Year category. Dr Clarke was lead author of a recent landmark nanopore DNA analysis paper, published in Nature Nanotechnology in 2009.