AN AWARD-WINNING high-tech micro engineering company on Teesside is the 7,000th business to secure investment from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE).

The £100,000 second investment from UKSE is enabling Micropore Technologies, based in Redcar’s Wilton Centre, to ‘complete the jigsaw’ of taking its unique membrane emulsification process through from laboratory to full scale manufacture with the launch of two new systems.

In 2016, a £270,000 investment package, that included £110,000 from UKSE, supported the company at a vital time as it scaled up its technology and expanded its portfolio of blue-chip clients.

Micropore recently won the 2018 NEPIC Award for Innovation. Its unique process uses a sieve type membrane to engineer droplets and particles to a uniform size.

The benefits that brings to manufacturers of products from food and medicine to cosmetics and even rocket fuel means it leads the field and now has a presence in the USA, India and South Korea.

It is attracting companies from sectors including agro-chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, research and aerospace as it enables them to manufacture high-quality, cost-effective products using fewer additives with reduced raw material costs and wastage.

Dai Hayward, chief executive, said: “We have now launched twin systems that are capable of continuous manufacture of high quality emulsions in industrial quantities and this is a real breakthrough as traditional homogenisers cannot touch the performance of our products.

“This is the final piece of the jigsaw to take the process from the initial laboratory stage to full scale manufacture.

“The first investment from UK Steel Enterprise came at a vital time for the company and this second tranche will help us move ahead strongly in our existing sectors and open up new ones.

“We are growing strongly in the USA through our sales office there. A recent visit to India has resulted in a contract for a pharma application as well as valuable new contacts with return visits to the UK being planned. We are continuing to exploit the considerable potential of our existing UK market as well as expanding into new markets and recently made our first sale in South Korea.”

Sarah Thorpe, UKSE’s area manager, said: “Micropore Technologies is a highly innovative company with a very experienced management team. I am delighted that we were able to help for a second time and that UKSE’s 7,000th milestone figure has involved a Teesside business.”