Lontra receives investment from the IME

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) has made the first awards to companies from a £2m fund intended to help ideas make the leap from the drawing board into production.

The IME was founded in 1847 by George Stephenson (left) known as the father of Britain’s railways and the inventor of the safety lamp, and the body is now giving financial backing to start-ups that follow his aim when he set up the organisation to “give an impulse to invention likely to be useful to the world”.

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).

The awards showed that the IME was “getting back to its roots”, according to Chief Executive Stephen Tetlow.

He added: “These investments by the institution are not just about providing monetary investment, but about connecting these and other companies to the vast resources and network of the institution and its membership. The fund fulfils the institution’s original purpose to give an impulse to invention and also help companies overcome the investment hurdle between R&D and bringing a product to market.”

The fund is managed by venture fund investor Midven but candidates for financial backing were approved by the IME’s trustees and management. The institution would not say how much was awarded to each company.

To find out more about Lontra, what they do and how Ruffena helped raise finance please contact Simon Heywood (simon.heywood@ruffena.com)