Innovation boost for manufacturing SMEs in the North West

Posted on 2 Aug 2013 by Tim Brown
An aerial shot of Sci-Tech Daresbury.
An aerial shot of Sci-Tech Daresbury.

SMEs in the North-West of England focused on materials and manufacturing have been given the opportunity to expand their business with an investment from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to help develop innovative new products.

In all, 19 companies will receive a total a cash injection of £1.6m to help stimulate development of this industry in the UK.

Winners now have six months to court other investors to gain matching funding to enable them to conduct R&D projects.

“The UK has a strong history in the integration of science and engineering that makes manufacturing work,” said David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board.  “However, proving new manufacturing ideas is expensive and many do not get the chance to demonstrate their potential usefulness. This Launchpad will help companies in the North-West cluster to bring new ideas closer to market.”

The winners of the Materials and Manufacturing Launchpad, a programme run by the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, in partnership with the Science and Technology Facilities Council, have demonstrated the most potential for innovation and growth within this sector.

All 19 SMEs will benefit from a package of business support to accelerate the journey towards commercialisation and are centred around the Sci-Tech Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus and the Runcorn Heath Business &Technical Park in Cheshire.

The winning innovations include an energy saving air sanitisation device improving indoor air quality; an agent to deconstruct cells which then releases and subsequently protects DNA and RNA for a number of hours; technology that can recycle and convert carbon dioxide from power plant flue gas emissions, into valuable saleable chemical product, and low cost radiation detectors capable of monitoring all forms of radioactivity, including neutrons.

Paul Vernon, Head of Campus Development at STFC, said: “This TSB funding is crucial to businesses of this size. What many companies also need at this stage are the skills to attract follow-up funding to move to the next level.

STFC with its business support and research expertise will work with those companies, showing them how to build business cases, offering market development advice and providing the opportunity to pitch to potential investors. This will give them the best possible chance of securing further investment in the future.”

The 19 winners are New Lighting Technologies Limited, ESP Technology Ltd, Spheritech Limited, Trametox Limited, AeroDNA Limited, NanoFlex Limited, Teknisolar Limited, Arcis Biotechnology Limited, GEM Nutrition Limited, Climostat Limited, Fusion Implants Limited, 2DHeat Limited, Air Quality Research Limited, Advanced Laser Technology Limited, Croft Additive Manufacturing Limited, Nanomedpharma (NMP) Limited, db brew and food Limited, Perceptive Engineering Limited and LPW Technology Limited.