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Laser gas sensing firm Mirico wins £3.5m funding

07 May 2018

STFC spin-out developing infrared laser based gas-sensing system also appoints Linda Bell as CEO.

Mirico, which is pioneering new generation of laser gas-sensing solutions, has won £3.5 million ($4.75m) investment and announced the appointment of Linda Bell as its CEO (see below). The company is a spin out of UK Government research group STFC.

The equity investment led by Longwall Ventures ECF also involves STFC Innovation Ltd, UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKi2S) and new investors Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, a London based investment fund for supporting disruptive technology.

Originally spun-out of the RAL Space Department of the STFC in late 2015, Mirico produces equipment for high precision sensing of gases using next generation laser techniques.

Dr Damien Weidmann, Head of STFC’s RAL Space Spectroscopy Group, and co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer for MIRICO, who developed the technology, commented, “The development of novel miniaturized sensing technologies for Space applications is highly demanding owing to their stringent requirements. This accuracy, precision, and ruggedness has enabled high impact development for challenging terrestrial applications.

Space-developed

“Mirico exemplifies this process by fully exploiting space-developed technology in a creative and effective way to address global terrestrial market needs. This is really exciting times to take the technology to the next level, to collaborate further with industry, and pioneer the development of advanced mid infrared sensing systems and applications.”

Tighter regulation on air quality and global climate change is driving a growing demand for more accurate, reliable and versatile technology. Furthermore, the growing sophistication of manufacturing processes such as semiconductor fabrications and chemicals processes, requires enhanced measurement capability whilst ensuring up time and minimal maintenance.

The equipment is used in environmental monitoring to improve measurements for air quality and greenhouse gases and in industrial process control to measure a number of important gas molecules to improve process efficiency and product yield.

Mohammed Belal, Co-Founder and Business Development Director, said, “The technology has great potential to add value across a range of sectors from improving our understanding of climate change to increasing production yield in semiconductor fabrication. This funding will help the company transition from product engineering to manufacturing, helping us serve our current customer base and open up new opportunities.

“Over the past two years Mirico has developed a prototype system for remote detection of emissions for use in industrial facilities and scientific applications around the world. On the back of successful trials with major industrial and scientific collaborators, this funding will support Mirico in finalising our products and establish a manufacturing capability – including the development of our in situ sensor, an extractive gas analyser.”

Linda Bell

Bell has spent her career leading and building science-based businesses including PhosphonicS Ltd (exited in 2017), Inca Digital Printing Ltd and before this as the Managing Director of Servomex Group Ltd (part of Spectris Plc) a gas analysis instrumentation company. She holds a DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford University, an MBA and is Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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