Good chemistry with Innovate UK EDGE benefits green labs business

Asynt designs and manufactures innovative equipment that helps chemists conduct scientific research, while also driving down chemistry laboratory carbon emissions and costs. And Innovate UK EDGE is supporting the company in its bid to expand into new international markets.

Posted on: 05/09/2022

Three years ago Innovation and Growth Specialist Richard Carey-Evans started working with Asynt, with a brief to help with general business planning, marketing and the company’s expansion plans. He has done that and more, according to Martyn Fordham, Managing Director at Asynt. “He has been brilliant. He has guided and advised beyond expectations. It has been great having someone from outside the organisation to bounce ideas off and learn from. Richard is a fount of high value knowledge and has given us access to people to discuss grants with.”

Connections and opportunities through Innovate UK EDGE support

Through Richard’s extensive network, Asynt has accessed funding and further business support from several quarters, including a £48K match funding grant from the business growth service Growth Works. This has enabled Asynt to build a new international sales and marketing facility, which will help with the expansion plans.

Richard introduced Fordham to the EU-funded project Innovation Bridge at the University of Bedfordshire, leading to 25 hours of consultancy using the RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted and informed) model and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. “That was very good indeed,” says Fordham. “A professor from the university focused on our team structure and people’s roles, helping us understand what people are doing and where our gaps are.”

The same professor will work with Asynt again soon, looking at internal systems and future staffing decisions.

Richard also recommended the Santander Internship Scheme. Following that introduction, Asynt received £1,000 in funding, enabling an intern to spend 10 days researching the company’s planned move into the US, analysing hotspots and potential routes to market.

Headcount and turnover growth

On the back of the Growth Works funding, Asynt has been able to hire an extra couple of employees, taking the company to a headcount of 12. It plans to take on two more recruits before the end of the year. The company is on target to achieve 20% growth in the UK this year and plans to expand its international operations late 2022/early 2023.

An effective marketing strategy is key to meeting these targets, particularly in terms of international sales, says Fordham. Part of that marketing effort involves talking about Asynt’s green credentials, which Richard is helping with over the next few months. For example, its product the CondenSyn waterless condenser. A laboratory condenser typically consumers two litres of water a minute, whereas CondenSyn eliminates the need to use water at all. This leads to huge cost savings for laboratories, both in terms of water and energy usage.

Another Asynt product, DrySyn, eliminates the need to use oil in the laboratory, replacing it with solid aluminium. Fordham says solid aluminium has a much longer lifespan than oil, uses less energy, can be recycled, isn’t a safety hazard and doesn’t need to be disposed of as waste. “It has transformed labs,” he says. “Our products really do significantly improve the environmental footprint of research labs and save money because they use fewer resources.”

Fordham says laboratories can use government funding to improve their environmental footprint, making Asynt’s products even more appealing.

It has been great having someone from outside the organisation to bounce ideas off and learn from. Richard is a fount of high value knowledge.

– Martyn Fordham, Managing Director at Asynt

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