SID News

Dr. David Fyfe and Professor Sir Richard Friend Awarded the 2009 Institute of Physics Business and Innovation Medal

Dr. David Fyfe, CEO of Cambridge Display Technology and Professor Sir Richard Friend of Cambridge University were awarded the Institute of Physics' Business and Innovation Medal in October 2009 for "guiding the company Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) to a pre-eminent position in the development of light-emitting polymers and in the development of the technology for flat-panel displays and lighting." The prize was one of four gold medals awarded annually by the Institute of Physics (IOP) and is for outstanding contributions to the organization or application of physics in an industrial or commercial context.

Fyfe commented, "I am honored to receive and share this award with Sir Richard in recognition of our efforts in developing and commercializing this technology platform. The award is also recognition of the many scientists, investors, and supporters of CDT who have helped drive the technology to its leading position for the future of the displays and lighting markets."

The discovery that certain polymers can emit light when an electric current is passed through them was made by Jeremy Burroughes (Chief Technology Officer for CDT) under the guidance of Professor Richard Friend with assistance from Professor Donal Bradley at the University of Cambridge in the late 1980s. Realizing the potential for the technology, Friend and colleagues promoted the spinout of the intellectual property into CDT, which was initially funded by the University, as well as various business "angels" and local venture capitalists. Fyfe joined CDT in 2000, leading its expansion from a laboratory-based research company to one that built a manufacturing process development line near Cambridge and entered the manufacture of ink-jet printers in California to enable CDT's technology to be applied on an industrial scale. •