NCL Innovation, the UK’s leading early stage technology investor, is leading a funding round for start-up Alert Technology, helping the innovative company to take its life saving technology from concept through to commercial success.
This investment push is being managed by NCL through the Kent County Council supported Discovery Park Technology Investment Fund (DPTIF), an early stage venture vehicle for promising R&D and technology firms.
NCL via the DPTIF are leading an initial investment of £700,000 alongside a network of private investors. This investment follows a European Union funded grant programme of €2.5m (or £1.8m) that has enabled Alert to bring the technology – developed by a team at Hertfordshire University – to commercial fruition. The university, which is considered a world leader in particle detection, has agreed to assign the IP to Alert.
Alert have received more than 900 expressions of interest from a wide range of industry sectors around the world including major construction partners and are now working closely with health and safety labs across the UK and industry trade associations to test its products, ahead of commercial production.
The company is now considering options for future manufacturing and recruitment, with the potential of creating new jobs for Kent as the company establishes itself over the coming months. It is in advanced talks about a new sales office at Discovery Park, Sandwich.
Jonathan Synett, NCL Investment Manager, said: “At NCL we pride ourselves on being able to identify the next big thing, especially when it comes to the kind of disruptive technologies which Alert Technology so clearly represents.
“Working with us through DPTIF, Alert are getting the kind of wrap around support, advice and opportunities to take something which clearly has so much potential in safe asbestos removal from brilliant concept to an industry changing market success.”
Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, said: “Alert have created a game changing technology that can help to reduce the continuing impact that asbestos has on the construction and various other industries. In Kent alone we have identified over 344 schools that are affected by asbestos and KCC have faced claims from people suffering from the effects.
“KCC are committed to finding solutions to problems that affect us locally, but can also be applied across a global stage. Our investment in Alert Technology, via the DPTIF, shows our ambition to participate in investments that can create both economic and social impact. We are delighted to welcome Alert to Kent and Discovery Park.
Alan Archer, CEO of Alert, said: “We are delighted to have received the investment from the DPTIF. As with most emerging technology companies, the biggest challenge we’ve faced is finding the investment required to fund our commercial scale up process.
“NCL not only facilitated the investment for us, but also lent valuable support and expertise. We are looking forward to being part of the success story at Discovery Park and working with local partners to help with our manufacturing process.
“Without the commitment shown by KCC, through the DPTIF, none of this would have been possible and it is likely that our company would have struggled to find the funding required to enable this valuable product to reach its market.”