2020 summary: Reflecting on SMEs achievements through the Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP)

In a year where the economy has nosedived and businesses of every size have had to close their doors, hosting the final presentations of the 10 SMEs involved in wave 3 of our Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP) feels even more special than usual.

Having begun their journey with us in April 2019, these organisations have been through a rigorous 18-month journey taking their technology from concept idea through to viable market proposition– a major achievement in such a short space of time for any SME, but against the backdrop of COVID-19 restrictions and the associated economic fallout, this is a fantastic achievement.

Our role in supporting these companies is not just about giving access to funding, although they did all have access to over £100,000 in grant funding from the APC, it’s also about helping them to understand their route to market, developing their intellectual property strategy and getting them ‘investor ready’.  In the virtual event held in November 2020, each company came to present their exciting technology and journey during the TDAP process, showcasing how the delivery partners involved in TDAP have helped them to shape their business plan and hopefully set them on a strong path to commercial success.

Ultimately, the impact of TDAP is measured by the progress made by its participants.

One such success story is New Motion Labs who took part in the second wave of TDAP. The company produces a system known as Link Drive that could reshape the way power transmission systems work in future. Since completing TDAP it has moved from a one-man band to ambitious start-up company with seven UK employees and a working prototype of its technology – all as a result of participating in the programme.

As its founder Marcel Fowler says:

Having a good idea is only a fraction of what makes a business. The experts in TDAP helped us to understand how we could build a business around that and progress towards commercialisation.

New Motion Labs is just one of many success stories, but it perfectly encapsulates what TDAP is all about: industry experts working hand-in-hand with brilliant developers and inventors to ensure their creative inspiration is met with the practical support necessary to create a competitive, sustainable business.

Here’s a snapshot of the technology being developed through this cohort of TDAP:

  • Immaterial Ltd: Creating porous materials for the storage and separation of gases that can slash the energy requirements of traditional air conditioning.
  • R53 Engineering: Developing an innovative, adaptable and robust Active Ride Height Adjust System with unchanged damper strokes and spring preloads.
  • Silver Power Systems: Analysing the monitoring, storage and display of battery operating data from EVs to gain accurate knowledge of the battery status and predicted life.
  • Brill Power: The creation of a radical new battery management and control system that fundamentally improves EV batteries.
  • CDO2 Ltd: Creating a non-invasive technique for testing and characterising battery cells through current density imaging.
  • DZP Technologies: Developing a portfolio of conductive pastes and adhesives suitable for producing and joining power electronics components in a wide range of automotive applications.
  • FluxSys Ltd: Designing an innovative software to support rapid and collaborative electrified powertrain concept designs, systems engineering and innovation.
  • Hiflux Ltd: A two-part project which includes a patented design and advanced laser automation to manufacture compact heat exchangers for high grade heat recovery and an adaptation of its automated manufacturing process to produce liquid-cooled heat sinks.
  • Reaction Engineering: Development of a revolutionary battery thermal solution for the EV market.
  • Stalcom Automotive: Developing innovative design and assembly techniques for mixed material lightweight structures.