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LONTRA WINS ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY AWARD 2015

Lontra has picked up the prize for best Energy Product/Service at the Environment and Energy Awards 2015.

 

The Midlands firm won having impressed the judging panel with the success story of its revolutionary Blade Compressor®. The annual awards – now in their 16th year – celebrate excellence in energy and water management and outstanding business sustainability performance.

 

Steve Lindsey, founder and CEO of Lontra and designer of the Blade Compressor®, says:

“It’s great to win at the Environment and Energy Awards. This accolade is further recognition of how far we’ve come and what we can achieve.”

 

Lontra saw off competition from four other contenders for the Energy Product/Service Award having been one of 67 finalists whittled down from hundreds of entries in 11 categories by industry experts. The fast-growing Napton-based company was crowned during a ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 22 April 2015.

 

Lontra’s proven and patent protected Blade Compressor® is the first clean sheet compressor design in 80 years. A circular mechanism replaces the old ‘up and down’ piston technology, compressing air – or gas – in front and inducing the air behind in continuous motion, minimising waste.

 

The technology has already been demonstrated to great acclaim in the Water Industry, where in a trial with Severn Trent Water the Blade Compressor® delivered energy savings of 21%. It has since been licensed to Sulzer for the £600m per annum (pa) municipal and regulated waste water sector.

LONTRA SHORTLISTED FOR 2015 ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY AWARD

Midlands firm Lontra has been selected as a finalist in the Environment and Energy Awards 2015.

 

Lontra made the shortlist after impressing the judging panel with the success story and benefits of its revolutionary Blade Compressor®. The annual awards – now in their 16th year – celebrate excellence in energy and water management and outstanding business sustainability performance.

 

Lontra’s proven and patent protected Blade Compressor® is the first clean sheet compressor design in 80 years. A circular mechanism replaces the old ‘up and down’ piston technology, compressing air – or gas – in front and inducing the air behind in continuous motion, minimising waste.

 

Steve Lindsey, founder and CEO of Lontra and designer of the Blade Compressor®, says:

“It’s great to be in the running for this prestigious award and in good company with the other finalists. At Lontra we have had an incredibly successful year. This is further recognition not only of our achievements but of our ambitions. More and more people are realising that what we have is ground-breaking.”

 

Lontra is among 67 finalists whittled down from hundreds of entries in 11 categories by experts from the likes of Global Action Plan, Forum for the Future and WRAP. The fast-growing Napton-based company is one of five contenders for the Energy Product/Service Award.

 

It is the latest accolade for the firm which last year signed a multi-million pound licensing deal with global engineering business Sulzer and secured fresh funding for exploring lucrative new applications and markets. They include the industrial compressor market worth well over £2billion per annum.

 

The technology has already been demonstrated to great acclaim in the Water Industry, where in a trial with Severn Trent Water the Blade Compressor® delivered energy savings of 21%. It has since been licensed to Sulzer for the £600m per annum municipal and regulated waste water sector.

 

The Environment and Energy Awards 2015 run alongside The National Energy Management Exhibition (NEMEX) and The National Energy Recovery Exhibition which form part of ‘Sustainability Live 2015’ at the NEC in Birmingham. The winners will be crowned during a ceremony at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 22 April 2015.

LONTRA SHORTLISTED FOR INNOVATION & DESIGN AT THE MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Lontra, the fast-growing Midlands firm backed by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) and The Carbon Trust, has been shortlisted as one of Britain’s most innovative manufacturers.

 

Lontra is a finalist in the Innovation and Design category at The Manufacturer of the Year Awards 2014. The firm has been nominated for its ground-breaking Blade Compressor®, a replacement design for the industrial pumps and blowers that consume 10% of European industrial power.

 

The shortlisting in the awards run by UK industry publication ‘The Manufacturer’ is the latest accolade in a successful year that has seen Lontra sign a multi-million pound licensing deal with Sulzer. A fresh funding round to secure new licensees for the Blade Compressor® is now open.

 

The Blade Compressor® represents the first clean sheet design in nearly 80 years for a market worth over £20bn per annum, where today’s machinery is still based on designs dating to the 1935 Screw Compressor, Roots Blower (1867) and Vane Compressor (1588). New funds will support expansion into lucrative new markets in automotive supercharging and industrial air compression.
Lontra will now face finalists from nearly every sub-sector of manufacturing including automotive, food and drink, engineering, defence contractors, speciality steel, aerospace, beauty products, medical technology, and precision components. Shortlisted companies will present to an expert panel of judges on 7 October at Aston Villa Football Club. The winners will be crowned at The Manufacturer of the Year Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner on November 27 at The ICC, Birmingham.

 

Lontra CEO and founder Steve Lindsey, likened to British inventor and industrial designer Sir James Dyson by The Carbon Trust, says:

“It’s great to be recognised by The Manufacturer for what we are doing at Lontra and in good company with the other finalists. What sets us apart is the fact that the Blade Compressor® is proven, licensed and in production; it is truly revolutionary, not evolutionary; and it delivers a genuine step-change in efficiency where many industries chase a few per cent gain.”

 

Lindsey and his expanding team have already demonstrated the Lontra technology to great acclaim in the Water Industry. Severn Trent Water’s first machine having run the equivalent of three years duty without issue with their own figures showing a saving of electricity of 21%. The myriad benefits of the novel design include low maintenance, low cost manufacture and low energy use.
The Manufacturer of the Year Awards 2014 were launched at the House of Commons on 3 March and sponsored by Margot James MP and attended by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. More than 200 senior business leaders turned out for the launch to improve the image of manufacturing in the UK and inspire manufacturers to increase competitiveness.
Lontra’s license to Sulzer was for the £600m per annum municipal and regulated waste water aeration market. Pumps incorporating the Blade Compressor technology are equally applicable to the industrial waste water aeration market, which is three times as large at £1.8bn per annum.

 

Future research and development will adapt the Blade Compressor® technology to match the needs of the industrial blower market with a view to seeking licensees for non-water applications of the same machines for industries ranging from cement, fabric and carbon black manufacturing to power generation worth a combined £2bn per annum. Lontra is doubling floor space at its Napton R&D lab.
To date Lontra has secured £5m toward the development of the technology and the business: £2.9m equity; £1.1m development finance/IP license revenue from partners; and £0.94m from public R&D grants. Equity investors to date include Imperial Innovations, Seven Mile Capital and MidVen, together with angel investors. Board members and their associates have invested £1.4m.

 

Lindsey is supported and mentored by Executive Chairman Peter Watson OBE. The former engineering director for British Rail was also Chief Executive and Chairman of AEA Technology where he was part of the team that licensed the Lithium Ion battery to Sony, technology now used in nearly all laptops and mobile phones. Lontra’s UK business development is run by the ex-Sales Director of leading compressor service company Motivair; it has a strong and growing representation in the US.

SMALL GRANT HELPS NEXT BIG THING: LONTRA

Lontra, a fast growing Midlands firm licensing intellectual property (IP) to technical and commercial partners, has secured grants from the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network to support the creation of world-class research and development facilities at its site in Napton, supporting a predicted additional 15 jobs.

 

The grants, worth over £45,000, will contribute to the construction and fitting of a testing lab that will allow Lontra’s 10 strong research and development engineers to refine new prototypes and further potential applications for its award winning Blade Compressor technology. The compressor is seen as such an innovative breakthrough in engine design, that its creator has been hailed as ‘the new James Dyson’.

 

The Warwickshire Rural Growth Network is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to grow business in rural areas and is one of just five Rural Growth Network (RGN) pilots in the country. The network comprises partners, including those within the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, with Warwickshire County Council responsible for administering the grants of between £10,000 and £100,000.

 

Lontra applied to the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership for funding from its Rural Growth Network’s Micro-Enterprise Grant scheme which gives companies which specialise in products with environmental benefits access to funding.

 

Grants from £10,000 to £100,000 are available for eligible projects and applicants are supported by Warwickshire’s Rural Growth Network Team and the University of Warwick Science Park’s Business Support team.

 

The latest grants will be important in helping Lontra attract further commercial interest. The company’s technology was earlier this year successfully licensed to global manufacturer Sulzer for design into aeration equipment for the treatment of waste water.

 

Steve Lindsey, CEO and founder of Lontra, commented:

“I’m delighted to have secured this financial support and it comes at a crucial time for our business. Over the next two years we will more than double the size of our team in Napton, creating up to 15 new jobs, as we explore the many potential applications of our technology. We’re showing that the Midlands continues to lead the world in engineering know-how, with our advances helping reduce energy bills and achieve greater reliability across a wide range of industries.”

 

Cllr Alan Cockburn, portfolio holder for economic development with Warwickshire County Council, sees Lontra as an exemplar of what can happen when a company is given a helping hand.

 

Cllr Cockburn said:

“The success of Lontra is a story that we would love to see more of in the county. The assistance that we gave them helped them to move up to the next level and once they had done so, more contracts came in. This has led to more jobs and so the positive cycle continues.”

 

Cllr June Tandy, Board member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, stated:

“It is heartening to see local businesses applying for and receiving grants to help them with growth within the business sector. This is exactly what the LEP is there for; to ensure that economic growth is concentrated around Warwickshire and Coventry.”

 

The Blade Compressor® was awarded Most Innovative New Product at the 2013 Water Industry Achievement Awards and described as a “step change in air compressor technology”. It has been proven to deliver energy savings of over 20% with its unique geometry providing internal compression with very low leakage and low inlet and outlet flow losses. It is oil-free and is made from standard, proven materials, the efficiency and low maintenance benefits coming from the geometry rather than novel materials or expensive machining.

 

LONTRA SECURES A MULTI-MILLION POUND LICENSING DEAL WITH GLOBAL MANUFACTURER SULZER

Novel IP has potential to reduce energy bills in water treatment by 20%.

 

Lontra, a fast growing Midlands firm, has secured the first global license for its Blade Compressor® technology. The deal signed today with Sulzer, a global leader in pumping equipment with 21 manufacturing facilities worldwide, will see aeration equipment incorporating the British technology sold across 150 countries.

 

The Blade Compressor® was awarded Most Innovative New Product at the 2013 Water Industry Achievement Awards and described as a “step change in air compressor technology”. The novel design means the compact double acting rotary compressor is simple to manufacture. It has been proven in commercial operation with Severn Trent Water to deliver energy savings of over 20% compared to existing compressor technology.

 

The licensing deal provides Sulzer with global rights to incorporate the Blade Compressor® design into aeration equipment for the treatment of waste water. Sulzer offers a wide range of aeration systems for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. The deal does not restrict the ability of Lontra to license the Blade Compressor® across related applications such as industrial compressed air.

 

Steve Lindsey, CEO and founder of Lontra, commented:

“Today’s deal with Sulzer is significant, but it’s the first of many potential applications of our intellectual property. We’re challenging the industry to think differently about compressor technology to deliver a better performance, better reliability and significant energy savings across a wide range of industries.”

 

Scot Smith, Division President of Sulzer Pumps Equipment, remarked:

“Incorporating Lontra’s technology into our product portfolio will provide our customers with the high-tech solutions they need to significantly reduce their energy and operations costs for this type of equipment. The advantage of the Blade Compressor® is that it is the geometry of the design rather than advanced materials that deliver the superior performance. We therefore expect maximum reliability and minimal life cycle cost.”

 

Water treatment is an energy intensive activity; accounting for 1% of the UK’s energy usage. Energy typically represents 28% of the operating costs of water industry operations, with aeration accounting for 55% of this . Severn Trent Water’s Chief Executive Tony Wray said that the Lontra Blade Compressor would save them £1.8M a year in electricity costs and reduce their carbon emissions by 3% if rolled out across their estate.

 

The Blade Compressor® is an innovative design which delivers significant efficiency gains over competing technologies. Its unique geometry gives internal compression with very low leakage and low inlet and outlet flow losses. The low leakage allows a wide range of efficient operation and allows the compressor to be directly coupled to a standard industrial motor rather than requiring a gearbox or belt drive. It is oil free and is made from standard, proven materials, the benefits coming from the geometry rather than novel materials or expensive machining.