'Verba volant, scripta manent’, a latin proverb, served to remind the ancient Romans that spoken words are easily forgotten and used more vainly when compared to the definitive and ever-lasting written word. I believed this to be true until I met Dr David Leal Ayala and his concept of ‘unprinting’. He introduced me to the paradigm shifting idea that the written word is not as permanent as I might have thought; phrases, pages and entire books could be erased for good from the paper they were written on. David’s technology, its journey and its development into a business, which Cambridge Enterprise supported with a seed fund investment in 2015, offer an inspiring tale of good ideas, friendship, obstacles and successes.
But let’s start from the beginning.
David did his PhD and worked as a postdoc at the University of Cambridge in Professor Julian Allwood’s group in the Department of Engineering, researching how to reduce carbon emissions in the paper industry. Julian’s group works on industrial ecology to improve the supply chain by minimising energy consumption and by maximising materials efficiency, focusing on five essential engineering materials: steel, aluminium, cement, plastic and paper.
Read the full story on the Cambridge Enterprise website.