02/09/2016 Counterfeiter Opsec maintains strength in overseas markets
05/09/2016 Biotech Horizon Discovery spawns first new spinout
06/09/2016 Aerospace SMEs win funding for novel tech projects

The Gibson Index contains profiles on some 60,000 early stage start-ups, University spinouts, SME veterans, technology-led consultancies and business partnerships. It forms the world’s first comprehensive national small company database of any major nation.

The index is the result of an intensive research project by the writer and author Marcus Gibson, a prolific contributor to The Financial Times newspaper, and his team of researchers and correspondents from around the UK – in a project started more than 10 years ago.

It seeks to highlight the UK’s unique treasure store of small technology companies - which is one of the most important but least understood ‘Crown Jewels’ of the British economy.

Subscribers to the database include UK Government organizations, blue chip British companies, academic institutions, finance houses and economic development organizations keen to keep in touch with the fast moving world of technology and small SME in the UK.



Latest News on Small British Companies:


Counterfeiter Opsec maintains strength in overseas markets

Opsec Security Group Ltd reported major profit growth in the year ended March 31, 2016.

The anti-counterfeiting specialist saw profit before tax rise to $2.6m (£1.97m), up from $16,000 (£12,100) the previous year. Gross margins grew year-on-year from 38% to 41% as the company realised the synergies of the acquisition of JDSU Holographics, which it took over in 2012.

Revenue dropped 5% to $93.4m (£70.76), though the group said this was primarily due to a reduction in orders from a major transaction card customer during the year.

Established over three decades ago, Opsec designs, manufactures and provides authentication, brand enhancement and anti-counterfeiting products and services, helping customers combat counterfeiting and related problems such diversion, ‘grey marketing’ online brand abuse and fraud.

It works across three core markets - government protection, brand protection and transaction cards - servicing customers from facilities in the UK, Germany, Hong Kong and the Dominican Republic. It also owns 50% of 3dcd, a joint venture that licenses technologies into the optical disk and other markets.

Biotech Horizon Discovery spawns first new spinout

Cambridge-based Horizon Discovery intends to change the game in matching personalised medicines to an individual’s DNA. The first of the company’s game-changing initiatives, a new joint venture company, called Avvinity, formed to leverage technology invented by a Nobel Laureate that will fight cancers.

Horizon’s CEO Dr Darrin Disley said: “Using vastly differentiated technology, Avvinity promises to discover and develop novel immuno-oncology therapeutics for solid tumours and leukaemias - and there is much more to come from the Horizon stable as it takes the search for personalised medicines to unparallelled heights.”

Avvinity is deploying a powerful platform to discover and develop novel immuno-oncology therapeutics, called Alphamers for both solid tumours and leukaemias.

The scientific partnership brings together Centauri Ltd’s Alphamer platform and extensive experience in drug discovery and immunology with Horizon’s gene editing, immunology and translational oncology capabilities.

They claim to be a capital-efficient virtual company deploying up to £5.3million of initial funding and contracting member companies to perform work on their behalf. It plans to develop Alphamer drug candidates against a number of targets of unmet therapeutic need and then raise additional funds to take them into clinical trials.

Aerospace SMEs win funding for novel tech projects

In August 2016 a ‘flying wing’ unmanned aerial vehicle custom-designed to undertake highly-automated remote infrastructure surveying was unveiled.

The Dept for Transport announced two prizes of €50,000 awarded in the Space for Rail competition. Launched in October 2013, the competition was initiated and co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK rail industry’s Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) with support of the Satellite Applications Catapult and the UK Technology Strategy Board.

The prizes are to be used to fund two feasibility studies as part of ESA’s Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme. The two winners were; University of Birmingham (UK) with Avanti Communications Ltd (UK) and VTOL Technologies Ltd.

The companies envisage rail applications including the routine inspection of bridges and electrification equipment, monitoring vegetation growth, inspecting flood and other unexpected damage, observing trespassers and responding rapidly to any infrastructure concerns reported by train crews. The drone is to be built by the AmeyVTOL – a joint venture of Amey and drone company VTOL Technologies.


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