Power Roll Case Study
Power Roll Innovation SuperNetwork Case Study

Location: Sunderland
Sector: Energy / Manufacturing

Power Roll has invented a fundamentally new way to generate and store energy. The solar film produces clean, renewable energy at a fraction of the cost of any other source, with the technology protected by 19 separate patent families in 56 countries to date. Their flexible film enables roll-to-roll manufacturing of capacitors using a range of dielectrics and storage materials.

Innovation Intervention by the Innovation SuperNetwork

Power Roll received more than 20 hours from June 2019, with support still ongoing through the North East Energy Catalyst Cluster.

What was the issue or problem Power Roll needed support with?

Being a highly innovative company, Power Roll needed specialist innovation finance support providing access to a combination of grants, equity, and patient capital to sustain their product development and entry to market. They needed to raise over £2m to further develop and commercialise their product, scale the business and create jobs.

What did the Innovation SuperNetwork do to support?

Upfront investment to adjust manufacturing lines to produce new prototypes is expensive, access to grant funding to reduce financial risk was needed alongside equity investment to capitalise the innovative solar technology being produced via the Sunderland-based Power Roll manufacturing plant.

Power Roll benefitted from the Innovation SuperNetwork’s Access to Finance Programme where CEO Neil Spann received investor readiness support delivered by Access to Finance Innovation Manager, Jordan Dargue, helping Power Roll hone their innovation plan, develop their proposition and articulate their business case. Following this intensive support, Neil pitched to angel investors via the Newcastle Angel Hub. Support through the Innovation SuperNetwork’s Investor readiness programme also enabled the company to approach a wide network of investors within and outside of the region, with introductions made by the SuperNetwork team.

The pitch also gave Power Roll the opportunity to leverage additional funding. Working with Innovation Manager, David Lynch through the North East Energy Catalyst Cluster, they secured £20,000 grant funding via the Energy Innovation Challenge Programme.

Productive impact

• Power Roll secured £170,000 as a direct result of their pitch to investors via the Newcastle Angel Hub. This contributed towards a total raise of £2.8m to commercialise its unique solar film and capacitor technologies.
The investment comprises £2.0m of equity and £0.8m of convertible loans as part of the Future Fund scheme set up by the UK Government.
• Thanks to the investment raised, Power Roll is now accelerating the deployment of its technology by pursuing an IP licensing model with manufacturing partners. They recently signed a contract with QinetiQ, the UK listed defense and security company and are in negotiations with a number of commercial partners which will see their product gain market entry in the near future.
• Power Roll will use the funding to construct a solar film pilot plant in County Durham creating a minimum of 12 new jobs in the Durham and Sunderland area in 2020 and 2021.
• Power Roll also secured £20,000 of grant funding via the North East Energy Catalyst.

Power Roll has really benefited from working with the SuperNetwork as part of our recent funding round. They took time to understand our business and our investment needs and helped to secure direct investment as part of our recent successful £2.8m funding round through pitch preparation and opportunities to meet investors.