Imperial College London

Researchers fast track their business ideas through Techcelerate programme


Clementine Chambon

Three chemical engineers have been accepted onto the Techcelerate programme, a three-month initiative developed and run by Imperial College London.

The programme provides funding and access to expert advisors to enable early career research to hone their entrepreneurial skills and connect with business and industry. The purpose is to support them in explore and reaching the full commercial potential of their research.

This year Dr Salvador Acha Izquierdo, Dr Niccolo Le Brun and Dr Clementine Chambon will all be taking part in the scheme.

Salvador Acha Izquierdo, Research Fellow in Energy Systems and the Built Environment

salvadorSalvador is a Research Fellow with substantial experience working on technical and market issues related to energy systems. Previous research collaborations with large energy consumers has provided him with an in-depth knowledge of the methodology used to calculate electricity tariffs for non-domestic end-users such as retail businesses.  “This know-how has allowed us to identify a gap in the energy service market for state-of-the-art data streams concerning real-time prices of electricity; such information would enable organisations to be more efficient in energy use and the investments they make with regards to smart energy management,” Salvador explained. “With Techcelerate I hope to identify our niche market and understand how to enhance the energy value chain to start interacting with potential customers.”

Dr Niccolo Le Brun, Research Associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering

niccolo le brun

Niccolo’s research combines industrial data and physics-based modelling to help companies become more efficient in the way they utilise resources. He does this by applying the algorithms he develops to real-world applications in industry. He is currently conducting a project which aims to optimise in real-time the cogeneration system of a supermarket to enable them to reduce costs, carbon emissions, and maintenance issues. On joining Techcelerate he said: “I am very happy to have joined the program; I am looking forward to understand the commercial potential of our know-how and see how it can be adopted across different industries.”  

Dr Clementine Chambon, Research Fellow in Off-Grid Energy Systems and Chief Technology Officer of Oorja Development Solutions

clementineClementine is a Research Fellow working on the issue of energy access in LED countries, and how it can be accelerated using advanced simulation and optimisation tools and innovative business models. Her work has highlighted the need for cost-effective, easy-to-use tools for solar mini-grid sizing and business planning. She said: “I am very grateful for the support of the Imperial College Techcelerate program to explore new customer segments and refine the business strategy for Oorja Development Solutions, my company that installs solar mini-grids and community solar irrigation systems in rural India”.

Chemical engineers also took part in the programme last year. Find out how Dr Marin Sawa, Dr Geraldine Torin Ollarves and Dr Florence Gschwend benefitted from the scheme on the Techcelerate website.


Sara West

Sara West
Department of Chemical Engineering

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