Pictured from the left are Lauren Tunnicliffe of the British Business Bank, David Baker of Mercia, and Alaric Errington, Dr Jonathan Hibbard and Jon Kenyon-Smith of Solaris
A company which has developed a revolutionary glass coating that protects against the sun has set up its headquarters in Nottingham following a £250,000 investment from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, managed by Mercia and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.
Solaris Technology’s coating blocks unwanted solar heat gain and the sun’s damaging rays without reducing natural light. Called SolarBlock, the technology, which can be applied to commercial and domestic living spaces, protects against the heat emitted from ultraviolet and infra-red light. The coating can provide substantial savings to air conditioning usage – reducing a building’s carbon-footprint and improving energy efficiency.
Founded in 2016, Solaris Technology is led by Managing Director Dr Jonathan Hibbard, the chemist who developed the technology, CEO Alaric Errington and Sales and Marketing Director Jon Kenyon-Smith. The investment will help the firm finalise global manufacturing and distribution agreements, also supporting the development of a sales and marketing strategy.
As a result of the finance, the company has now established its head office and research and development facility in BioCity Nottingham.
Jonathan Hibbard, Managing Director of Solaris Technology, said: “Bringing disruptive new technologies such as SolarBlock to market requires heavy investment in research and development. This support will allow us to accelerate the commercialization phase, establish a global infrastructure and grow the business more quickly.”
Solaris Technology’s water-based liquid polymer coating can be sprayed on to any type of glass in-situ or applied during the manufacturing process. It is more cost effective than low-emissivity (low-e) glass and quicker and easier to apply than traditional solar-control window film.
David Baker, Investment Associate with Mercia Fund Managers, said: “Solaris Technology has developed a very exciting product in SolarBlock and one that has the potential to disrupt a worldwide industry with an estimated value of £80 billion. The funding will allow it to finalise agreements with existing partners, which will generate commercial revenues and unlock opportunities for significant sustained growth.”
Grant Peggie, Director at the British Business Bank, added:
“It is good to see that MEIF is supporting growing businesses, backing innovation and financing economic growth across the Midlands.”
Sajeeda Rose, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Supporting new technological and manufacturing innovations is a key part of how we will develop the D2N2 LEP area economy and improve its productivity; as outlined in our new Strategic Economic Plan, Vision 2030.
“That is why D2N2 and its fellow Midlands’ LEPs are jointly investing the European Union money allocated to them – up to £78.5m in total – in the £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supporting growing businesses with much needed financing.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.