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Institution invests in innovative company reducing gas leakage in utility networks

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The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has invested in Southampton-based company Utonomy

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has completed a new investment, through its £2mn Stephenson Fund, into Southampton-based company Utonomy.

Utonomy’s smart network pressure management aims to reduce leakage by up to 25%. This provides a significant financial payback for gas network operators as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Institution’s investment was made through the Stephenson Fund, launched in 2015 to help companies overcome the investment hurdle between Research and Development and bringing a product to market.

The Fund, initially worth a total of £2 million, is in line with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ original statement of purpose set out by founder George Stephenson in 1847 to ‘give an impulse to invention likely to be useful to the world’.

Stephen Tetlow MBE, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said announcing the investment:  

“The technology Utonomy has developed has the potential not only to cut losses to gas network operators but also substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We feel privileged to be able to support Utonomy through this fund which aims to help companies overcome the hurdle between Research and Development and bringing a product to market. Apart from the monetary support we are providing, this will also connect Utonomy to the vast resources and network of the Institution and its membership.”

Adam Kingdon, CEO of Utonomy, said:

“We are delighted to receive investment through the Stephenson Fund. This will enable us to complete the product development and certification of our innovative solution for reducing methane emissions. We are very fortunate to have the Institution of Mechanical Engineers as a shareholder and look forward to working with them as we grow Utonomy into a world leading company.”

The Stephenson Limited Liability Partnership Fund is independently managed by specialist venture capital company Midven Ltd and aims to invest in innovative companies engaged in mechanical engineering over the next few years.

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