UCD spin-out PlasmaBound raises €1.1m for novel surface treatment

24 Jun 2020

Image: PlasmaBound

PlasmaBound has developed technology that can help industry manufacturers achieve lightweighting goals, while reducing waste and lowering carbon emissions.

Today (24 June), Irish start-up PlasmaBound announced that it has raised €1.1m in investment for its novel surface treatment technology. The investment round was led by Atlantic Bridge University Fund, with Enterprise Ireland and a number of private investors.

The University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out has created technology that aims to enable global manufacturing industries to reduce product weight while meeting fuel efficiency and carbon emissions requirements.

PlasmaBound’s patented technology, called controlled polymer ablation (CPA), uses a repeatable and high-speed one-step process. It involves the structural adhesive joining of lightweight materials, namely carbon and glass fibre reinforced composites.

The technology enables companies in the automotive, aerospace and wind turbine industries to achieve lightweighting goals with simplified and fully automated workstreams. According to the start-up, such workstreams generate significantly less manufacturing waste, reduce product weight and assist industry players to achieve carbon emission and fuel efficiency goals.

‘Significant milestone’

Headquartered at NovaUCD, the start-up was co-founded in 2017 by Dr James Nicholas Barry, Alan Barry and Xavier Montibert, as a spin-out from the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture. PlasmaBound completed Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund programme, and is now recognised as a high-potential start-up by Enterprise Ireland.

The start-up was previously awarded €50,000 through the ESA Business Incubation Programme and secured an additional €40,000 through the competitive ESA Technology Transfer Demonstrator Fund.

Barry, who is CEO of PlasmaBound, said: “Our CPA technology supports the accelerated adoption of lightweight composite materials into multi-material structural assemblies, by enabling reliable adhesive joining.

“This will allow international enterprises, who are aggressively pursuing lightweighting opportunities, to meet current and future carbon emissions and fuel efficiency requirements, with no waste production, reduced reliance on metal fasteners and lower production cost through in-line operation simplification.”

Barry added that the firm is “delighted” to have closed this investment round, which will enable PlasmaBound to further develop its first-generation product offering and scale globally. He said that the technology took more than five years to develop at UCD, making today’s announcement “a significant milestone for the company”.

Brendan Cremen will now join the PlasmaBound board of directors on behalf of Atlantic Bridge.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said: “We are delighted to support PlasmaBound and to be part of this investment round. With more and more emphasis on reducing carbon footprint, PlasmaBound is developing innovative solutions to enable manufacturers across industries to meet their current and future targets in cutting carbon emissions and generating fuel efficiency.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic