A sustainable energy company has arrived at Discovery Park with ambitious plans to develop a new technology that cleans up the process of burning fuels and reduces carbon emissions.
Coomtech has developed a novel drying process that transforms low rank coal – and other plant fuel products – into a quality fuel source, increasing its efficiency and value to power generating businesses around the world.
The technology significantly improves the efficiency of the combustion process, leading to higher energy yields for processed fuels, vast industry savings and lower CO2 emissions.
Formed in 2011, the company has the backing and involvement of key partners, including the University of Greenwich with Expansion East Kent, the Kent County Council run business investment programme, recognising its potential with £815,000 in funding.
Chris Every, Commercial Director, Coomtech, said: “Discovery Park was the perfect choice for us when deciding where best we could take the business and the technology we have developed to the next level. We’re very much looking forward to getting that work underway.
“The facilities are world-class with good international connections with great support from the Discovery Park team and Locate in Kent, with access to high-speed internet access one of the key benefits to us from the site’s status as a flagship Enterprise Zone.”
Coomtech will use Discovery Park as its headquarters, with an initial 15 staff employed in a variety of roles rising to 34 over the next five years, as the business grows. It is already in talks with a number of clients, working on both retrofit and the next generation of power stations, in the UK and extensively overseas.
In addition to office space, the new facilities at the leading Sandwich science and technology hub will include a fuels and engineering research laboratory in Building 500, an iconic building for a generation of scientists, who worked for Pfizer, the site’s previous owner.
A performance monitoring and testing centre will maintain round the clock performance monitoring of installations globally; continue plant performance evaluation and development; and evaluate new fuels from clients in production conditions.
Anna Stone, Leasing Director, Discovery Park, said: “We are delighted that Coomtech is joining the innovators based here at Discovery Park, where we continued the site’s reputation as the place for science and technology.
“Over the past three years this park has attracted a whole range of businesses – from start ups to global pharmaceuticals and support services – all linked by a drive to innovate, a drive to succeed.”
Coomtech were able to successfully raise in excess of £1.5 million in seed capital to support the growth of the company and to establish operations at Discovery Park, from later this autumn. Commtech have been supported by the Expansion East Kent Programme.
In November 2011 the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills allocated Regional Growth Funds to Kent County Council to invest in companies to create jobs with the East Kent area.
The Expansion East Kent programme has supported more than 120 companies to create or safeguard over 3,000 jobs by 2020. The funds have been used to develop a wide range of new and existing businesses, create jobs and support investment in equipment and buildings.
Coomtech will become part of the Discovery Park incubator programme, run by NCL Innovation. The programme aims to help accelerate new technology companies, such as Coomtech, safely through to commercialization.
Jerry Biggs, CEO of NCL Innovation, said: “Coomtech is an excellent example of a technology company that has designed a process that can save the energy industry significant amounts in costs, reduce emissions and unlock access to untapped resources.
“The Discovery Park Incubator is an ideal location to take a product like this from concept through to commercial reality and NCL are delighted to be involved.
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