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% 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 Oxford Sciences Innovation will ensure the business can take the valve to market and develop further high performance products for gas distribution networks and the water industry.
Founder and technical director, Professor Tom Povey 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 US$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.”
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.