Anacail is a venture capital-backed spin-out of the Astrophysics Department at the University of Glasgow

Anacail specialises in creating and handling ozone in revolutionary, safe and flexible ways. Its key technology allows the generation of ozone (an activated form of oxygen), inside sealed packages, without damaging or opening the package. The ozone is a potent germicide.

Anacail provides a new way to make food safer for consumption, and prolongs its shelf life. It can be used after packaging and aims to cut down on the 7 million tonnes of food waste that is created every year in the UK.

At the time of initiation with Design Council, the product was at prototype stage, the core research having been in development for a number of years.

Challenge

The research team were looking to formulate a prototype product or product design to help attract co-development partners and licensees. Meanwhile, they also needed to develop a business plan and design strategy, as well as recruit for further design involvement.

What we did

Through Design Council support, a workshop was held to inform the Functional and User Requirements Specifications and to populate an Opportunities & Challenges Framework. The early spin-out stage helped to inform the design strategy.

A session with the Anacail team was held to draft a design brief, which set out the key aspects of the system requirements, timeline, budgets and other constraints. The session also included identifying likely candidates to deliver the design project, setting out selection criteria and supporting the team in recruiting them onto the project.

Design Council provided ongoing support to the project manager during implementation of the design project.

Results

Design Council put us in touch with other design companies, and gave us some useful templates to work with.

Dr Ian Muirhead, Director at Anacail

The establishment of a spin-out company, with grub funding investment from IP Group plc, allowed the development of a Factory-Scale Demonstrator for trials to be undertaken in 2011. Independent laboratory testing and engagement with food processing companies led to development opportunities for a full pre-production prototype.

Since the collaboration with Design Council, Anacail has secured a further £750,000 in seed funding, and now has four employees.

Dr Ian Muirhead, Director at Anacail Ltd, said: “Design Council put us in touch with other design companies, and gave us some useful templates to work with.

“The advice given to us by the Design Associate enforced our philosophy, and now we are actively developing applications for Anacail outside of the food industry, in particular medical prototypes.”

Visit the Anacail website to find out more

Research Commercialisation Coaching

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