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ProColl wins Swansea University award for industry impact

ProColl has been named the winner of the Outstanding Impact on Industry, Commerce and Innovation award at the annual Swansea University Research and Innovation Awards.

ProColl supplies biomaterials to help researchers create innovations such as artificial skin and organs with their first to market vegan friendly materials. This includes a material based on collagen, a major component of connective tissues in the human body, for medical breakthroughs that will offer the solutions for everything from cancer drug testing to (autograft) organ replacement.

CEO Jonathan Widdowson, 27, discovered a way to produce non-animal derived products with just two people involved in production to meet high demand with the help of Dr Chris Wright since his PhD studies at Swansea University and AgorIP.

AgorIP, supported by Swansea University, and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, brings together academics, clinicians and businesses to pioneer research into cutting-edge technologies and drive commercial success.

The annual Research and Innovation Awards showcase the outstanding collaborations Swansea University has with public, private and third sector organisations, and the enormous impact these are having across the world.

Elsewhere, Peter Dunstan, who has been supported by AgorIP in his project CanSense, which delivers accurate, non-invasive, inexpensive blood tests to diagnose bowel cancer early, won the Outstanding Research and Innovation Collaboration award for their CRaFT study.

Dr Widdowson said: “We’re very grateful to all of our sponsors and collaborators including AgorIP, Royal Academy of Engineering, the Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), the EPSRC and most of all, Swansea University for all of their support to help us get to this point.

“We didn’t expect to win against such amazing projects like the Degree Apprenticeship Programme in Applied Software Engineering and the Look Ahead to Brain Health and Wellbeing in Rugby Union project, and we are honoured to have won such a prestigious award.”

Ceri Jones, Interim Director of AgorIP, added: “Congratulations to the team at ProColl Ltd on such a deserved recognition.  The company has made impressive strides on its journey and is now an exemplar in how to successfully commercialise University technology.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to recognise the AgorIP team who has supported Chris and Jonathan throughout the rapid development of their ideas, technology and start-up company – a perfect example of how effective collaboration can lead to significant results.”

Berna Jones, the Technology Transfer Officer who has been helping ProColl through their AgorIP journey, added: “We are very honoured to win the Outstanding Impact on Industry, Commerce and Innovation award at the Swansea University R&I awards 2020. I would like to congratulate all the shortlisted candidates and the winners of the evening.

“I’d also like to say a very special thanks to everybody who helped to organise the ceremony and all the sponsors, especially EPSRC for making it happen.”