Intelligent gas grid solutions provider Utonomy has secured £500,000 investment from Williams Advanced Engineering.

The funding for Southampton-based Utonomy represents the first investment for the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, part of the Williams Group which runs the Williams Martini Racing Formula One team.

Established in 2015, Utonomy has developed an innovative technology for reducing leakage in gas distribution networks. Its Internet of Things solution automatically optimises gas distribution pressures through electro-mechanical actuators retrofitted to the network and controlled by intelligent, cloud-based software.

“Utonomy is an exciting business and their technology is a great fit for Williams Advanced Engineering,” said Matthew Burke, head of technology ventures at Williams Advanced Engineering.

“Our engineers are looking forward to working with them on the electro-mechanical actuator and control systems, and we are confident that we can help them accelerate their product design and development going forward.”

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The leakage of methane from gas distribution networks is a massive global problem, releasing the equivalent of 1.7 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year – more than four times the total emissions of the UK.

This is also estimated to cost consumers more than £5bn a year.

Building on their proven expertise in precision engineering, systems integration and optimisation, Williams Advanced Engineering will support the design and development of the actuator technology, a critical component of the Utonomy gas network management solution.

Foresight’s experience in growing businesses and expanding them globally will also be invaluable to Utonomy in the commercialisation of their technology and the expansion of their business.

Utonomy CEO Adam Kingdon commented: “We are delighted to receive investment through the Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund.

“This will enable us to complete the product development, certification and customer trials of our innovative solution for reducing methane emissions.

“We are very pleased to get the chance to work with Williams Advanced Engineering to develop our technology further and to have the support of Foresight to grow Utonomy into a world-leading company.”

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