OXTO has lift-off in Midlands thanks to Innovation Programme grant
The Coventry & Warwickshire region's global reputation as a home of innovation attracts many forward-thinking small business from around the UK and beyond - and OXTO Energy is the latest to bring its expertise to the area.
OXTO's groundbreaking work, now being applied to the development a state-of-the-art Flywheel Energy Storage System, has been channelled into programmes in the UK, Europe, Australia - and outer space! Now the company has a base in Warwickshire, at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Ansty Park, after the small business secured a £100k investment from Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Test Bed Programme, enabling it to expand and innovate.
That investment, funded by European Regional Development Fund, was accessed with the advice and support of Warwickshire County Council Business and Investment Officer (innovation) Kai Cott. Now at the MTC, with which they have a longstanding connection, Guildford-based OXTO have a permanent presence in at the heart of the country and of the country's innovation sector, many of whose leaders are close by.
"Manufacturing expertise in the Coventry and Warwickshire area is truly world-class and that is the reason why we have decided to build and engage with sub-contractors in the area," said OXTO’s Lewis Gardiner Head of Business Development.
"Being funded through the Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme will allow us to increase our manufacturing capabilities over the next few months and accelerate our development schedule.
"The grant has enabled us to purchase hardware and move the project forward much more quickly than we would otherwise have done. Kai was great, helping us with the application and making sure it was relevant to us and we were eligible for it.
"The grant is also brilliant in terms of attracting other investors. If a body like the Innovation Programme looms at what you do and decides to back you, that gives you a lot of credibility.
"Our early work was in space developing flywheels to control the attitude of satellites, and whilst the space industry is great, the energy market offers substantially bigger opportunities.
"Now our target market is grid-scale operations like National Grid, windfarms, solar farms and UK power networks and having the base at the MTC and the Innovation Programme funding positions us just where we need to be."
Kai Cott is delighted that OXTO has chosen to come to Warwickshire.
He said: "Technology companies like Oxto are exactly the kind of businesses we want to attract here to Warwickshire. Through our Innovation Programme we can support businesses like this to develop and commercialise their important new products and processes and improve productivity and growth for the benefit of the businesses and residents of Warwickshire."
* The Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry University Enterprises.