Tees Valley Twenty: Micropore Technologies

Tees Valley Twenty: Micropore Technologies

The Innovate Tees Valley Festival has been launched in a bid to connect businesses with the networks they need to innovate and continue growing. Micropore Technologies works on scaling precision work with chemicals up to full scale manufacturing levels, and is one of the businesses showcasing at the event. CEO Dai Hayward tells us more...

Describe your business in no more than 100 words

Micropore supplies patented equipment, from lab scale to production scale, to make mono-sized emulsions, dispersions and particles using membrane emulsification.  We work with clients across a very wide range of sectors to ensure they achieve their goals for their formulated products.  This encompasses high volume food and industrial products as well as smaller volume pharma and personal care materials – and even extends to rocket fuel!

 

Which particular products and/or services make your business innovative?

Micropore’s recent innovation has been the ability to move the creation of precision particles beyond the lab bench to full scale continuous manufacturing – whether that be for pharma or industrial products.  This has been achieved by drawing on the company’s long history of technical credibility and intimacy of customer relationships at research and development scale to design, prototype and build equipment that is suitable for continuous operation at the appropriate manufacturing scale.

 

What proportion of your service offer comprises new (under 3 years old) products, materials, technologies etc?

Approx 40% of current revenues can be ascribed to offerings that are less than 3 years old.  This year we expect to more than double last year’s revenue; and all this additional growth will come from offerings that are less than 3 years old.

 

To what extent have the innovations enhanced the sales of your other products/services or led to future opportunities?

To date Micropore’s growth has been constrained by the ability of clients to visualise a scale-up pathway towards a "proper" manufacturing process.  The completion of the company’s development of robustly engineered, scalable equipment has unlocked this potential and has led to significant interest from new clients in the UK, EU, USA, South America and India.

 

What new skills have been acquired by (and retained within) your company as a result of the innovations?

Micropore has acquired engineering design and implementation skills.  We expect to recruit further in the next 12 months to reinforce the embedding of these skills in the company.  We have also recruited expertise in business development and formulation chemistry to support our already exemplary client focus.

 

How do you innovate in the way you run your business?

Micropore ensures it is at the forefront of innovation in its field through

  • Strong and ensuring links with the excellence of Loughborough University
  • Seeking to employ the best talent
  • Working with the best, most innovative and creative supply chain partners

 

What are your biggest professional achievements to date?

I’ve had success in taking new business ideas through to commercial reality in both an established company, such as Thomas Swan & Co Ltd, and from the germ of an idea in a university, exampled by the creation of an Israeli JV to develop continuous carbon nanotubes from the University of Cambridge.

 

Where do you see your company in five years time?

We expect to become the "go to" company for precision particles and emulsions through an excellence of both technology and customer service.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?

  • Probably the most important piece of advice must be to surround yourself with the best people you can find – to find a group (team) of people in who you can trust to advise you in the areas where you lack skills or experience.
  • Protect your inventions if you need or expect to make a commercial return. Investors will be more interested in supporting an inventor who has taken good advice to protect the IP.
  • Keep testing the market place to ensure your ideas / invention has a demand and that somebody will buy / use it.
  • Be patient and stick to your core values – building a good quality business does not happen overnight!

 

Micropore Technologies Ltd will be showcasing its innovations at the Innovate Tees Valley festival in Middlesbrough on December 8. Tickets for the event are available free of charge - book your place now at http://innovatefestival.tv/ 

 

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