Imperial College London

Imperial start up CustoMem wins £25,000 Venture Prize

by

CustoMem co-founder Henrik Hagemann

An innovative water-filtration start-up founded by Imperial students has been awarded GBP 25,000 by the Worshipful Company of Armourers and Brasiers.

Founded in 2015 by Henrik Hagemann and Gabi Santosa when they were students at Imperial, and now based Imperial’s White City Incubator, CustoMem have created a novel membrane technology to filter hazardous micro pollutants from water.

“This pioneering development looks to harness nature’s capacity to make biomaterials which will promote human health and provide a solution to a key environmental issue.”

– Professor Bill Bonfield

Chairman, Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize

Contaminants such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, high performance chemicals and heavy metals are often left behind after current wastewater treatment methods, rendering freshwater supplies unusable and contributing to water stress.

CustoMem creates membranes which not only capture and remove traces of these heavy metals and other micro pollutants from the water, but allow them to be recycled. Their design is particularly relevant to places such as commercial airports, oil and gas operations and at military installations where there are significant micro-pollutants.

Henrik said: “Our CGM solution is cost-effective and designed to drop-in to existing infrastructure. This avoids the need to install expensive treatment processes and will augment water recycling and reclamation on local and industrial scales.”

The team collected the annual award presented by London Livery Company The Worshipful Company of Armourers & Braisiers to encourage scientific entrepreneurship in materials science. The £25,000 prize will enable CustoMem to better characterise and test the technical performance of their product for removing micropollutants from waste water in industry.

Professor Bill Bonfield, Chairman of the Armourers and Brasiers Venture Prize judging panel said: “Our prize looks to encourage entrepreneurship in materials science and provide funding to help developments like this realise their potential.

“This pioneering development looks to harness nature’s capacity to make biomaterials which will promote human health and provide a solution to a key environmental issue.”

Reporter

Jon Narcross

Jon Narcross
Communications and Public Affairs

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