Belfast-based MOF Technologies has raised £4.4 million (€5 million) in a Series A funding round that will help the company further develop its technology and scale its operations in Belfast.
The round was led by the Clean Growth Fund and Barclays through its Sustainable Impact Capital programme.
The Queen’s University Belfast spinout works with a class of nanomaterials known as metal organic frameworks (MOFs) – crystalline, sponge-like materials that are highly porous and can store, separate and capture specific gases. These can be used to create filters for potentially harmful emissions from industries such as cement, steel and the waste-to-energy sector. MOF Technologies has devised a way to manufacture the nanomaterials on an industrial scale.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for us. It gives us such a huge boost, and now we can go and build some plants and start showcasing and validating our exciting piece of technology that can transform the fight against climate change,” said co-chief executive Conor Hamill. “Having the capital behind us means that we will make it a reality and build plots, and show to people the fantastic performance we can get from the technology.”
MOF Technologies currently employs 12 people, and expects to double that by the end of the year, along with a new premises to bring the team under one roof.
Co-chief executive Jose Casaban said the company was committed to staying in Belfast. “We are Belfast-based and we want to remain here,” he said. “This is not a typical area where these kinds of industries are usually set. But we are committed to remain here. I think that has a lot of value for Northern Ireland and for us moving forward as well.”
The company has already begun working with industry to trial the technology, announcing in May it would work with Heidelberg, Cementir Holding and Buzzi Unicem.
The MOF investment is first the £101 million Clean Growth Fund has made on the island of Ireland. The fund usually invests between £500,000 and £3 million initially, with the potential for follow-on investment.
“The team with Jose and Conor are very credible, how they really understand MOFs and how they work and so has that really deep technical expertise that we look for,” said Beverley Gower-Jones, managing partner at the Clean Growth Fund. “The carbon capture technology that MOF is developing absolutely has the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions hugely. That’s a really key parameter for us.”