We have a winner!

We are delighted to announce our overall winner, PragmatIC.

Overall winner

PragmatIC – winner of the ‘Security’ award – develops ultra-low cost flexible electronics: interactive ‘smart objects’ that are thinner than a human hair. These can have a massive impact on the packaging of FMCG products and tracing of security documents.


Congratulations to all of our other finalists: Alphabet Energy, Bluepha, SAM Labs and Sure Chill.

The Final – in partnership with Global University Venturing and Tsinghua Holdings Capital – showcased these investment-ready companies that will profitably address global challenges.


Our Partners

We are proudly supported by

FPA 2017 FINALists

All Finalists were established during the past decade and are commercialising cutting-edge technology or research relating to one of five impact categories: 

Climate Change -- Education -- Health -- Security -- Sustainable Growth


Climate Change

Alphabet Energy – winner of the ‘Climate Change’ award – traps wasted heat energy, saving money and reducing emissions. The San Francisco-based start-up already has contracts with car giant General Motors and global oil firms Saudi Aramco and Schlumberger.

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SAM Labs – winner of the ‘Education’ award – produces app-enabled construction kits that let kids use the power of technology to build their own inventions. The start-up has created the "Lego of the future" and it is already an official partner of Microsoft Education.


Cardiff-based Sure Chill – winner of the ‘Health’ award – is a new cooling technology capable of running for 10 days off the mains electricity grid, which has benefits both in helping transport vaccines in the developing world and for use by supermarkets.

Sustainable growth

Bluepha – winner of the ‘Sustainability’ award – is a synthetic biological and biomaterial company, producing eco- friendly plastic. With global plastics production standing at over 300 million tons a year and more than 99% of plastics made from non-renewable fossil fuels, the market for Bluepha to tap into is vast.

Judging Panel

Huge thanks to our judging panel:

  • Lord Foster (Chair), World-Renowned Architect
  • Lord Nat Wei, Social Innovator
  • Patrick Chung,  Founding Partner of Xfund
  • Nick Greenwood, Fund Manager, Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund
  • Douglas Hansen-Luke, Future Planet Capital
  • Jim Wilkinson, CFO Oxford Sciences Innovation
  • Sandra Eager, Ventures Principal BP Ventures
  • Rafael Ratzel, Director of Intl. Business Department at Tsinghua Holdings Capital
  • Rajeeb Dey MBE, CEO of Learnerbly and former winner of the O2 X Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (MC)
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Lord Foster (Chair),
World-Renowned Architect

After graduating from Manchester University School of Architecture and City Planning in 1961 Norman Foster won a Henry Fellowship to Yale University, where he was a fellow of Jonathan Edwards College and gained a Master’s Degree in Architecture. In 1967 he established Foster Associates, which has since evolved as Foster + Partners, where he continues as Executive Chairman.

He became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999 and was awarded the Praemium Imperiale Award for Architecture in Tokyo in 2002. In 2009, he became the 29th laureate of the prestigious Prince of Asturias award for the Arts and was awarded the Knight Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1997 he was appointed by the Queen of the United Kingdom to the Order of Merit and in 1999 was honoured with a peerage, taking the title of Lord Foster of Thames Bank.




Photo Credits: Frederic Aranda

Lord Nat Wei,
Social Innovator

Nat Wei is a graduate of Jesus College, Oxford. He is a social entrepreneur with an avid interest in social reform and was the founder of The Shaftesbury Partnership, founding member of TeachFirst and founder of Maker Wharf.

He is a former fellow of the Young Foundation and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He has served as a Government Advisor and was the first British-born person of Chinese origin to have become a member of the House of Lords. He started out as a McKinsey & Company consultant specialising in technology, particularly mobile, before shifting into venture capital, social enterprise, and more recently policy development.

He has served as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for East Asian Business, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group and treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment to promote better trade and political and cultural links between the UK and East Asia. Currently, he is a member of the House of Lords EU Internal Affairs Committee and Chair of the Conservative Friends of the Chinese.

Thank you to all our entrants 

FPA attracted global entrants from 12 countries and 3 continents, with submissions from world leading centres of innovation including Oxford University, Cambridge University, Imperial College London, University of Tokyo, Tsinghua University, Stanford and MIT, competing for a prize including substantial publicity, potential investment and introductions to investors, mentors and the Future Planet global network.

The majority of participants are already backed by renowned organisations, investors and incubators such as Oxford Sciences Innovation, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Touchstone Innovations, MIT Partners, ARM, Parrot, Lenovo, General Motors.