UCD spin-out PlasmaBound secures €2.35m for its sustainability tech

3 May 2022

From left: Alan Barry, Dr James Nicholas Barry and Xavier Montibert. Image: Nick Bradshaw

Founded in 2017, NovaUCD-based PlasmaBound has developed tech that aims to take the use of recyclable composite materials into the mainstream.

PlasmaBound, a University College Dublin (UCD) deep-tech spin-out, has raised €2.35m in funding for its sustainability-focused technology.

The start-up specialises in controlled polymer ablation (CPA) tech, which could help speed up the manufacture of renewable lightweight materials with increased reliability.

These materials could be used in everything from vehicles and devices to physical structures, reducing carbon output and waste.

Founded in 2017 by Dr James Nicholas Barry, Alan Barry and Xavier Montibert, PlasmaBound spun out of the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture and is headquartered in NovaUCD.

The company’s underlying technology, which is deployed in a SaaS model with term-based licensing, has been in development for seven years and is currently patent-pending.

“Our technology is about getting more renewable, lightweight materials into use faster as we seek a more sustainable carbon-reduced future,” said Alan Barry, CEO of PlasmaBound.

“Right now, this is limited by cost and complexity to only high-tech applications, or premium price points, with limited real environmental impact,” he added. “Pushing recyclable composites into mainstream mass-production will move the dial on all our efforts for a sustainable tomorrow. This funding signals confidence in this opportunity.”

The investment round was led by Act Venture Capital with additional backing from the Atlantic Bridge University Fund, Enterprise Ireland and other private investors.

PlasmaBound previously raised €1.1m in June 2020, led by Atlantic Bridge, and has received backing from Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund.

John O’Sullivan, a partner at Act Venture Capital, is optimistic that PlasmaBound’s CPA technology will let industries use composites “ubiquitously, cost effectively and creatively”.

“It will enable a big step forward in composite material use – something I think the sector has been waiting for.’’

In a Start-up of the Week feature on SiliconRepublic.com earlier this year, Barry said that PlasmaBound is targeting its tech at high-growth multibillion-dollar markets including the aerospace, consumer electronics sectors and automotive sectors, particularly electric vehicles (EVs).

“Despite the impediments with current technologies, the EV market for composites is expanding at 67pc CAGR to $54bn by 2024,” he said. “CPA will reduce costs in this area and facilitate similar growth in other industries.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic