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Turbocharger technology company Aeristech secure 500 thousand GBP to develop high performance engines

Aeristech set to enter tests with global vehicle manufacturers.

Aeristech Ltd, a developer of novel, turbocharger technology which significantly enhances fuel efficiency in vehicle engines while reducing emissions, has secured £500,000 with help from Oxford Investment Opportunity Network (OION), Europe’s leading technology investment network.

The round was led by Midven who invested alongside Minerva Business Angels Network and members of the OION Network. Aeristech will use the new funding to progress testing programmes with two global vehicle manufacturers.

In the car industry, turbochargers are fitted to make an engine more powerful by using the energy from exhaust gases, which would otherwise be lost, to raise the pressure of air entering the engine. This also increases engine efficiency and materially enhances fuel consumption.

However, conventional turbochargers only assist the engine when sufficient exhaust gas energy is available. Any mismatch between what the engine needs and what the turbocharger produces is known as ‘turbo lag’.

Uniquely, Aeristech’s patented Hybrid Turbocharger Technology system (‘HTT’) completely eliminates turbo lag, allowing vehicles fitted with HTT to combust fuel far more effectively at low revs than vehicles fitted with conventional turbochargers. As a result, the HTT system enables vehicle manufacturers to build smaller engines with the same level of performance as larger engines and which can generate 20 to 30% in fuel savings.

As well as improving vehicle performance, Aeristech’s HTT system reduces exhaust emissions by 20 to 30%, an important factor given tightening European legislation that will enforce an emissions limit of 120 g/km CO2 from 2012.

Bryn Richards, chief executive of Aeristech, said: "The motor industry is now seeking to bring the highest efficiency, lowest cost turbo systems into its supply chain and it is forecast that by 2014 around 75% of all European light vehicles will be boosted by turbo technology. We are delighted to have secured the investment we need to progress the development of our unique HTT system and our objective is to capture a 10% share of this market over the longer term."

The Carbon Trust supported the initial development phase of the HTT system through its incubation scheme and Aeristech was also awarded prestigious R&D grants totaling £500,000 to produce a prototype that was well received by the industry.

Aeristech is now undertaking bespoke HTT testing programmes with a global vehicle manufacturer and a construction equipment vehicle manufacturer for off-highway vehicles.

Mr Richards said: "We are focusing on developing and marketing HTT to the auto and off-highway sector. Our longer term plan is that this will lead to a licence of our technology or sale of the company to a manufacturer in the auto supply chain."

Commenting on the fundraising process, Aeristech finance director, Nicholas Gill, said: "It was a pleasure to work with a consortium of investor groups including the OION Network to get the new funds in place. The due diligence process was straightforward and we are well placed if and when we need to seek further rounds of funding in the future."

Eileen Modral, OION Network investment manager, said: "Aeristech’s HTT system provides a cost-effective means for vehicle manufacturers to offer a superior product to their customers and meet legislative demands. It was no surprise that the company attracted strong investor interest in an oversubscribed round. We wish the Aeristech team every success and look forward to monitoring the company’s continued growth."

In February, Aeristech was the regional winner of a Shell Springboard Innovation Award with the judges citing the carbon savings potential, innovation and commercial credibility of the HTT technology.

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