Actuation Lab has recently completed an Innovate UK, Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe) program, where we spoke to over a hundred potential customers, regulators and suppliers in the actuator industry to determine the best route to take the Callimorph to market. From this journey we concluded that a product which could replace medium-size pneumatic quarter-turn valve actuators in the Oil and Gas sector would be an ideal first application. Such valve actuators dominate onshore markets and constitute 40% of applications offshore, with the global market for this type of device currently valued at $1.2B.
Actuation Lab was founded and is run by three PhD graduates from the composite materials group at the University of Bristol. A UK patent for the Callimorph was filed in June 2019, with this and all underlying IP owned by Actuation Lab. The company is about to embark on an 18-month project to take this technology from a TRL 4 lab-based demonstrator to a TRL 7 valve actuator ready for in-service testing. This work will be conducted in collaboration with the National Composites Centre (NCC) where Actuation Lab has secured workshop facilities.
I've been working with the Actuation Lab team closely across the last 12 months to refine the commercial approach, provide engineering input and prepare for an imminent investment round. I will invest personally in the investment round and bring a range of other HNWs in as well. Whilst the team are first class academics, I've been extremely impressed by their desire to launch their business careers with Actuation Lab. They're enthusiastic and committed, and clearly have the skills and ambition to transfer successfully from academia into the commercial environment. I will continue to support the business on its journey, and most likely will transition from adviser to board member when appropriate. I'd be happy to discuss the many attributes of the Actuation Lab team in more detail as required.