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LONTRA RECEIVES IMECHE INNOVATION FUNDING

MIDLANDS FIRM’S INVENTION ‘LIKELY TO BE USEFUL TO THE WORLD’

 

Lontra today becomes one of the first recipients of investment from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ new fund, Stephenson LP. The fund has been introduced to back companies developing cutting-edge UK technologies.

 

The Midlands firm won the investment having impressed with the success story of its revolutionary Blade Compressor®. The new fund backs technologies that “give an impulse to invention likely to be useful to the world”, the original statement of purpose from George Stephenson, founder of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

 

Like George Stephenson’s miner’s lamp and the Rocket locomotive, the Blade Compressor® promises revolutionary benefits. Heavy industry depends upon compressors to deliver power to manufacturing lines, drive furnaces and convey materials. Collectively such compressors account for ten per cent of the world’s industrial electricity consumption. For 60 years, improvements in efficiency have been measured in single percentage figures, the Blade Compressor® as the first clean-sheet design in 80 years, offers a 20% reduction in energy consumption.

 

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

“It’s great to be the first to receive support and investment from the Institution’s Stephenson Fund. This will support further development of our Blade Compressor® as we seek new licensees. We’re proud that the industrial revolution continues to this day and that the UK remains at the forefront of engineering innovation.”

 

Backed by the Carbon Trust and Innovate UK, the Blade Compressor® is already licensed and in production for the water industry. Today’s funding will contribute to further research and development to optimise the design of the compact, double acting rotary compressor. The design has the potential to produce air in the range of pressures required by industry, typically 7-10Bar. Lontra is the first of two companies to receive investment from Stephenson LP, alongside fuel cell catalyst developer Amalyst.

 

Stephen Tetlow MBE, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said:

“This investment by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers is not just about providing monetary investment, but about connecting Lontra to the vast resources and network of the Institution and its membership.”

“The Stephenson Fund fulfils the Institution’s original purpose to give an impulse to invention and also help companies overcome the investment hurdle between Research and Development and bringing a product to market.”

“I am really excited that through the Fund the Institution is able to support Lontra, as well as other companies, in developing exciting and innovative technologies which really are inventions likely to be useful to the world. This is the Institution getting back to its roots.”

 

Ian Cooke, Director, Innovations at the Carbon Trust, said:

“We have supported Lontra since early in their development, by working with them to both help commercialise and deploy their technology and it is one of our flagship success stories. Lontra secured a partnership to scale activities in the waste water treatment market on the back of a successful demonstration of its prototype with Severn Trent. This can be a difficult thing for an early stage tech company to do, particularly in this sector and with the capital cost involved.”

 

A license for the Blade Compressor® has been granted to global engineering company Sulzer for the municipal and regulated waste water industry and production units are already being installed at customer premises. Blowers for water aeration alone account for approximately 1% of UK electricity consumption of which the Blade Compressor® can save 20%. Blowers incorporating the Blade Compressor® technology are equally applicable to many other markets from cement production to applications on the oil and gas industry to food production and further licensees are expected to be announced soon.

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 R&D LABS VISITED BY JEREMY WRIGHT, MP

Advanced technology hailed as a Great British innovation.

 

Lontra, the fast-growing Midlands firm based in Napton near Coventy, today welcomed local MP Jeremy Wright to see at first hand the research and development labs behind its innovative Blade Compressor® technology.

 

The lab which has been expanded following investment from the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network is now a world class facility, and follows Lontra’s nomination as one of Britain’s most innovative companies by The Manufacturer magazine.

 

Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth and Southam, and recently appointed Attorney General commented:

“Great British innovations such as Lontra’s Blade Compressor bring fresh jobs and investment to the regional economy, and continue a long tradition of engineering expertise in the region.”
Following the licensing of its Blade Compressor® technology to manufacturer Sulzer earlier this year, the first industrial pumps including Lontra’s innovative design are in production and have been proven to deliver efficiency gains of over 20%.

 

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

“It was a delight to showcase our proven and licensed technology to such interested guests. We are looking forward to seeing more products to incorporate our technology hitting the market soon. We are seeking investment to take this proven technology into new and even larger markets where our machine’s very high reliability and step change in efficiency will make a significant impact.”

 

Lontra was earlier this month chosen as one of a number of leading innovative businesses to appear at London’s Innovate 2014 conference. The exhibition run by UK Trade and Investment and the Technology Strategy Board is a world-class showcase of British inventions.

LONTRA HITS HALF WAY MARK FOR FUNDING

Successful British engineering firm recently shortlisted for innovation award and as one of UK’s most influential manufacturers.

 

Lontra, the fast-growing Midlands firm, today announced at the Innovate UK conference in London that it has passed the half way mark in its current multi-million fundraising round. The money raised will be used to support research and development at its Coventry site to secure new licensees for its ground-breaking Blade Compressor®.

 

The funds will support expansion into lucrative new markets in automotive supercharging and industrial air compression. The move provides investors with an opportunity to back a firm that this year granted global engineering business Sulzer a license to manufacture pumps based on its technology in a deal worth tens of millions of pounds in revenue over the next 20 years.

 

CEO and founder Steve Lindsey, recently shortlisted by The Manufacturer magazine as one of the most innovative and influential manufacturers in the UK said:

“I’m delighted to have been given the chance to showcase our technology at Innovate UK. Our technology is proven, licensed and in production. The Blade Compressor’s registered design is a fifth more powerful than its nearest competitor; this is a step-change in efficiency where many industries chase a few per cent gain. We are nearing the end of our fundraising round and are seeking backers to help us take this proven technology into new and even larger markets where our machine’s very high reliability and efficiency will make a significant impact.”

 

Funds raised are funding a multi-million pound research and development effort to extend Lontra’s proven and patent-protected technology into new markets. Lontra’s Blade Compressor® is a replacement design for the industrial pumps and blowers that consume 10% of European industrial power. It represents the first clean sheet design in nearly 80 years for a market worth well 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).

 

Lontra has granted an application license to Sulzer 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 R&D 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.

 

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 Exec and Chairman of AEA Technology where he was part of the team that licensed the Lithium Ion battery to Sony, technology that is today 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 and the firm has a strong and growing representation in the US.

 

Those interested should contact info@lontra.co.uk

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.

LONTRA R&D LABS VISITED BY JIM CUNNINGHAM, MP

Advanced technology hailed as a Great British innovation.

 

Lontra, the fast-growing Midlands firm based in Napton near Coventy, today welcomed local MP Jim Cunningham to see at first hand the research and development labs behind its innovative Blade Compressor® technology.

 

The lab which has been expanded following investment from the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network is now a world class facility, and was visited earlier this year by Dan Byles, MP.

 

Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South, commented:

“I was delighted to be able to visit Lontra and see the work being done there. I am very impressed with both the product and with the company’s research and development facilities, which may result in cheaper running costs for water companies – this sort of innovation which could benefit consumers and businesses is highly welcome. I congratulate them on their progress to date.”
Following the licensing of its Blade Compressor® technology to manufacturer Sulzer earlier this year, the first industrial pumps including Lontra’s innovative design are in pre-production and have been proven to deliver efficiency gains of over 20%.

 

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

“It was a delight to showcase our proven and licensed technology to such interested guests. We are looking forward to the first products to incorporate our technology to hit the market soon. We are also seeking investment to take this proven technology into new and even larger markets where our machine’s very high reliability and step change in efficiency will make a significant impact.”

 

Lontra has been chosen as one of a number of leading innovative businesses to appear at London’s Innovate 2014 this November. The exhibition run by UK Trade and Investment and Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) is a world-class showcase of British inventions. Lontra has also recently been shortlisted for the Innovation and Design category in the Manufacturer of the Year Awards.