Northern Gritstone, the investment business focused on university spinouts and technology-enabled businesses in the North of England, has announced its investment in Silveray, the developer of an ultra-efficient X-ray detector technology.

Originally founded at the University of Surrey in 2018 by Professor Ravi Silva, Silveray relocated to Greater Manchester in 2022 to gain access to the North of England’s rich talent pool and resources.

In particular, the company has worked closely with X-ray specialists at the University of Manchester to develop its innovative direct conversion detectors.

The company is led by Dan Cathie, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the technology and semiconductor sector.

He spent five years as CEO of leading developer of image sensors for X-ray applications, vivaMOS Ltd, which he guided through its full start-up lifecycle from a spinout until it was acquired by Nordson Corporation in 2020.

At Silveray, Cathie is supported by co-founder and chief scientific officer, Professor Ravi Silva, and chief technology officer, Dr Stephen Whitelegg.

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Silveray is commercialising a new type of highly sensitive direct X-ray conversion material with a wide range of applications from industry to healthcare.

The funding will enable Silveray to continue expanding its team, establish its technology into dedicated premises in Stockport and initiate product development.

Silveray’s initial product development focus will be detecting undesirable inclusions within steel tubes using high-energy X-rays, working in collaboration with Tata Steel UK.

The collaboration is partially funded by Innovate UK, a public body that supports business-led innovation.

Dan Cathie, CEO of Silveray, said: “Northern Gritstone’s investment will help us to build on the momentum of last year’s seed funding round, adding the insight and support of another high-quality investor.

“We are looking forward to accelerating the development of our technology and hope to have our first demonstrator products available to leading customers by end of the year.”

Duncan Johnson, CEO of Northern Gritstone, said: “Silveray appeals to us not only because it has the potential to modernise the X-ray imaging market, but because it has chosen to do so by relocating to the North of England so that it can harness the world-leading resources that the region offers.

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“The company’s decision highlights the appeal of the North of England’s thriving innovation to early-stage businesses and we look forward to seeing Silveray contribute to this as it brings its first products to the market.”

Northern Gritstone is a ground-breaking new investment company based in the North of England, founded by the universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.

Combined, the universities share a talent pool of over 8,400 dedicated researchers, 11,000 academic staff, and 33,000 postgraduate students and generate an annual income of over £2.6bn.

Northern Gritstone intends to be one of the largest investors into academic spinouts and IP-rich businesses in the UK dedicated to financing companies in some of the UK’s fastest growing sectors such as advanced materials, energy, health technology and cognitive computation.