]ntel has made a minority investment in Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), the first of many expected investments in high-tech start-ups in the Cambridge area. Other start-up companies are already within days of signing agreements endorsed by Intel, according to reports. The terms of the deal with CDT were not disclosed. CDT makes Light Emitting Plastics (LEP), a technology which brings the possibility of flexible flat panel displays closer to reality. Because the products are plastic-like, they can be bent into practically any shape and are similar in nature to the polymer batteries expected from vendors early next year (see story, above right). "LEP technology is recognised as a strong contender to replace existing liquid crystal display (LCD) and cathode ray tube (CRT) technologies currently used in computer screens," commented Danny Chapcal, CEO of CDT. "This partnership will allow us to benefit from Intel's market presence and strong business relationships across the electronics industry. The relationship will give Intel early exposure to a revolutionary technology, which I believe will affect its core products." CDT was spun out of the University of Cambridge's prestigious Cavendish Laboratory in 1992, building on work done by the Cavendish professor Richard Friend. The company, with 25 employees, has licensing agreements with Philips, Innovative Display Technologies and Hoechst. Other major investors in the firm include the University of Cambridge, the rock band Genesis and a consortium led by Lord Young that invested #6.8 million in the company in September. A spokesman for CDT claimed that Intel was deluged by phone-calls after it emerged some months ago that the chip giant planned several investments in UK start-ups. Founder of Tadpole Computers, George Gray, is also understood to be in close contact with the Intel financiers.
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