Mercia EIS Funds

Funding is on the radar for corrosion detection technology

A Midland-based company that develops remote sensors for monitoring corrosion in oil and gas pipelines has secured £250,000 of investment from early-stage technology investor, Mercia Fund Managers. This has been met with a further £104,000 from Innovate UK through its investment accelerator pilot programme.

The investment will support CorrosionRADAR with developing its technology and business to secure commercial partners for initial field tests.

CorrosionRADAR, a spin-out from Cranfield University, is seeking to address the well-known industry problem of monitoring corrosion in pipelines, particularly in Corrosion Under Insulation (CUI) or buried pipes. CorrosionRADAR technology is permanently embedded and can accurately pinpoint the location of corrosion at any point along the full length of a pipeline. These unique capabilities support predictive maintenance programs for the management of industrial assets, giving business owners the confidence to make real-time decisions.

The main aim of the technology is to help companies reduce maintenance costs, while sustaining a high standard of safe and environmentally friendly operations.

The business was established by an international team of four scientists and business professionals, including Dr Prafull Sharma and Professor Hoi Yeung, who developed the original technology, and COO Dr Mehrdad Silatani, who has significant experience in innovation and technology management. CorrosionRADAR is led by CEO Dr Chiraz Ennaceur, who has more than 15 years’ experience in taking new technologies from the research stage to product development.

Dr Chiraz Ennaceur, CEO at CorrosionRADAR, said: “CorrosionRADAR is addressing an unmet industrial challenge in a global market. Our vision is to support industry moving from reactive to predictive corrosion management using cutting edge technologies from distributed sensing technology to Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and advanced analytics. The CorrosionRADAR team is committed to creating a game changing solution for tackling corrosion management and we are looking forward to working with Mercia, which is supporting us through this exciting journey.”

Dr Brijesh Roy, Investment Manager at Mercia, said: “There is a significant and growing market for CorrosionRADAR to address the key issue of corrosion-related failures for customers that currently have unmet needs and an appetite to adopt new technologies. The experienced team has considerable expertise and strong industry links, which when coupled with their ambition, makes us confident in their ability to really scale the business. According to the European Corrosion Congress, the oil and gas industry spends around £3.5billion managing corrosion every year, this provides a significant opportunity for CorrosionRADAR to solve this vital gap in the market.”

Robert Evans, Technology Transfer Manager at Cranfield University, said: “We are delighted that this technology has been spun out into a new company, and we hope that it will be the inspiration for many more innovative technology start-ups at the university.”

In 2016, CorrosionRADAR won Cranfield University’s VentureFest competition to fund new start-ups and secured a pre-seed investment of £15,000, which has been used to support its product development to date.