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Pioneering scientific research company receives investment from Anglia Capital Group

Investors in this round: Anglia Capital group alongside the New Anglia Capital fund

A Norwich business developing a unique technology that can enhance the water resistance of biomaterials has benefitted from investment from Anglia Capital group, alongside the New Anglia Capital fund.

Biomaterials are made from plants, such as flax and hemp, and as they naturally absorb moisture this can lead to issues when they are used in manufacturing This character has previously led to a dramatic reduction in their effectiveness and limits their applications.

Cellexcel’s technology was created through the work of Prof Richard Stephenson, CSO of Cellexcel and Emeritus Professor School of Chemistry at the University of East Anglia, which is a partner organisation of Norwich Research Park, one of the world’s most acclaimed centres for bio-based science research. The technology means biomaterials can now be integrated into external applications, such as composite panels used in the automotive or aerospace industry.

“The innovative technology solutions coming out of the UEA and Norwich Research Park is something that our region can be truly proud of” says Hannah Smith, Managing Director, Anglia Capital Group.

“Cellexcel is a prime example of the commercialisation and opportunity which is happening on the park. Companies like Cellexcel are exactly the reason why Anglia Capital Group came into being. Our members care passionately about supporting innovative businesses to thrive in our region and we’re excited to see how Cellexcel progresses over the coming years.”

Composites are materials that are made up of a number of different elements. Some of the most common in use are fibre glass reinforced resins and carbon fibre reinforcing materials. Along with thermoplastics they are used to make components such as panels for cars, aircraft and high-performance bicycles. Traditional composites like these consume a massive amount of energy in their manufacture, creating high levels of embedded CO2 emissions.

If fibreglass material was replaced with a bio-composite, then approximately three tonnes of CO2, per tonne of fibreglass, would be saved.

As industries seek more sustainable solutions, the technology which Cellexcel has created is perfectly placed to increase the usage of carbon capturing plant-based materials in manufacturing. Thus reducing both operational and embedded CO2 emissions.

The company is initially focusing on attracting firms within sectors such as automotive, construction and transportation  that use panels made from emission-heavy materials like metal, and carbon fibre or fibreglass composites.

In addition to angel investment, Cellexcel has also received grant funding from Innovate UK.

Tim Pryce, the company’s Chairperson, comments: “The technology developed by Cellexcel will have a significant impact on reducing CO2 emissions as it opens the doorway for a rapid expansion of carbon capturing biomaterials. 

Our team are really moving the carbon debate from solely operational CO2 emissions to include emissions embedded in Primary Materials which are responsible for c. 60% of embedded CO2 emissions. 

“It is hugely exciting that the investment from Anglia Capital Group members, alongside the New Anglia Capital Fund will enable further technological achievements and commence the exploitation of current technology, across several sectors.”

ACG is an Angel Investment network which invests in start-ups and early growth stage businesses who are providing innovative and potentially disruptive solutions to their industry.

New Anglia Capital helps early stage and high growth businesses pitch to experienced angel investors and provides match funding for successful projects. This co-investment fund is backed by £4m from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, in partnership with Anglia Capital Group, and aims to stimulate entrepreneurship and economic growth across Suffolk and Norfolk.

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more – Investor Risk Warning | Anglia Capital Group