STFC spin-out pioneering new generation of laser gas-sensing solutions
30 April 2018 – Oxford –
MIRICO secures £3.5 million investment and appoints Dr Linda Bell as CEO. The equity investment led by Longwall Ventures ECFalong with STFC Innovation Ltd,UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKi2S) and new investors Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, a London based investment fund for supporting disruptive technology.
Linda has spent her career leading and building science-based businesses including PhosphonicS Ltd (exited in 2017), Inca Digital Printing Ltd and before this as the Managing Director of Servomex Group Ltd (part of Spectris Plc) a gas analysis instrumentation company. She holds a DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford University, an MBA and is Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Originally spun-out of the RAL Space Department of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in late 2015, MIRICO produces equipment for high precision sensing of gases using next generation laser techniques.
Dr Damien Weidmann, Head of STFC’s RAL Space Spectroscopy Group, and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer for MIRICO, who developed the technology, said: “The development of novel miniaturized sensing technologies for Space applications is highly demanding owing to their stringent requirements. This accuracy, precision, and ruggedness has enabled high impact development for challenging terrestrial applications. MIRICO exemplifies this process by fully exploiting space-developed technology in a creative and effective way to address global terrestrial market needs. This is really exciting times to take the technology to the next level, to collaborate further with industry, and pioneer the development of advanced mid infrared sensing systems and applications.”
Tighter regulation on air quality and global climate change is driving a growing demand for more accurate, reliable and versatile technology. Furthermore, the growing sophistication of manufacturing processes such as semiconductor fabrications and chemicals processes, requires enhanced measurement capability whilst ensuring up time and minimal maintenance. MIRICO’s core technology can deliver the reliable measurement needed to meet these global challenges.
The equipment is used in a wide range of applications, including environmental monitoring to improve measurements for air quality and greenhouse gases and in industrial process control to measure a number of important gas molecules to improve process efficiency and product yield.
Mohammed Belal – Co-Founder and Business Development Director, said: “This is an exciting new phase for MIRICO, the technology has great potential to add value across a range of sectors from improving our understanding of climate change to increasing production yield in semiconductor fabrication. This funding will help MIRICO transition from product engineering to manufacturing, helping us serve our current customer base and open up new opportunities”
Over the past two years MIRICO has developed a prototype system for remote detection of emissions for use in industrial facilities and scientific applications around the world. On the back of successful trials with major industrial and scientific collaborators, this funding will support MIRICO in finalising our products and establish a manufacturing capability. This includes the development of MIRICO’s in situ sensor, the extractive gas analyser.
The completion of this funding opens an exciting new chapter for MIRICO, allowing the company to complete the product development of our current system and build a manufacturing capability to serve its world-wide customer base.
David Denny, partner at Longwall, who led the funding round, said “We are delighted that MIRICO’s team has achieved so much since their founding in 2015. We welcome both Foresight Williams and new CEO Linda Bell to MIRICO and look foward to working with them both.’
MIRICO designs, develops and manufactures cutting edge gas sensing solutions for applications that demand high performance and reliability. The company’s laser sensing technology originates from the Science and Technology Facilities Council, an internationally renowned physical sciences national laboratory. MIRICO is applying this technology to better quantify emissions, improve safety, advance cutting edge industrial processes and create new possibilities in the sciences and industrial world. For more information, please visit http://mirico.co.uk/.
About Longwall Venture Partners
Longwall specialises in early stage venture capital for science and engineering start-ups. Based at the Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire, the Longwall team manage three funds, the £30m Oxford Technology ECF, the £40m Longwall Ventures ECF and the £75m Longwall Ventures 3 ECF. The Longwall portfolio has included over 37 investee companies in a range of sectors including cancer diagnostics, next generation DNA sequencing, scientific instrumentation, next generation PV, cancer drug delivery systems, satellite robotics, radar, oil drilling tools and organ transplant perfusion. For more information about Longwall:www.longwallventures.com
About UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S)
Since the Fund’s inception in 2002, UKI2S has been investing in the earliest and riskiest stages to build world-leading companies from world-leading UK science.
As a leading ‘patient capital’ investor with more than £330 million private investment leveraged to date, UKI2S invests in promising technology companies that stem out of the UK’s engineering and high-quality science research. UKI2S works closely with its partners — led STFC, BBSRC and NERC, which are all part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Dstl — and is aligned with the Catapults and Innovate UK to create the best environment for innovation to flourish and in turn, boost the UK’s competitiveness and productivity by commercialising key technological advances in industrial biotech, ag tech, healthcare, medicine, clean energy, materials, artificial intelligence, software and space.
UKI2S’s portfolio showcases a number of ‘world’s firsts’ ambitions and includes two companies named by the World Economic Forum as ‘Technology Pioneers.’ For more information, please visit www.ukinnovationscienceseedfund.co.uk.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security. The Council has a broad science portfolio including supporting UK work in space and ground-based astronomy technologies and research.
For more information, please visit: http://www.stfc.ac.uk/
About Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has £2.8 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).
Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 22 investment professionals, invests between £100k and £5m in management buy-outs, management buy-ins and growth capital investments in UK SMEs.
Foresight is an appointed equity fund manager for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), as the British Business Bank launched £100 million of equity funding for the region, as part of the wider £250 million Midlands Engine programme. Foresight will make equity investments of between c.£100k and £2m in growing small and medium sized businesses across the East and South-East Midlands.
Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Seoul and San Francisco.
About Williams Advanced Engineering
Williams Advanced Engineering Limited operates a technology and engineering services business and is part of the Williams Group.
In 2010, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited began diversifying its operations, leading to the establishment of the Williams Advanced Engineering division, which has now become Williams Advanced Engineering Limited. Combining cutting edge technology and the industry’s best engineers with precision and speed to market derived from four decades of success in the ultra-competitive environment of Formula One, Williams Advanced Engineering provides world class technical innovation, engineering, testing, manufacturing and operational consultancy services to the automotive, motorsport, aerospace, defence, health and energy sectors. Working in close collaboration with its customers, Williams Advanced Engineering helps meet the sustainability challenges of the 21st century and improve performance, with its expertise in aerodynamics and thermodynamics, electrification, advanced lightweight materials and vehicle integration.
For more information see www.williamsf1.com/advanced-engineering, follow us on Twitter @WilliamsAdvEngor on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/williams-advanced-engineering