Oxymem: Accolades aplenty for UCD water purification spin-out

Firm has developed a new form of delivering oxygen in wastewater purification

Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 01:00

The current output is very suitable for industry. “The industrial market accounts for about 30 percent of our sales at present”, he points out. “Companies are very eager to save on space. Space is a priority for them as they can be using it for manufacturing and they don’t want to give up any of it. This is particularly the case in the food, beverage and dairy sectors. Our system is very attractive due to its very small footprint.”

The energy savings are very attractive as well. “Energy is the number one challenge facing the industry today and it will continue to be in the future”, Byrne explains. “Every year discharge standards are rising and the global population is growing. We estimate the potential for annual energy savings for wastewater aeration worldwide is in the order of €45 billion.”

Given the benefits and advantages of the system it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the company is growing at a very rapid pace. “We have grown quite a bit since the beginning of the year,” says Byrne with no little understatement. “On January 4th last we had two employees and we now have 20. We now have two production lines here in our plant in Athlone and we are generating revenue. All of our production for 2014 is already spoken for and we are targeting €500,000 in sales for the year and that is not bad for a company which was only founded in 2013.”

The company is in the process of raising funds to finance further growth. “We are in the process of closing out an ‘A’ round of funding for €1.8 million and that has gone very well. We aim to have 12 lines installed by the beginning of next year and to have 35 staff employed by that stage.”

An impressive six-fold increase in turnover is also targeted for 2015.

Continued innovation will remain at the company’s core in the future. “We will continue to address operational challenges. It is that operational innovation that keeps you coming into work the next day. It doesn’t necessarily result in major IP developments but it keeps improving the process and addresses the problems and challenges which our customers experience. Strategic innovation is vitally important to us as well and we continue to work with UCD as well as other academic partners at Cork Institute of Technology and Athlone Institute of Technology on that.”

And he is more than a little grateful for the success the company has had so far. “So far, so good”, he says. “We still touch wood every morning when we wake up.”