Lord Young joins rock stars to back electronic revolution
Tuesday 09 September 1997
The former Cabinet minister is leading a pounds 6.6m investment in Cambridge Display Technology, a spin-off company from Cambridge University that has patented light-emitting polymer technology (LEP).
LEPs have the potential to replace liquid crystal and LED displays in a huge range of goods from computers to mobile telephones and could ultimately replace the cathode ray tube in television sets.
The potential world-wide market is estimated at $29bn (pounds 18.3bn).
Lord Young, Mr Bradman and a handful of other investors have formed a new venture called Light Emitting Polymer Investments (Lepi) which will take a stake of just under 33 per cent in Cambridge Display Technology. Lord Young will also take over as CDT's chairman and represent the company overseas, particularly in the Asia Pacific region which is seen as one of the biggest growth markets for LEPs.
CDT was formed in 1992 by Cambridge University and Richard Friend, now Cavendish Professor of Physics at Cambridge, with pounds 1.25m of seedcorn money. The rock group Genesis and its manager put in pounds 400,000 and other investors included John Sculley, the former president of Apple, Hermann Hauser, one of the founders of Acorn Computer, and Steve Kahng, president of Power Computing Technology.
Including the latest tranche of funding, total investment in CDT stands at pounds 10m - all in the form of equity. Cambridge University remains the biggest single shareholder. Under its chief executive, Danny Chapchal, who joined in 1996 from Siemens, CDT has raised pounds 2m by selling licences to exploit the technology to Philips Electronics, Hoechst of Germany and the California-based UNIAX. The first product to feature the technology, probably a mobile telephone, is due to appear before the end of this year.
"We have taken a view on the technology and decided it has a chance," Lord Young said. "If it succeeds, it promises to be extremely profitable. I believe that within two years we will see quite a lot of revenues coming in."
CDT is also in talks with a large Japanese electronics company about licensing the LEP technology for use in a wider range of household products.
Unlike conventional LEDs, which are based on traditional semiconductor technology, LEPs can be fabricated on flexible plastic sheets and are claimed to be cheaper, thinner and lighter as well as being easier to read.
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says 'they messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are handed peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
iJobs Money & Business
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sale...
£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...
£20400 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and highly reputable organisat...