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Scientists seek success with the tiniest of margins

Date 23 Jul 2007
Author The Editor

Researchers at Northumbria University are hoping to make their mark in the scientific equipment market with the prototype for a new tool that allows objects to be moved around with nanometre precision. Their new positioning device, Nanomobile, could help increase the ease and accuracy of laboratory work in crucial fields such as stem cell research.

The Nanomobile prototype was developed with financial backing from NorthStar Equity Investors’ North East Proof of Concept (POC) Fund. This £10 million Fund, set up with money from One NorthEast and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), invests in technology ventures at their earliest stages.

Doctor Volkov, inventor of Nanomobile, said: "We received £90,000 in POC funding to help us build this prototype and the result is a device that is ready to be marketed for commercial use. This is an incredibly exciting time for us and we are confident that Nanomobile will be well-received because it operates so smoothly on the tiniest of scales."

Nanomobile’s precision opens up new possibilities for scientists and engineers, especially in the life sciences, micro-electro-mechanical systems and semiconductor industries.

Head of the POC Fund, Dr Richard Exley, said: "It is incredibly satisfying to see the end result of one of our POC investments hitting the market. At NSEI, we support technology entrepreneurs from the inception of their ideas right through to research, development and ultimately trading. What’s more, there is a continuum of support with our North East Co-Investment Fund offering backing of up to £1 million."

For more information on the POC Fund visit or contact North Star Equity Investors on 0191 211 2300. For information on Nanomobile contact Graham Hopson (Commercialisation Manager – Northumbria Commercial Enterprises) on 0191 2437590 or via graham.hopson.

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