Exceeding project objectives Mark Gilmore’s discovery has potential for use in multiple industries


Associate: Mark Gilmore

Company Kilwaughter Minerals Ltd

University Queen’s University Belfast

Funding from Innovate UK/Invest NI 


The Project Kilwaughter Minerals is an established quarry and mineral processor, manufacturing innovative limestone products. The objective of this KTP was to develop a new ionic liquid that is more environmentally friendly, with superior water repellent quality for incorporation into a coating for masonry and exterior paint. 

The KTP Associate:

With an in-depth knowledge of ionic liquids and understanding of their chemistry Mark Gilmore was able to look beyond commercially available ionic liquids and to design and synthesise bespoke and novel materials. 

His tenacity and creativity has led to the discovery and development of not just one liquid, but a new class of ionic liquids which not only can be used as a masonry coating, but also has the potential to be transferred into other industries e.g. healthcare, marine coatings and industrial pipework. 

  • These developments have far exceeded the scope of the project, with Mark taking steps to patent this technology for the company, with the potential to licence it out to other industries, creating further commercial opportunities for the company. 
  • Mark’s design of a selective screening matrix of a wide range of precursors that make-up the final materials has reduced costs, optimised performance and developed a highly effective, non-hazardous final product. The methodology created by Mark is now used as a benchmark for new product design within Kilwaughter. 
  • Mark has been instrumental in the scaling-up of these new products, including leading on the procurement of a new reactor. 
  • He has also established new partnerships with external companies to begin production of the products. 
  • Mark’s ability to communicate complex project requirements to external suppliers, company staff and showcase the new solution to customers has delivered an exceptional KTP project. 

Winners of this category will be announced in advance of the KTP Virtual Awards Ceremony which is at 4-5pm on Wednesday 9 September. Join us in our virtual world to celebrate all the winners – register here.

See below for a profile of each of the 18 finalists in the Future Innovator category of this year’s KTP Best of the Best Awards:


Muddasar Anwar  Delivering innovation for Sustainable Drainage System to prevent flooding.

Blessing Mbipom Creating online learning for GPs.

Laurence Foster: Innovations to “print” structures, transforming house building.

Declan Bryans: Creating greener energy with innovations in flow batteries.

Elle Perschke: Applying B2C methodologies to launch a new product within a B2B company.

Mark Gilmore: Development of new class of greener ionic liquid, with multiple potential applications.

Khai Nguyen: Inventing a new silicone composite for consumer fixing brand, Sugru.

Swapnil Khadke: Creating new liposome formulations for application in drug delivery

Leona McGirr: Creating an Antibody Library for fully human antibodies.

Dan Hicks: Developing a new design and testing process for electric trails bikes.

Dmitry Bogachov: Advancing Materials Science for Anilox technology.

Andrew Grounds: Transforming business models for Social Enterprise.

Lyndsey McKirdy: Enhancing data science capability at Aggreko.

Jack Tallant: Transforming reporting and delivery of Charity’s activities.

Xi Liu: Using AI to develop fraud detection and prevention services for law firm.

Alex Komninos: Transforming spreadsheets in to cognitive models at IBM

Harvey Kangley: Delivering exceptional NPD for rail electrification

George Harris: Developing advanced engineering for intruder detection systems.

The Future Innovator category of the KTP Awards is supported by Ashorne Hill – a specialist training company which runs training programmes for all KTP Associates.

Want to find out more about working as a KTP Associate? More information here, and see the latest vacancies here.









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