Gloucestershire tech company wins MoD contract to develop underwater renewable energy device
A Gloucestershire tech company has been awarded a £ 350,000 contract with the Department of Defense (MoD) to develop a renewable energy device that will support underwater national security operations.
WITT Limited, based at Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park in Berkeley, has created revolutionary technology that captures energy from all planes of motion and transforms it into storable electrical energy.
The company will now adapt its eponymous WITT (Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer) device to the underwater environment.
Vortex-induced vibrations (VIV) created by ocean currents will be converted into electricity stored in the WITT, which is contained in a sealed vessel, providing a low-maintenance off-grid power source to remote and hard-to-reach locations. .
WITT Limited recently tested the technology at Turnchapel Wharf in Plymouth, a leading hub for marine robotics.
The company secured funding through the Defense and Security Accelerator (DASA) – an intergovernmental and Department of Defense organization that researches and funds innovation to support UK defense and security.
Mairi Wickett, Director of Business Development and Co-Founder of WITT Limited, hailed DASA’s support as “a huge boost”.
Ms Wickett said: “[The funding] will facilitate further development of the technology and allow us to study new applications for the underwater system – such as providing energy for sensors, data collection, and mammal and temperature studies.
It also strengthens WITT’s credibility in the industry and puts us in a strong position for our next fundraiser. “
She said the device had “countless applications,” with the company’s primary goal being to “revolutionize” off-grid power generation and reduce global CO2 production.
The company previously attracted nearly £ 2.4million in investment in a record-breaking crowdfunding campaign in 2016, achieving the largest crowdfunding ever by a cleantech company.
The WITT device has obtained patents worldwide, including UK, US, China and Europe, and has pending patents in Brazil, Canada, India and Russia.
It was recently recognized by the Solar Impulse Foundation / World Alliance Efficient Solution label as one of the “1000 best ecological and affordable solutions to protect the planet and reduce CO2 emissions”.
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Mike Madden, DASA’s innovation partner for the South West of England, said it was “great” to see growing companies like WITT Limited get funding.
Mr. Madden said: “It’s interesting that this idea also has potential cross-industry appeal in addition to the obvious need for defense.
“While the DASA funding has been clearly welcomed by the company, the benefits they will gain as a result of this successful offering will include increased access to defense users and the science and technology communities. It’s hard to place a value on this, but it shouldn’t be underestimated.
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