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Energy-saving laser wins place in eIncubator


A technology company with a revolutionary energy-saving device has won a nation-wide competition for a place in eIncubator’s headquarters in Fairfax County, “e-country” of the US east coast, from which to launch itself into the American marketplace.


The company, AB Technology Cambridge Ltd, beat out seven other entrants in the “Strongest Link” Business Plan competition for technology companies organised by eIncubator Inc and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) in Virginia.


Cambridge-based AB Technology will be recognised as the competition winner during at a business networking evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on Wednesday, 19th September.


AB Tech will receive:


· Space and infrastructure in the incubator for 12 months.


· Advisory services and management assistance tailored to the company -- including business plan, business development, financial, accounting, legal, marketing and public relations.


· Assistance in finding strategic partners, sources of capital, and permanent office space.


“We wanted an entrant whose technology and vision would represent the best of what British business has to offer, and AB Tech fits that description as the strongest link,” said Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D., president and CEO of the FCEDA “This makes our UK-Fairfax County connection even stronger and very exciting.”


eIncubator’s Eric Dahler said that eIncubator will take equity in AB Technolgy, adding: “The great news is that there are tremendous companies in the UK that need assistance in getting into the US market. Picking AB Technology from the group of entries was an incredible challenge. We are convinced they have all the right stuff to become a first rate company and market maker.”


Gordon added, “The quality of all entrants was extremely high, and the deliberations of the judges took far longer than expected. In the end, the winner was a difficult choice.”



The other seven entrants were:


1. 4eNetworking (www.4ennews.com) - Ipswich, Suffolk


2. ClaimNet (www.claimnet.co.uk) - Aston Science Park Birmingham


3. Freesolar (www.elvingstonsciencecentre.co.uk) - Elvingston Science Centre, East Lothian


4. Mediascope (www.mediascopeltd.com) - Aston Science Park Birmingham


5. MultiMed Interactive - Leeds, West Yorkshire


6. Riley Fletcher – Warwick


7. Wire-e (www.Wire-e.co.uk) - Binley Business Innovation Centre, Coventry, West Midlands



After receiving two Smart Awards from the Department of Trade and Industry totalling more than £70,000, as well as assistance from Cambridge University, AB Technology (email: aussiboomerang@clara.co.uk) developed a range of devices under the “Gaslok“ brand name to reduce breakdowns of refrigeration and air conditioning systems.


AB Tech’s Chairman David Peall explained: “The Gaslok family of products reduces gas leakage, offering the only non-intrusive alternative to the current inefficient and expensive aspirated devices. Diligent product searches at trade shows and other sources since 1997 confirm this claim.”


Commenting on the unique competition, Mr Peall said: “We are delighted by the result. Along with the assistance provided by Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and e-Incubator we are certain that AB Tech can gain that first vital foothold in the competitive US market.”


“The US is the Holy Grail of our industry with 40 per cent of the market,” Peall said. “This is a godsend. It would have been at least another five years before we ventured into the US. With the assistance from the EDA and eIncubator we are certain that AB Tech can gain that first vital foothold in the competitive US market.”


He went on: “Energy inefficiencies caused by refrigerant leakage result in huge economic and ecological costs. Our goal is to reduce the impact. “


“Gaslok provides an early warning that is at least 15 times earlier than anything comparable on the global market,” Peall said. “The benefits for the small shopkeeper with a single refrigeration unit, to hotels, to large supermarket chains could be huge. Environmental considerations are significant as well.”


The competition to find a UK technology company sufficiently established here, but with ambitions to launch itself into the lucrative US market with an exciting new product, began on 1st March and closed on 1st May after which an advisory panel of UK business people ranked the entrants. It was from this list that eIncubator selected AB Technology.


-end-




For more information contact:


Michael Ryan
FCEDA London Empire House
175 Piccadilly, Mayfair W1V 0TB
Tel: 0800 085 0969
Fax: 01732 743 745 FairfaxUK@aol.com


Ross Clarke or David Wallen
Tel : 020 7630 1100 fairfax@livepr.net


Mark Fedeli or Lisa Wright
Media Relations, eIncubator
Tel: +1 703.845.8500
Fax:+1 703.845.8454
pr@eincubator.net


David Peall
Founder & CEO, AB Technology
Tel: 01954 211681
aussiboomerang@clara.co.uk


About eIncubator


eIncubator (www.eincubator.net), headquartered in Fairfax County, accelerates ground-breaking companies through a customised set of services, including business development, product management, strategic marketing and access to venture financing.


About the FCEDA


The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (www.FairfaxCountyEDA.org) provides a wide array of services and information designed to promote Fairfax County, Virginia, as a leading technology hub and a world-class center of commerce and trade.


Competition sponsors


Sponsors of the competition were:

Ashbourne Properties

British American Business Association/Washington, D.C.

British American Business Inc.

Credo

Cyril Leonard

Morgan Lewis LLP

Pennington

Propeller

Regus

United Kingdom Science Parks Association

Gaslok Background


It was while working as a senior refrigeration engineer around the world that David Peall developed his desire to solve the industry’s biggest problem – the uncontrolled and largely undetected leakage of gas from commercial freezers, refrigeration systems and air conditioning units.


Commercial refrigeration units are pressurised at between 150 and 350psi and are notorious for developing leaks through the inevitable joints in their pipeline systems.


The problem is that the most sophisticated gas monitors on the market today have been largely ineffective in reducing gas leakage. The first signs of inefficiencies are usually not known until around 60 per cent of the gas has already escaped, but systems start to consume more electricity when only 10 per cent has leaked.


By contrast Gaslok, developed in conjunction with the University of Cambridge, spots gas charge depletion levels of less than 4 per cent.


Official estimates are that if gas leakage could be spotted and rectified at even 12 per cent loss then 1
per cent of the UK’s annual electricity consumption could be saved.


It is estimated that currently 70 per cent of refrigerant gas produced around the world is used just to top up gas leakage in commercial refrigerators and air conditioning units, whether in supermarkets or hotels and office blocks – in fact, anywhere commercial refrigeration units are installed. It is not unusual for commercial refrigeration plants to lose 30 per cent of their gas in a year.


One estimate is that some 18 per cent of all electricity used in the UK and 50 per cent in the United States is consumed by refrigeration and air conditioning units. So when things go wrong the implications are obvious.


David Peall began his working life as a refrigeration engineer in Central Queensland, Australia. After developing the Gaslok plan over a number of years, he scoured engineering exhibitions across Europe and the United States and identified clearly that there was a gap in the market.


“Leakage is a huge problem for the industry globally,” says Peall.


He plans to develop Gaslok in three broad formats:


- One for small stores, for instance automatically sending off an alarm so an engineer can be called out.

- A larger version might send an alarm over a modem link straight to the engineer’s office.

- A yet more sophisticated version might involve a direct dial in from an engineer’s office to monitor the state of a refrigeration system.


Around £200,000 has already been spent on the development of Gaslok in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. The Department of Trade and Industry is also among investors to have demonstrated faith in the product.


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