UCD spin-out PlasmaBound secures €2.35m for its sustainability techVish Gainon May 3, 2022 at 08:05 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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PlasmaBound, a University College Dublin (UCD) deep-tech spin-out, has raised €2.35m in its latest funding round to invest in its sustainability-focused technology.

The start-up specialises in controlled polymer ablation (CPA) technology, which helps speed up the manufacture of renewable lightweight materials and increase their reliability.

These materials can be used in everything from vehicles and devices to physical structures, reducing carbon output and waste.

Founded in 2017 by Dr James Nicholas Barry, Alan Barry and Xavier Montibert, PlasmaBound spun out of the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture and is headquartered in NovaUCD. It is a former recipient of the Enterprise Ireland commercialisation fund.

The underlying technology, however, has been in development for seven years and is currently patent-pending.

“Our technology is about getting more renewable, lightweight materials into use faster as we seek a more sustainable carbon-reduced future,” said Alan Barry, CEO of PlasmaBound.

But the success of the technology, which is deployed in a SaaS model with term-based licensing, depends on the funding available to scale it until it goes mainstream.

“Right now, this is limited by cost and complexity to only high-tech applications, or premium price points, with limited real environmental impact,” added Barry.

“Pushing recyclable composites into mainstream mass-production will move the dial on all our efforts for a sustainable tomorrow. This funding signals confidence in this opportunity.”

The investment round was led by Act Venture Capital with additional backing from the Atlantic Bridge University Fund, Enterprise Ireland and other private investors. Previously, PlasmaBound raised €1.1m in June 2020, led by Atlantic Bridge.

John O’Sullivan, a partner at Act Venture Capital, is optimistic that PlasmaBound’s CPA technology will let industries use composites “ubiquitously, cost effectively and creatively”.

“It will enable a big step forward in composite material use – something I think the sector has been waiting for.’’

In an interview with SiliconRepublic.com earlier this year, Barry said that PlasmaBound is targeting its tech at high-growth multibillion-dollar markets including the aerospace, consumer electronics sectors and automotive sectors, particularly electric vehicles (EVs).

“Despite the impediments with current technologies, the EV market for composites is expanding at 67pc CAGR to $54bn by 2024,” he said. “CPA will reduce costs in this area and facilitate similar growth in other industries.”

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