Incubator tenant CustoMem has received a €1.4 million (£1.2m) grant from the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. The new funding will enable the company to bring its next generation granular media, optimised to capture and recycle specific challenging micropollutants found in industrial waste water, to market.
CustoMem, which was founded by Imperial College London graduates Henrik Hagemann and Gabi Santosa, firs joined the Incubator community when the company entered the Venture Catalyst Challenge in 2015. Since then, the team has rented laboratory space at the IWCI and applied its expertise in biomaterials and synthetic biology to create CustoMem Granular Media (CGM). This novel bio-adsorbent can selectively capture micropollutants, like Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) from wastewater. CGM can be used with existing infrastructure, providing significant cost savings to customers compared with traditional adsorbent materials.
Having, demonstrated the capabilities of CGM in laboratory and client trials, the company now has plans for industrial pilots.
The SME Instrument is a translation and innovation grant within the EU's Horizon 2020 scientific framework programme. The SME Instrument aims to support small and medium enterprises with "groundbreaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes that are ready to conquer global markets". Grant recipients also receive coaching from industry leaders to help drive forward their business.
Henrik Hagemann, co-founder and CEO of CustoMem, said:
“Our products’ superior performance and cost-effectiveness have been validated in our laboratory and initial trials with clients. This grant enables us to scale up to industrial pilot trials of greater than 100 m3/day flow rates.
“With under 3 percent of all applicants securing a grant, our success demonstrates confidence in our company, our product and the quality of CustoMem’s team. As part of the award, we will continue to receive mentoring from world renowned experts and critical business acceleration services including linking us to potential customers and investors.”