Business

StormHarvester develops new green technology to help reduce environmental pollution

Brian Moloney, founder of StormHarvester, with Invest NI's Dr Vicky Kell

A LISBURN start-up which builds drainage systems to harvest rain water and reduce water demand in commercial developments, has used government R&D support to develop an innovative new technology which attracted attention across the UK and Europe.

StormHarvester, a "eureka moment" concept established in 2012 by Brian Moloney when he was working as a civil engineer in Queensland, has developed a smart control system which reduces the volume of mains water required by new buildings.

It also decreases the volume of sewage that overflows from drainage networks into rivers, lakes and the sea by using rainfall forecasts to regulate stormwater and wastewater networks, and is currently being installed in major developments across Northern Ireland and Britain.

The system is being used by Hillsborough Castle and Gardens and a landmark property on London's Grosvenor Square, and StormHarvester is now working directly with water utilities around the UK and Europe to reduce network overflows and protect the environment.

Mr Moloney said: “Sewage overflow is becoming an increasing issue in urban areas, due to outdated sewerage networks. Our new product takes core principles and expertise in water forecast drainage control and applies this to regulate entire urban sewage networks effectively.

“Our cloud-based system is designed to make drainage systems ‘smart', allowing users to proactively take preventive action to decrease flooding and damage.”

Invest NI has offered the company £121,000 of assistance towards R&D, as well as trade support to visit new markets.

The agency's innovation and R&D director Dr Vicky Kell said: “StormHarvester, which we have supported since it participated in our Propel programme, has created an innovative system that has the potential to significantly reduce the impact of flooding and sewage leakage on the environment.

“This recent R&D investment has enabled it to gain greater insights into how the growing population and urbanisation are impacting climate change and, hence, flooding.”

As well as participating in Invest NI's Propel Pre-Accelerator programme in 2016, StormHarvester has also availed of a £300,000 investment from TechStart equity funding, part of Invest NI's Access to Finance suite of debt and equity funds.

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