Swansea University helps Welsh firm secure UK investment to grow innovative energy products
December 11, 2018
Welsh energy business Trameto has secured its first investment round and has been awarded substantial funding from the UK’s innovation agency to develop products which will reduce the need for batteries or wired power, thanks to Swansea University.
Trameto, a Swansea-based firm who are developing micro energy harvesting solutions, announced today the closing of a seed round of investment and the award of a substantial grant from Innovate UK. The seed financing was led by Swansea Innovations Ltd which manages Swansea University’s venture fund and the newly-formed Development Bank for Wales.
The company plans to use the funding to further develop its semi-conductor products which will enable energy harvesting from any form of energy such as light, vibrations and thermal gradients. Industry analysts Semico Research forecast that the semiconductor content within this market will be worth more than $3 billion by 2020.
Trameto is also being supported by the AgorIP programme. AgorIP, which is funded by Swansea University, Welsh Government and EU structural funds and is hosted at the School of Management on the Bay Campus, works to progress new ideas through experimental and industrial development, demonstrating proof of concept to potential funders and attracting further investment.
CEO Huw Davies, who founded Trameto, said the funding would allow the firm to accelerate their work to eliminate the need for batteries and wired power as part of the growing Internet of Things.
Huw Davies said:
“Trameto’s products will enable the elimination of batteries from the many interconnected smart sensors and wireless devices which can communicate with each other in the Internet of Things. We are addressing opportunities in markets such as infrastructure monitoring, asset tracking, smart agriculture, defence, wearables, healthcare and smart metering.”
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is everything connected to the internet, but it is increasingly being used to define objects that “talk” to each other.
Swansea Innovations, Managing Director and lead of the AgorIP programme, Dr Gerry Ronan said: “Simply, the Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of devices – from simple sensors to smartphones and wearables – connected together. They all need power.
“IoT refers not only to personal computers and mobile phones connected through the internet but to the wireless interconnection of all of the billions of “things” and devices through the internet or local area networks. With those billions of things come billions of batteries which must be bought, maintained and disposed of.
“Energy harvesting presents a straightforward solution for easily powering those remote devices using clean energy.”
Dr Ronan added:
“Trameto’s unique power management products offers us the opportunity to be more efficient in how we do things, saving us time, money and often emissions in the process.”
Fit and Forget devices
Dr Richard Thompson, Senior Investment Executive at Development Bank Wales, said the investment would allow Trameto to grow their products and take advantage of the growing need for low maintenance wireless devices.
Trameto is led by a highly experienced team and is an important addition to the growing IoT and semi-conductor sector in Wales. Dr Thompson said:
“The investment from the Development Bank combined with the grant funding will allow Trameto to further develop their products and take advantage of the growing need for low maintenance wireless devices.”
“Within the IoT, there is a huge desire to eliminate the dependence on battery operation to facilitate self-sustaining or fit and forget solutions.”
The IoT is about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, other applications and each other. Where it is most common in Britain is home heating and energy use. Smart meters have clever functions that let you turn on heating remotely, set it to turn down the temperature if it is a sunny day, or even turn off when there is no-one home.
Dr Ronan added:
“We are delighted that Swansea University through Swansea Innovations has helped Trameto secure this substantial funding to grow their company and to have co-invested with the Development Bank of Wales.
“Trameto is also being supported by the AgorIP programme. AgorIP, with the help of Swansea University, Welsh Government and EU structural funds, helps progress new ideas through experimental and industrial development, demonstrating proof of concept to potential funders and attracting further investment.”