A Stratford-upon-Avon businessman has bounced back from redundancy to helping companies detect dangerous chemical leaks.
After he was made redundant by Ford last year, David Cole seized the opportunity to launch a full-time business and he has already signed deals with several companies across the country.
His company, Eco Valve Solutions, is based at the University of Warwick Science Park, which allows him to work easily with support services and contacts such as patent attorneys and technical experts.
The unit he has developed detects if a spill has occurred and immediately inflates a series of pre-installed ‘bladders’ to block drains and prevent the escape of the chemical into the water system before a full clean-up can take place A more complex version of the system also lets key personnel know that a spill has taken place via a mobile phone alert.
Companies can face large fines if they allow hazardous substances to leak into the water system.
Mr Cole said: “Most of the companies I am dealing with do not want to be mentioned. While this is a very positive step they are taking for the environment – which will save them money – it still suggests they had a problem in the first place which is not something most firms are willing to do.
“But it really does have potential with so many industries – from those using very dangerous chemicals to breweries, food manufacturers and the oil industry. The enquiries we are receiving from all over the world suggest that we have the potential for a global business.”
Harry Stott and Bill Taylor of the University of Warwick Science Park have provided a range of business support through the Ignite programme.
“It’s a wonderful product,” said Mr Stott. “And it is going to market at exactly the right time.”