A move into dedicated premises, access to hundreds of thousands of pounds of capital funding and the launch of a prototype hand-held drug testing device have been leading highlights of the Intelligent Fingerprinting year.
Led by scientist Prof David Russell at the University of East Anglia, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company which is turning research into marketable products.
Those products can potentially be used by institutions, border control and the criminal justice system for tasks including the detection of illegal drugs and identifying people.
Prof Russell, professor of chemistry at the UEA, explained how 2011 had taken the business forward many steps.
'In December we secured further funding of £300,000 from a venture capital funder to develop our diagnostic technology.
'In October we moved out of the UEA laboratories and into dedicated premises at the Norwich Research Park Innovation Centre.
'And in November we announced the prototype hand-held drug testing device.'
The device that will allow rapid accurate screening of individuals operationally in the field where testing results are needed most.
It uses novel micro–fluidics and optics that enable samples to be analysed in only a few minutes on disposable cartridges.
Once testing has been completed, the device will go into production in 2012.
The firm also employed a business development manager and three research and development staff, while being granted a European patent on its diagnostics technology.