The Ministry of Defence has awarded a Gloucestershire business a £350,000 contract to develop underwater energy harvesting technology, which has the potential to transform how electricity is generated.
Gloucester-based WITT Ltd won the Defence and Security Accelerator contract to develop its energy capture and storage device, specifically for subsea defence applications.
But it also said there was ‘global interest’ in its product, with it being hailed as ‘the most exciting development in the renewable energy sector since the solar panel’.
The Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer or WITT turns movement into stored electricity and could be used to generate grid-scale levels of power, or simply recharge a mobile phone while walking.
Mairi Wickett, business development director and co-founder of WITT Ltd, said: ‘The contract win further reinforces the WITT’s credibility in the sector and puts us in a strong position for our next round of fundraising.
‘The WITT is a clean, green power solution with countless applications, our main aim is to use our technology to revolutionise off-grid power generation and reduce global CO2 production.’
Roger Evans, MBE, chairman of WITT Ltd, said: ‘We are currently receiving a huge amount of global interest from organisations that recognise the potential applications of the WITT technology and the next few years looks set to be a very exciting time for the company.’
Based at Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park, WITT Ltd raised £2.4 million of investment in 2016, at the time the biggest ever crowdfunded equity raised by a ‘clean tech’ company.
Since then it has been granted patents worldwide, including in the UK, USA, China and Europe, and has patents pending in Korea, Brazil, Canada, India and Russia – as well as winning a host of international awards.
The WITT was named as one of the 1,000 Best Clean Green Affordable Solutions to Protect the Planet and Reduce CO2 – by the Solar Impulse Foundation.
By Andrew Merrell