Steve recognised among the elite of European inventors
Warwickshire's reputation as a global leader in engineering innovation was further strengthened by the nomination of Steve Lindsey among the finalists for the European Inventor Award.
Steve, managing director of Napton-based Lontra, was the only UK-based inventor among the finalists for one of Europe's most prestigious innovation prizes.
The 15 finalists came from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US - and Napton!
The award, run by the European Patent Office andpresented at a lavish ceremony in Venice, honoured individuals and teams of inventors whose pioneering work provides answers to some of the biggest challenges of our times.
Steve was also the only finalist whose work focused on mechanical engineering -an innovative, energy-saving rotary air compressor design. And his nomination, while a notable personal achievement, was also a great endorsement for Lontra and for UK/Midlands engineering and manufacturing as a whole.
“Just to be selected as a finalist from a worldwide entry was a great honour not onlyfor myself but everyone who works at Lontra and for Warwickshire as a region," he said."I didn't realise until I arrived in Venice just what a big event it is. People were referring to it as the Oscars of Technology and one of the other finalists was tipped for a future Nobel Prize!
"It was just a privilege to be among inventors of such calibre. It was a brilliant opportunity to talk to them and I certainly made a number of contacts which will be of great value in the future."
Lontra's growth has been supported by the University of Warwick Science Park and also by funding from Warwickshire County Council, through the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network. And that funding was vital to his company's growth, says Mr Lindsey.
"The council grant was enormously helpful towards us helping achieve the growth that we have enjoyed so far," he said. "We now haveplans for significant further growth, including a substantial manufacturing facility in the UK, hopefully in Warwickshire, so hopefully will benefit from some of the further support.
"As our technology moves into large-scale production we hope to make a significant impact on UK and worldwide energy usage through the increased efficiency of our compressor which can be used in a really broad range of industries.
"We expect our manufacturing facility to create 220 jobs internally while creating around 1,200-1,500 in the supply chain."