University of Cambridge spin-out Reduse, which has developed a technology to remove print from paper allowing it to be reused several times before being recycled, has won the Venture Competition, organised by the Climate-KIC UK , the EU’s main climate innovation initiative.

This is more proof that we are on the right track to solving the incredible waste that is being generated by printing.

Hidde-Jan Lemstra

Reduse, which was founded 2014, was named the winner at a ceremony held earlier this month in London for the UK’s top climate start-ups.

David Leal, Reduse’s Chief Scientist, invented the ‘Unprinter’ during his PhD research under the supervision of Dr Julian Allwood in the Low Carbon Materials Processing Group at the Engineering Department.

Their invention is able to remove print from laser-printed paper, and this process can be repeated several times without damaging the fibres of the paper, providing cost savings and CO2 reductions. Just one office employee can use up to 10,000 sheets of paper every year, most of which are thrown away after only a few days. Along with saving forests from being used for new paper, reusing paper could save an additional 50-80% in carbon emissions over recycling.

Climate-KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) shortlisted Reduse as a finalist in their annual UK Venture Competition, following the company’s involvement in the Climate-KIC Accelerator Programme, which provides up to €95,000 funding to the most promising carbon start-ups in Europe.

Reduse were one of nine finalists who competed for the prize at the Royal College of Music in London.

“We are of course delighted to have won this competition. This is more proof that we are on the right track to solving the incredible waste that is being generated by printing," said Hidde-Jan Lemstra, CEO of Reduse.

The company recently recruited Tony Dunn to become their new Chief Technology Officer. He has over twenty years’ experience with product design and development, and will lead the development of the Unprinter. Reduse has already started raising its first round of funding and looks to gain a £224,000 grant from the Technology Strategy Board.

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