GreenPB win the first annual Armourers & Brasiers' Venture Prize


The first Armourers & Brasiers’ Venture Prize has been won by GreenPB, a team of scientists and engineers based at the University of Cambridge. The invention was created by a team led by Dr Vasant Kumar at the Department of Material Sciences and Metallurgy, which developed a revolutionary method of recycling lead acid batteries.

A team of students from several departments which included David Zou, Lei Wang and Nigel Williams took the idea forward, wrote the business plan and entered the competition. The award was made at the Armourers & Brasiers’ Cambridge Forum on Materials Science on the 10th June 2008.

The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company, together with FirstVentures, launched this new Materials Science Venture Prize in 2007 – an annual £25,000 prize established to encourage and support materials scientists based in Britain and enable the winner to engage in the early commercialisation of very promising research. This is start-up investment funding that is often difficult for researchers to access and absence of this funding can be a substantial bottleneck to the economic exploitation of new and exciting ideas.

During 2007 the development of the GreenPB idea was assisted with the involvement of i-Teams, a University of Cambridge programme run by Amy Mokady, an experienced local entrepreneur. The i-Teams project allows entrepreneurial post-graduate students to work with University inventions to determine the best route for their commercialisation by discussing the technology with real target customers in relevant industries. GreenPB were also finalists in this year’s Cambridge University Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition.

Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation office of the University of Cambridge, has been managing Green PB’s intellectual property. Dr Zlatka Stoeva, Technology Associate for Cambridge Enterprise said: “We are very pleased with the success of GreenPB. This has been a very exciting project for us and the Materials Science Venture Prize will help us and GreenPB bring this technology closer to market. The new technology will provide lead metal and battery manufacturers with innovative, cheap and environmentally friendly technology which may replace previous ineffective and polluting methods for lead metal processing.”

The Armourers and Brasiers’ Company traces its origins to 1322 when, in the reign of King Edward II, the Guild of St George of the Armourers was instituted. King Henry VI presented the Armourers with their first Royal Charter in May 1453. The Company’s present Charter was granted in 1708 by Queen Anne, giving the Brasiers (workers in brass and copper), who had become involved with the Company as early as the 16th century, equal status with the Armourers. As the Armourers to the Services, the Company played a special role in the defence of the City of London and its connections with the Armed Forces persist to this day, particularly the award of prizes for excellence to young service personnel. It also has long traditions of charity and hospitality. The Company is now one of the leading charities in the UK supporting metallurgy and materials science education from primary school to postgraduate levels.
For further information contact: The Secretary - Miss Antoinette Young Tel: 020 7374 4000 email:

FirstVentures manages venture capital funds which invest in UK technology companies, with a particular interest in companies which are exploiting opportunities based on advanced materials. FirstVentures is part of the FirstCapital group, an investment advisory boutique specialising in technology companies.
For more information contact: Hazel Moore, Managing Partner Tel: 020 8563 1563




Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge