Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) is the first University of Cambridge spin-out to go public.

Trading on the US-based Nasdaq exchange under the symbol “OLED” began on December 16 2004, and the initial public offering raised $30 million. The funds raised will give CDT additional strategic options potentially including acquisitions, and additional funding for ongoing research and development efforts.

The company was founded in 1992 and was formed out of research work carried out in the Cavendish and Melville Laboratories at the University under Professors Richard Friend and Andrew Holmes. Jeremy Burroughes (now CDT’s CTO) discovered that light emitting diodes (LEDs) could be made using conjugated polymers while working in Professor Friend’s group, and the first of many patents was filed.

Commenting on CDT’s floatation, David Secher, Director of Research Services said:

“We are thrilled with CDT’s success. We have been with them from the start and had the opportunity to see them take a great discovery and turn it into a viable and successful business.”

Dr David Fyfe, CEO of CDT comments:

“This is an important milestone for CDT, and we are delighted by the confidence shown by investors in the attractiveness of our technology and in our ability to support it as the market builds to full scale commercialisation.”

CDT’s technology - referred to in the industry as ‘PLED’ - offers brighter, higher contrast, thinner displays that consume less power than the LCD equivalent, while offering very wide viewing angles and video response a thousand times faster than current displays. PLEDs are based on organic chemicals that emit light when stimulated electrically and have application in the global displays market as well as potentially in the lighting field.

Many of CDT’s commercial products are already appearing in shops and include Philips mobile telephone, MP3 players, a professional audio mixer and a TENS pain relief device. The company expects to see large screen televisions incorporate its technology by 2007.

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