Actuation Lab awarded £300k funding to support spin-out

A University of Bristol spin out company that specialises in addressing the problems of high-servicing requirements of machines in the marine, mining and offshore industries, has received a £300,000 grant from Innovate UK.

Actuation Lab awarded £300k funding to support spin-out

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Actuation Lab was founded by Dr Simon Bates, Dr Michael Dicker and Dr Tom Llewellyn Jones who previously completed PhDs in the Bristol Composites Institute’s (ACCIS) Centre for Doctoral Training.

The team went back to first principals to invent new kinds of machine components designed specifically to survive in the world’s harshest conditions.

They came up with the idea for their rugged, servicing-free components after recognising the astronomical maintenance and servicing costs associated with operating machines in corrosive conditions.

Things started to move forward for the trio when they were awarded 12 months’ SETsquared membership in December 2018 after pitching at the University’s New Enterprise Competition.

Dr Bates was then awarded an Innovate UK Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) grant to explore the potential of the new technology with wider industry.

Dr Bates, who is the CEO at Actuation Lab, said:

“Alongside private investment, this grant will be instrumental for us to take what is a lab-proven technology through to products ready for industrial trials. Up to this point we have received fantastic support from the University and the SETsquared network. Bristol is an amazing hub for emerging technologies, and we are excited to move to the National Composites Centre to begin tackling the next stage.”

The National Composites Centre (NCC) is a world-class research centre, where companies of any size and across industry sectors, can access cutting-edge technology and specialist composite material engineers.

Leah Rider, Technology Programme Manager for SME Projects at the NCC, added:

“The NCC is thrilled to work alongside and host Actuation Lab in one of our flexible workshop spaces. Being co-located will provide Actuation Lab with a wealth of composite materials and process expertise right on their doorstep as and when they need it.”

More information www.actuationlab.com