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Hall of Fame / KwickScreen


Michael Korn

London, UK

Transforming a university research project into a thriving business is the hallmark of this innovative, award winning enterprise.

While studying Innovation Design Engineering at the Royal College of Arts, Michael became interested in how hospitals could improve the environment for patients by making better use of their available space. His research indicated that rather than moving patients to the right environment, the smarter solution was to bring the right environment to the patient.

As a result, Michael went about developing a portable, retractable screen that would solve two of the main concerns that patients have; the unnecessary spread of infections, and lack of privacy.

Michael’s invention, KwickScreen, has proved to be extremely popular with hospitals across the UK. Not only does it enable them to manage their space more effectively, it is a great ally in the fight against healthcare acquired infections, and provides a solution to the National Health Service’s (NHS) commitment to eliminating mixed sex wards.

Since its launch in 2009, KwickScreens have been sold to 65 NHS Trusts across the UK and exported to nine other countries around the world. The company expanded quickly and now employs 30 people, with sales rocketing to around US $1.2m (GBP £750k).

As the world’s most portable room divider, interest in KwickScreen is not only limited to hospitals. There has been significant interest from other sectors such as schools, universities, care homes, offices and exhibitions, where open plan spaces need to be divided in a fast and flexible manner. The ability to print designs and information onto the screens, as well as providing them opaque, for privacy, and translucent or transparent, for observation, ensures they offer solutions for many different requirements.

Michael was named Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011, winning a prize of US $16k (GBP £10k), and says that the award, “Brought us so much kudos but most of all, new customers in new international markets.”

The focus for KwickScreen in the future is on developing new market opportunities and on the next generation of products, including making improvements to the design and manufacturing process.

Revealing that the business may never have even got off the ground, Michael said, “When my wife told me she was pregnant she said you had better get the business up and running before the baby arrives, or else get a proper job. Baby Isaac was born just two days after the first bulk order came through, so the business was saved!”


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