Imperial College London

Imperial startups win EU funding to bring innovations to market


ThinAir, who are  developing a surface technology designed to enhance water condensation

ThinAir, who are developing a surface technology designed to enhance water condensation

Game-changing startups founded by Imperial’s staff and students have won support from a multi-million euro fund to boost their businesses.

Imperial entrepreneurs have been awarded EU funding for their work including technology that collects water from the air, a 3D digital sketching tool, and new processes for extracting raw materials from waste wood. 

The Imperial-founded companies are among 277 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 25 countries have been selected for funding under the latest round of the EIC SME Instrument

The fund offers support to Europe’s top innovators, entrepreneurs and small companies, with a focus on inventions that have the potential to shape new markets and generate jobs, growth and higher standards of living. 


Non toxic adhesiveCo-founded by Haidin Rashid, who studied Innovation Design Engineering at the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial, Materialize.X have developed revolutionary non-toxic adhesive for wood products. Their product aims to replace the toxic and carcinogenic formaldehyde-based adhesives currently used in the engineered wood industry 

The company have also developed state-of-the-art machine learning software to allow them to integrate their adhesive into the production process faster, and increase productivity and product quality. 


Dr Florence GschwendChrysalix , co-founded by Dr Florence Gschwend (Chemical Engineering), Professor Jason Hallett (Chemical Engineering) and Dr Agi Brandt (Chemistry), is developing a new chemical processes to treat and transform waste wood into sustainable fuel, new materials, and chemical products. 

The team hope that their solution will provide a greener alternative to crude oil, while providing unwanted waste materials with a new purpose. 

ThinAir Water 

Muhammed Maktari, Chief EngineerThinAir Water are developing a unique surface technology designed to enhance water condensation. Inspired by structures and chemistries identified in nature, the team hope to tackle global water scarcity by collecting water from the air. 

The company was founded by Imperial students Sam Bruggen (Life Sciences), Muhammed Maktari (Materials), Jonathan Risley (Life Sciences) and Ben Kirk (Business School). 

Gravity sketch 

Gravity SketchGravity Sketch, founded by Innovation Design Engineering alumnus Daniela Paredes Fuentes, uses Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to allow designers to intuitively sketch objects in an immersive 3D space 

The technology allows designers to draw exactly what they see in their minds in 3D, rather than drawing multiple 2D images. Car manufacturer Ford are among companies to collaborate with Gravity Sketch, using the technology to create models around themselves and adjust the features to best suit the vehicle's occupants.


Alumnus Nickolai Vysokov’s BrainPatch is pioneering non-invasive brain stimulation using artificial intelligence. 

The team say that their technology could be used to create apps that would help users  achieve deeper sleep, more concentration, boost learning as tackle a range of neurological disorders.





Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
Communications and Public Affairs

Click to expand or contract

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3921

Show all stories by this author


Europe, European-Union, Strategy-share-the-wonder, Entrepreneurship, Student-entrepreneurship
See more tags

Leave a comment

Your comment may be published, displaying your name as you provide it, unless you request otherwise. Your contact details will never be published.