The University of Warwick is celebrating the continued success of its spinout Interface Polymers, following the company’s most recent investment of £2m led by private capital investment group 24Haymarket.
Interface Polymers Ltd was born in Warwick’s Department of Chemistry after a breakthrough in polymer research by Dr Chris Kay and Professor Peter Scott. The two developed a range of customisable co-polymer additives which modify the surface properties of the most commonly used plastics enabling adhesion to otherwise incompatible materials. Applications of Interface Polymers’ Polarfin™ products include multi-layer packaging, improving paint adhesion and recycling of mixed plastic waste.
The creation of the company was facilitated by Warwick Ventures, the University’s dedicated team specialising in commercialising innovations produced from its world-leading academic research. Warwick Ventures first supported Dr Kay and Professor Scott with a Proof of Concept grant to demonstrate the use of the technology.
Warwick Ventures then enrolled Dr Kay on an entrepreneurship scheme with Innovate UK’s pilot ICURe programme (Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research) which, alongside equipping him with key business skills, enabled him to demonstrate the market demand for the product. ICURe provided Dr Kay with additional funding to prepare a business plan with Warwick Ventures’ help for the establishment of a spinout company, Interface Polymers, with a licence of the University’s IP. The business plan succeeded in winning a £500k grant from Innovate UK’s Aid for Startups programme.
The new investment by 24Haymarket and existing investors will enable Interface Polymers to scale up the production of its Polarfin™ additives and develop new applications in response to a growing number of customers.
Commenting on the role Warwick Ventures played in Interface Polymers’ development, Quentin Compton-Bishop, Chief Executive Officer of Warwick Ventures, said: “We are delighted to have helped Peter Scott and Chris Kay develop an exciting commercial route for their excellent research through the establishment of Interface Polymers. We also very grateful for Innovate UK’s valuable support for Dr Kay through its pilot ICURe programme. With evidence of strong customer demand and the investment from 24Haymarket and others, the company is on track to produce products that will be of significant economic impact and benefit to society. It is an outstanding example of research excellence combined with the entrepreneurial spirit of the University.”