The winner of the EDP Business Awards 2017 Knowledge Catalyst category is bringing scientific excellence to the forefront of its business.

Based on the academic work of Profs David Russell and Rob Field, Iceni Diagnostics is a spin-out from Norwich's John Innes Centre and University of East Anglia which uses carbohydrates to detect viruses and bacteria instantly.

The company beat knowledge-sharing network Agri-Tech East and water treatment specialists Lintott Control Systems to win the prize, which was sponsored by the University of East Anglia.

Iceni Diagnostics have created a simple test to diagnose several diseases in their early stages, – preventing the spread of bugs and reducing the strain on hospitals. Now the company is looking to the agricultural industry with a test for avian flu.

Prof Field said: 'We are at that stage where we are looking for investment and being able to say we have won this award will show them what we can do.

'We are looking to take on staff and attract scientific talent so visibility is really important for us.

'The opportunities are huge for us.

'There are some excellent scientists in the region and they need to know there are commercial science jobs there for them.'

The judges said: 'New knowledge is central to developing cutting edge science and technology.

'Iceni is collaborating with other universities and research institutions to acquire and share knowledge.

'The company has distilled very complex knowledge into a simple and effective solution. It has a clear route to market and a strong regional commitment.'