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Lontra one of the first recipients to receive prestigious Imeche funding

Lontra today becomes one of the first recipients of prestigious 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 and 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 technology site visited by MP Jeremy Wright

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.