Coventry lab investment leads to contract wins
A specialist laboratory in Coventry has won new contracts and extended its workforce after investing in a state of the art instrument, thanks to funding from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub.
Exeter Analytical, based at the Venture Centre at the University of Warwick Science Park in Canley, provides an analysis service for quality control testing for household names in the pharmaceutical, food, beverage, fine chemicals, pigments and coatings sectors as well as carrying out university research and selling equipment to other laboratories.
After receiving a £10,000 grant from the Growth Hub, which is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the company invested £22,000 in an ICP-OES instrument. Inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry is a technique in which the composition of elements in (mostly water-dissolved) samples can be determined using plasma and a spectrometer.
Managing Director Daya Sing said buying the instrument would enable the company to push into new markets in the UK, Europe and America: “Buying the instrument is a key part in our future growth because we are able to offer larger quantities of analysis service and it allows us to take on more customers.
“We have already been successful in securing more work with well-known pharmaceutical manufacturers, and will be able to compete with larger laboratories to offer our bespoke work as well as up-sell to organisations we already work with.
“There is certain legislation which restricts companies from analysing their own products for elements such as mercury or lead so that there is no conflict of interest which is why a number of independent laboratories are needed - so this is one of the areas we are going to focus on not only in the UK but in Europe and America.
“We have also recruited a business development manager to drive our business growth and sales.”
He said the help from the CWLEP Growth Hub and Coventry City Council had been invaluable in being successful in its grant application.
“We were told about the Growth Hub by one of our neighbours at the science park, Oxford Vision and Sensor Technology, because we weren’t aware of the funding opportunities that are available.
“We thought it would be daunting filling in all the paperwork but the support we received was phenomenal.”
Justine Chadwick, account manager at the CWLEP Growth Hub, said: “The Growth Hub is here to help businesses whether they are an SME or have multiple offices and in all sectors which is highlighted by the support we have given Exeter Analytical.
“We made them aware of all the funding opportunities that are available, as well as helped them to secure an intern from Coventry University for three months, which was useful during a busy time.
“Exeter Analytical will continue to work with the Growth Hub and Coventry City Council to access further business support, advice and opportunities.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council, said: “I’m really pleased that we could support this local company. They are clearly full of drive and ambition like many small to medium sized employers across the city.
“Now they aim to work with companies across the world, which is great news for them and the local people they employ. I wish them well as they seek to grow their company and it shows what the right advice and a small grant can achieve.”
Caption – L-R Justine Chadwick (CWLEP Growth Hub), Taran Kaur and Daya Singh (Exeter Analytical) and Cllr Jim O’Boyle (Coventry City Council)