Flow regulator valve first investment for new £320m investment company

Oxford Flow, a developer of precision engineered products, has secured the first investment from Oxford's new £320m investment company, Oxford Sciences Innovation plc (OSI).

Oxford Flow has been spun out of Oxford University’s Department of Engineering Science, with the support of Isis Innovation, the University’s commercialisation company.  Its initial product, a valve that regulates the flow of gases and liquids in industrial processes, is 80 per cent lighter than existing products and can handle over 10 times the volume with a high degree of precision and control. The initial £750k investment from OSI, will ensure the business can take the valve to market and develop further high performance products for gas distribution networks and the water industry.

Tom Povey, Simon Hombersley, Matt CollinsFounder and Technical Director, Professor Tom Povey from the Department of Engineering Science, identified the need for the valve while researching jet engines for clients such as Rolls Royce: “I was working with high flow rates of compressed gas that, for reasons of efficiency and safety, needed to be regulated,” he said. “Regulators available on the market were not precise enough so I devised a completely new method of controlling gas and developed a series of products based on this technology.”

Oxford Flow CEO, Simon Hombersley said: “We expect these valves to be a game-changer in the $3bn pressure regulator market, and a platform for a series of industrial control products. This first investment by Oxford Sciences Innovation recognises the strength of the market-ready technology and the scale of opportunity in engineering innovation for industrial processes.”

Isis Innovation managing director Linda Naylor said: “This is another elegant and practical solution from the Department of Engineering Science’s Professor Povey. We’re delighted to have worked with him on both Oxford Flow and the license of his energy-saving Flare pans to Lakeland.”

Oxford Flow is now internet-enabling the platform technology so that its products will be able to provide real-time monitoring of the flow of liquids and gases in industrial and everyday settings and become a key component of the “Internet of Things”.  Oxford Flow launched its initial range of flow regulators at the ASME conference in Montreal in June 2015.  Products are produced in the UK by an ISO 9001 manufacturing partner, and the company will be launching a polymer flow regulator for use in the water industry later in 2015.

About Oxford Flow

Oxford Flow is a spin-out from Oxford University.  The company’s patented designs for an innovative flow regulator were developed by the company’s Technical Director Professor Tom Povey, of the world-leading Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory.  The company is led by serial industrial entrepreneur Simon Hombersley. The company’s initial markets are the water industry and gas distribution networks.  

About OSI

On April 10th 2015 Oxford Sciences Innovation plc (‘OSI’) was appointed the preferred intellectual property partner for the provision of capital to, and development of, spin out companies from the Medical Sciences Division and Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. OSI has raised £320m from some of the biggest investors in the world. These shareholders include IP Group, Lansdowne Partners, Google Ventures, Invesco and Woodford, all of whom play an active part in helping OSI’s mission to turn Oxford spin outs into word beating companies.

About Isis Innovation

Isis Innovation is the research and technology commercialisation company of the University of Oxford. We provide access to technology from Oxford researchers through intellectual property licensing, spin-out company formation and material sales, and to academic expertise through Oxford University Consulting.

Isis is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked 1st in the UK for university spin-outs, having created over 110 new companies in 25 years. In the last financial year we completed 529 licenses and consulting agreements. Isis Enterprise, our innovation management consultancy, works with university, government and industrial clients from offices around the world.

Isis was named ‘Technology Transfer Unit of the Year 2014’ by Global University Venturing and in 2015 Isis Enterprise was awarded a Queens Award for Enterprise (International Trade).