UK tech awards PwC SVB

shortlist review

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tech innovation of the year award

The UK has one of the world’s largest tech ecosystems, with thousands of tech start-ups, built around a strong entrepreneurial culture. Our tech businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, making cities greener and underpinning the financial, health, manufacturing, and mobility sectors, to name a few.

This is perhaps the most fiercely competitive category in the UK tech awards line up, given that innovation is really what lies at the heart of tech and what is driving the sector to its dizzy heights.

To win this award, the Voting Panel were looking for a business that is driving change and disrupting the status quo across all industries – this could be a start-up which has yet to commercialise its tech or a more well established and profitable business.

So competitive was this category, the shortlist was extended to five nominees. They are;


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Ceres Power plc

Ceres has world-leading ful cell tech . It is listed on AIM and is classified by its Green Economy Mark, which recognises listed companies that derive more than 50% of their activity from the green economy.

Ceres’ solid oxide fuel cell, SteelCell®, can generate power from sustainable fuels like biogas, ethanol or hydrogen and it does so at very high efficiency. With its easily scalable processes and inherently low-cost raw materials, SteelCell® can be mass-produced at low-cost and high-volume, making widespread adoption achievable. It is an ideal technology to tackle air pollution and climate change as it significantly lowers carbon emissions and pollutants, lowers running costs and is highly complementary to greater deployment of energy from renewables.


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Featurespace Ltd

Featurespace has disrupted the anti-fraud tech space and shown the financial sector how to effectively tackle the problem of fraud and financial crime. The group invented the innovation Adaptive Behavioural Analytics - a unique approach to spotting anomalies in behaviour to catch fraud and prevent money laundering.

Featurespace created the multi award-winning and innovative ARIC™ Risk Hub - a real-time, AI machine learning software platform that risk scores transactions and other events to stop fraud and detect money laundering in more than 180 countries.


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Onfido Ltd

Onfido helps companies validate identity by using its world-leading AI and identity experts to see the humans behind the screens. The group enables customers to prove their identities, wherever they are, with just an ID and their face, so business can grow securely.

Onfido’s AI-based technology assesses whether a user’s government-issued ID is genuine or fraudulent, and then compares it against their facial biometrics. Its clients include companies such as Revolut, Zipcar and Bitstamp.


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Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd

Oxford Nanopore was spun out of the University of Oxford, and has since developed and brought to market a new generation of tools for biological analysis. It opened a new, high-tech manufacturing facility in Oxford in 2019 to support rapid-scaleup of production.

In August, Oxford Nanopore announced it would roll out its novel LamPORE test to support the UK’s efforts to manage the continued reduction of COVID-19 and containment of new cases. An initial 450k LamPORE SARS-CoV-2 tests will be made available for use by a number of NHS testing laboratories. The programme will also help the UK to understand the different use cases for the technology, for example the potential asymptomatic screening of frontline staff. 


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WaveOptics Ltd

WaveOptics create waveguides and projectors to unlock the potential of augmented reality for the mass market. They are an ambitious player in the AR market with new technology in a game changing industry.

The group has extensive real-world experience of designing and building the optical component of AR wearables. Nano-photonics pioneers work hand-in-hand with mass manufacturing expertise worldwide, which is the critical combination that sets them apart. Together they are delivering core optical technology to ensure wearable AR becomes an everyday reality. Sooner rather than later.

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