A TECHNOLOGY firm has won nearly £1m investment to start selling a new filter for industrial pollution which is hoped to more than double its revenues in the next two years.
Gateshead firm nano-porous solutions ltd (n-psl) has built up worldwide sales of its first filter to nearly £1m after starting out in business five years ago.
The firm, launched by successful technology entrepreneur Colin Billiet, is now preparing to market its latest pollution filter which it expects to sell rapidly and push the firm’s takings to £2.5m in the next 12 months.
Finance director Ian Fraser said: “We have tremendous interest from a number of global players. There is potential for sales to a wide variety of industries through original equipment manufacturers.
“We have been trading with manufacturers over the last few years and we re looking to build up the network. In the short term we will be looking to the railway industry and life sciences in particular. We have been developing this product for a few years and it is still on trial but following this latest investment, we will be soon ready to take it to market.”
The technology, originally developed at the University of Bath, uses layers of tiny hollow fibres to filter out pollutants. The latest model’s advantages include being small, more efficient and the ability to be used over and over again. As the product does not have to be frequently replaced it saves a lot of money. It also uses half the power of its rivals.
Fraser said: “It can be used in a wide range of industries, including construction, the manufacture of cars, food, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. It is fantastic technology which will go around the world but is being developed here in Gateshead.”
Managing director Colin Billiet launched the firm in 2007, as its main investor alongside other directors and Bath University.
He was previously best know for building up Birtley-based filtration business into a firm with 2,000 staff and annual sales of £200m.
N-psl, which now has 25 staff, was originally boosted by £300,000 of funding from the Royal Society of Enterprise, helped last year by a £750,000 grant from the Royal Society Enterprise Fund and Business Angels’ John Clough and Dave Routledge, both formerly of Eaga, to develop the technology.
Now the firm has raised around £900,000 to take its latest product to market. It received £280,000 from the Finance for Business North East Technology Fund, managed by IP Group. The Royal Society Enterprise Fund invested £150,000 with management and Business Angels investing £477,000.
IP Group investment manager Nick Edgar said: “The North East is building a real name for itself in green technology and n-psl is another great example of this.
“The n-psl team have a strong track record and the company’s product offering has significant energy, performance and cost benefits relevant to many markets.
“The company has a strong continued focus on innovation and is working closely with Newcastle University and others to build on its technology advantage.”