The "next Dyson" secures huge contract

Our client has secured a multi-million pound licensing deal with global engineering group Sulzer.

The news comes off the back of a successful set of trials with Severn Trent Water which showed the technology made significant cost savings. Mark Jones, the wastewater R&D manager for Severn Trent said “the Lontra Blade Compressor™ used, on average, 21.2% less electricity to deliver an equivalent amount of air when compared to the existing blowers”. With potential group wide savings exceeding £1.8m a year at today’s energy prices, Severn Trent is understandably keen to roll the technology out.

The beauty of Lontra’s technology is its simplicity. If the Victorians had thought of it, they could have made it. It replaces the old “up and down” piston technology with a circular geometry that compresses the air – or gas – in front and induces the air behind in continuous motion, minimising wastage. It can be applied to any kind of engine, from the compressor in your fridge to part of a car engine, potentially revolutionising everything from coffee machines to battleships. It is this simplicity which led the Carbon Trust to hail the inventor, Steve Lindsey as “the next Dyson”.

These endorsements enabled Steve to sign the global licensing deal with Sulzer, a leading provider in its key markets: oil and gas, power, and water. Sulzer serves clients worldwide through a network of over 150 production and service sites and has a strong footprint in emerging markets. In 2013, the company achieved sales of over CHF 3.2 billion with around 15,000 employees. “Before you can license technology, you have to have a working prototype and, ideally, a customer. We had both,” says Steve. “The first of our waste water machines are already rolling off the production line.” The deal is the first of many for Lontra, and even the relatively small municipal/regulated waste water market has annual sales of this type of device of over 900M CHF per annum.

Lontra is currently raising investment in what they believe will be their last private capital round.

By Robin Rowland Hill, robin.hill@ruffena.com