Water Innovate Spins Out of Cranfield University
Water Innovate Limited has just completed its successful spin out from the internationally renowned School of Water Sciences at Cranfield University in the UK.
Technical Director, Professor Tom Stephenson, explains the vision behind the business: “Water Innovate will break new ground by providing, for the first time, an effective conduit for the transfer of new technologies out of the laboratory and into the water industry. It will bridge the innovation gap that has existed in the water sector for far too long.”
However, turning innovative technology and vision into a real business required both financial investment and effective management. John Catling (former managing director of Thames Water’s Products Division) joined Water Innovate as executive chairman after leading a consortium of investors to fund technical developments and bring them to the market as commercial products.
Catling describes the process: “Investors were not only looking for leading edge technology with clear market potential, they also wanted a proven management team that knew the sector and had a successful track record. This is why Tom and I asked Dr. Steve Callister to join as Water Innovate’s managing director.”
With 15 years of business development experience with both water and wastewater process technology companies, Callister is well qualified to drive forward the business. Water Innovate’s six initial leading edge technologies include:
- OdourSim -- a revolutionary odor modeling software package that dynamically predicts the generation and emission of odors from sewage treatment works allowing the generation of more accurate dispersion contour plots;
- N-Tox -- a new nitrification toxicity monitoring technique that provides an early warning of wastewater treatment plant failure several hours in advance of currently available technology;
- a novel high performance chemical additive for water and wastewater treatment;
- three advanced tertiary process technologies for wastewater treatment.
Callister explains Water Innovate’s strategy: “Our initial focus is on commercializing the first three technologies and taking them to market either directly or through licensing deals. We will also be investing significant resources in further development of the remaining technologies, as well as in evaluating opportunities to acquire additional portfolios of water related technology to bring to market.”
Water Innovate’s funding has been provided by the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA), Oxford Technology 4 Venture Capital Trust, Cranfield Enterprises Limited, a group of private investors, and the company’s management.