Innovation Centre clients triumph at Exeter Business Awards

Published on: 20 May 2015

Robin Campbell (Technical Director) and Richard Willmott (Finance Director) of Frigesco Ltd receiving the Environmental Award at the Exeter Business Awards. 

Past and present clients of the University of Exeter’s Innovation Centre have been successful at the Express and Echo Business Awards.

Frigesco, known for their Innovative flash defrost technology, scooped the environmental award adding to their impressive collection of technology industry awards including the recent Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (ACR) News Awards, Cooling Industry Awards and National ACR Awards 2015.

Frigesco’s Defrost System uses a phase-change material – a substance that changes its state with a change in temperature and is capable of storing heat energy. The system captures waste heat from refrigeration systems and carries out high efficiency defrosts of evaporators. The technology improves energy efficiency of refrigeration systems by eliminating the need for external energy in the defrost process. This can save up to 20 per cent of the costs of running supermarket cold rooms and frozen food display cabinets. The system is currently being trialled in major UK supermarket chains, fast food outlets and internationally in the US, Ireland and South Africa. It is also being developed for use in air-source heat pumps.

eCow who were previously based at the centre and have said they would like to move to Exeter Science Park, won the Innovation Award for their pioneering digital device used for dairy cow monitoring, the farmBolus. The device offers reliable and robust detection of lameness and reduced wellbeing in cows.

The team have developed the farmBolus to wirelessly monitor the pH and temperature of a cow’s rumen over a six month period. This helps with management decisions regarding the cow’s diet and movement routines. Data is presented on a desktop client with easily viewable graphs and the ability to customise and compare data to give a comprehensive picture of the cow’s health.

Crowdcube took the coveted Business of the Year Award. The company was started in the Innovation Centre in 2010 by Darren Westlake and his partner, Luke Lang. The crowdfunding platform provides people with the opportunity to buy equity in unlisted UK registered businesses in exchange for their investment.  

Having successfully funded their first project in July 2010 the company has gone from strength to strength, and has since successfully raised more than £70 million for 209 businesses from more than than 150,000 members.

To complete the night, Crowdcube co-founder Darren Westlake also picked up the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Darren was recently named one of Britain’s most influential entrepreneurs in the prestigious Debrett’s 500 list.

The competition now in its fifth year attracted 133 entries amongst businesses and entrepreneurs in Exeter and the surrounding area.

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