Imperial Innovations rebrand as Touchstone Innovations

Imperial Innovations, one of Econic’s leading investors, have undergone a corporate re brand, with the company now operating under the name Touchstone Innovations. The change has been made in order to better reflect the broader supply base of Innovations’ opportunities they are commercialising across the ‘Golden Triangle’, which is the geographic area broadly bordered by London, Oxford and Cambridge. The company has removed the word ‘Imperial’ from their name in order to reduce confusion between themselves and Imperial College London.

Interestingly, touchstones were historically used to test the purity of gold or silver. In modern language, the term has come to represent a standard by which something is judged or recognised. The term therefore maintains a resonance with Innovations’ focus on science and the position that they hold as a leading technology commercialisation company in the UK.

Find out more about the rebrand and Innovations themselves here.

Author, Jack Fletcher

Polyurethane and You, A Match Made in Heaven

Casa de Econic 2

Polyurethane, it’s everywhere and maybe you didn’t even realise. Much of our everyday life is improved by the presence of polyurethane. Our houses are kept warmer, our furniture made comfier, and our appliances kept shinier. Since its development in 1937, polyurethane has become an integral part of all aspects of our lives, and with the ongoing scientific advances in the technology behind this polymer, it will undoubtedly only become more prevalent. Continue reading to learn about the different types of polyurethane that can be found throughout your home.


Bedroom colourMemory foam mattress: Those who sleep well at night sleep on a memory foam mattress, which was initially developed by NASA for use in aircraft cushions. This polyurethane foam is viscous, highly dense, and has an open cell structure, all of which allow the mattress to react to the body’s weight and temperature to mould, via loss of air in the foam, to the now very relaxed, sleeper.

Spandex: As the superheroes amongst us will no doubt agree, the combination of fine threads of polyurethane and nylon, that is, spandex/Lycra, with its exceptional elasticity and strength was a wondrous development. This fabric is also used extensively by athletes in their sports and swim wear.

Footwear: One of the most important factors we look for in a new pair of shoes, other than cost, lifetime, and celebrity endorsement of course, is comfort. Polyurethane offers most (Kanye’s approval TBC) of these key factors in footwear selection – it is an abrasion-resistant and durable material, which is perfect for the soles of not only everyday shoes, but also more hard wearing and waterproof shoes used for sports or hiking.

hallway colour


Carpet underlays: Living in a house with many other people can cause you enough noise issues. The mystery of how one person getting out of bed can sound like a herd of elephants remains unsolved. The use of a flexible polyurethane foam underlay under carpet, however, can offer some respite from the stampedes with it’s ability to reduce ambient noise. These underlays can also significantly increase the lifetime of your carpet, whilst protecting it’s appearance and providing additional comfort and support to those in the zoo…oops, house.


lounge colour

Furniture: What better place is there to watch a film than curled up on a sofa? Provided it is soft and comfortable, of course. A flexible high density polyurethane foam with an open cell structure that is able to reversibly compress and expand, is ideal as the cushioning material in such sofas and seats, as it is durable, comfortable and supportive. Now surely all that’s needed is a polyurethane-based film to watch, Polyurethane-man? Polyurethanes of the Caribbean? Maybe not…

Electronics: We are all aware how fragile our phones, laptops, televisions and other electronic devices can be, and they would be even more so if not for non-foam polyurethanes, which have excellent dielectric and adhesive properties. In addition to its resistance to solvent, water and extreme temperatures, polyurethane is often used to encapsulate, seal, and insulate sensitive microelectronic components and circuit boards. Dropping your phone in the toilet is still not recommended, however.


New kitchen

Insulation: The importance of insulation can be seen throughout our houses, especially those of us living in colder climes, wherever a barrier to air, moisture, sound, and temperature (or all of the above) is required. The use of rigid polyurethane foams, that have closed cell structures and consequently air trapped inside the material, are therefore ideal for insulation in walls, ceilings, and window frames, and even in fridges and freezers, in order to reduce energy losses, and, perhaps more importantly, reduce household bills!

Metal coating: Contrary to popular belief, even the kitchen sink contains polyurethane. A slightly different application is used here, whereby a powder form of polyurethane is applied to metal surfaces by electrostatic spray, followed by curing at a high temperature to melt and flow the coating. This method creates a protective layer on the metal surface that has chemical and corrosive resistance, as well as colour and gloss retention. Perfect for keeping your kitchen spick and span.


Downstairs Hallway colour

Wood coating: For those of us who grew up with wooden floors (or still live with them!), we might remember the fun of sliding along the floor in socks…this is largely possible because of oil-based polyurethane coatings that provide a protective finish to surfaces, typically wooden, that are resistant to abrasion and solvents, wear better and for longer, and are easy to clean and maintain (which makes the grownups happy!).

Sports equipment: For the more adventurous amongst us, much sport equipment incorporates polyurethane, from the wheels of skateboards that require hardness and abrasion-resistance, to the protective resin used to coat surfboards, to the durable wheels used in roller coasters.


Imagine if all of this was possible, whilst also enabling the capture and storage of pesky waste CO2… check out how Econic can make this possible, or contact us for more information.

Author, econicuser

Econic Technologies completes £5.0 million investment round

Leading innovative catalyst company Econic Technologies is pleased to announce the completion of a £5million investment round with new investor Woodford Investment Management and return investors Imperial Innovations and Jetstream Capital.

The funding will provide crucial support for the development of future catalyst generations and the expansion of Econic Technologies facilities, thereby accelerating the commercialisation of Econic’s catalyst technology.

This latest round of investment is complemented by the recently announced Horizon 2020 SME award, which adds a further £2M of funding over the next two years.

Rowena Sellens, CEO Econic Technologies commented

“We are delighted that Woodford Investment Management has chosen to invest in Econic Technologies alongside of Imperial innovations and Jetstream Capital. This investment, together with the H2020 award, will support both ongoing catalyst development and our commercialisation activities, including the development of a customer demonstration facility which will ‘showcase’ Econic’s novel catalyst technology.”

For more information contact

Richard French, Business Development Director Econic Technologies   +44 203 763 9473

About Econic Technologies

Econic Technologies is an innovative and fast growing chemical technology company that develops and commercialises novel catalyst technologies to build carbon dioxide into polyurethanes and other polymers. Econic’s catalysts enable manufacturers to make a whole new generation of everyday plastics – for use in cars, mattresses, running shoes – that will be both profitable and ecological.

Econic partners with plastic manufacturers to help them make their products using carbon dioxide (CO2). They save money and natural resources by replacing key ingredients made from oil, an expensive and limited fossil fuel, with a waste product they already have. Our planet benefits because CO2 is being recycled into new plastics, instead of released back into the environment.

The underlying catalyst technology was developed at Imperial College London by a team of scientists led by Professor Charlotte Williams. Econic Technologies was founded in 2011 to develop the technology further towards commercial applications. The current technology is covered by a number of worldwide patents and patent applications.

Author, Jack Fletcher

Econic awarded Horizon 2020 SME Grant

Leading innovative catalyst company Econic Technologies, has been awarded a Horizon 2020 SME grant amounting to €2.49million to assist with the commercialisation of its catalyst technology.

This European grant will enable the acceleration of process and downstream product development as well as scale-up activities designed to demonstrate to customers the value of Econic’s catalyst technology.

Funded by the European Union, the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument helps high-potential SMEs, supporting close-to-market activities, with the aim to give a strong boost to breakthrough innovation

Rowena Sellens, Econic’s CEO commented

“Econic Technologies are very grateful to Horizon 2020 for this grant award.  The Horizon 2020 grant process is extremely competitive, and this award is yet another demonstration of the credibility and strength of Econic’s catalyst technology and business opportunity.

We have already begun to scope the process and product development scale-up project which will benefit hugely from this grant, both in terms of pace and breadth of relevance to our customers”.

For more information contact Richard French, Business Development Director via telephone on +44 203 763 9473 or email R.french@econic-technologies.com

 

About Econic Technologies

Econic Technologies is an innovative and fast growing chemical technology company that develops and commercialises novel catalyst technologies to build carbon dioxide into polyurethanes and other polymers.

The underlying catalyst technology was developed at Imperial College London by a team of scientists led by Professor Charlotte Williams, which has developed new processes that can react captured CO2 with epoxides to produce polycarbonates and polyols.

Econic Technologies started operations in 2012 with investment from Imperial Innovations, Norner Verdandi and Jetstream Capital to develop the technology further towards commercial applications. The current technology is covered by a number of worldwide patents and patent applications.

Author, Jack Fletcher

Econic strengthens R&D and Product development teams with the addition of five new personnel

Econic strengthens R&D and Product development teams with the addition of five new personnel.

With a wide range of experience from catalyst development to polyurethane manufacture and process engineering,  the additional experience will accelerate the excellent progress made by Econic Technologies.

Author, Frank Norman

WISE award for Econic founder Professor Charlotte Williams

2015 WISE Awards
Professor Charlotte Williams (left) and Rowena Sellens, CEO Econic Techologies (right) pictured at the 2015 WISE Awards Ceremony.

Econic Technologies has announced that founder and inventor, Professor Charlotte Williams, has won the Tech Start-up Award at the 2015 WISE Awards held last Thursday night in London.

The WISE awards highlight innovative and entrepreneurial efforts in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM). Sponsored by Bloomberg, it forms part of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Campaign activities to highlight outstanding role models and to inspire girls and women to study and build careers using science, technology, engineering and maths.

WISE Tech Start-up Award was sponsored by Goldman Sachs and recognised Professor William’s innovation, creativity, and determination and drive in founding Econic Technologies in 2012 to commercialise her inventions of catalysts which transform carbon dioxide to polymers. The award was presented by HRH The Princess Royal at a dinner attended by leaders in UK science and engineering, drawn from both from business and academia.

 

Rowena Sellens, CEO, Econic Technologies, commented:
Charlotte’s passion and curiosity for chemistry are the foundation of her thriving academic career and the invention on which Econic Technologies is founded. We are lucky to work closely with her on our technical strategy while she continues to excel in a busy academic role and make time for her young family. Without doubt everyone on all three fronts is proud of her achievement and the fact that she has received this well-deserved recognition.”

For more information contact:
Dr Rowena Sellens, CEO Econic Technologies – +44 (0)20 376 39473
Tim Watson/Rosanna Forrest, Instinctif Partners – +44 (0)20 78667861

More on why Professor Williams was nominated and won:
More on the 2015 WISE Awards:

 

 

Author, Frank Norman

Econic appoints Richard French as Business Development Director

Econic Technologies Limited, a leading-edge developer of catalyst technology for the manufacture of polymers from waste CO2, has announced the appointment of Richard French as Business Development Director, with effect from 8 June 2015.

Richard has extensive experience in sales and market development of new technologies both in the established chemical sector, with BASF, and more recently in emerging bio-based materials, with Ecosynthetix. In recognition of rapidly increasing market interest in Econic’s catalyst technology, he joins the company to drive forward customer engagement across target markets. He will work alongside Rulande Rutgers (Henderson) who will continue to lead delivery of joint development projects in her new role as Customer Programme Manager.

Rowena Sellens (CEO) comments:
“Richard’s experience means he is ideally placed to understand the challenges of introducing new technology to this industry and will ensure that we further strengthen our relationships and co-operation with the most appropriate customer partners for early technology adoption.”

Further details of this appointment are contained in the attached release: Econic Technologies – Business Development Director Appointment

Author, Frank Norman

Econic Wins Shell UK Chairman Special Award at Shell Springboard 2015!

Econic wins Shell UK Chairman Special Award at the Shell Springboard Awards 2015: The finals of Shell Springboard 2015 took place on 23 March 2015. Econic was amongst six enterprises that had won a place in the finals.The judges this year were Professor Dame Julia King (Vice-Chancellor, Aston University); Martin Powell (Head of Urban Development, Siemens AG); Professor Tim Green (Director of the Energy Futures Lab, Imperial College); and Jonathan Grant (Director of Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC).

The winners were announced by Shell UK Chairman Erik Bonino at the Awards Ceremony on the 24th of March, which followed the Shell Enterprise Conference 2015. The overall national winner was London start-up Deciwatt, and Erik Bonino awarded Econic the Shell UK Chairman Special Award.

The award will support further commercial development of our innovative low-carbon technology. Econic will use their Shell Springboard Award which totals £45,000 to deliver the next steps of concept proof that will act as the springboard for commercialisation of the technology in high molecular weight polycarbonate applications. This would see the catalyst used to produce high value thermoplastic materials potentially suitable for applications as diverse as stadium roofs and car headlights.

Econic’s CEO, Rowena Sellens, says
“The Shell Springboard finals and the Shell Enterprise Conference 2015 gave us a great opportunity to showcase our technology and we really appreciate Erik Bonino’s support and recognition of our technology by awarding us the Shell UK Chairman Special Award”

Author, Frank Norman

Econic Wins Edinburgh Regional Final of Shell Springboard 2015!

Against some extremely strong competitive entries Econic was named one of three winners at the Edinburgh regional heat of Shell Springboard 2015 in February. The £40,000 award will support further commercial development of our innovative low-carbon technology.

Econic’s CEO, Rowena Sellens, says
“The Shell Springboard regional final gave us a great opportunity to showcase our technology and we really appreciate the confidence the judges have in our business by choosing us as one of the winners. We are looking forward to the National final later this month”

We will now be competing against five other enterprises to receive additional funding of £110,000 in the National final of the award programme in London on 23-24th March. Econic’s project will be judged against the Shell Spingboard criteria of the reduction of carbon emissions, commercial viability and innovation.

Econic will use the award to deliver the next steps of concept proof that will act as the springboard for commercialisation of the technology in high molecular weight polycarbonate applications. This would see the catalyst used to produce high value thermoplastic materials potentially suitable for applications as diverse as stadium roofs and car headlights.

Read more about the Shell Springboard national Finalists

edin regional  edin regional 2

Author, Frank Norman

Royal Society of Chemistry – Catalytic carbon dioxide convertors

Econic Technologies features in Chemistry World: The world’s demand for energy, and the resultant carbon dioxide emissions, are drastically changing our climate. UK startup, Econic Technologies is developing catalysts that could take some of that CO2 and lock it up in high-performance polymer materials.

Read the article here

Author, Frank Norman