We are thrilled to reveal that Sprint Electric secured investments totalling £2.5m to help enter the AC VSD (variable-speed drives) market with a new range boasting unique regenerative capabilities. The team has been developing the new drive over the past five years in partnership with University of Nottingham as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership – the part grant-funded scheme that helps businesses like Sprint to innovate using expertise from universities.
£2m of the new investment is from trusts managed by the Foresight Group, a private equity business, and £500,000 from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, which is supported by the European Union via its European Regional Development Fund. Sprint has qualified for the regional funding because it has an R&D office in Nottingham.
Tim Routsis, recently chairman and CEO of Cox Powertrain and former CEO of the Cosworth Group, has joined the Sprint Electric board as non-executive chair as part of the investment arrangement. His experience will help Sprint to expand, with the hope of increasing its market share “significantly”.
Tim said: “I am delighted to join the Sprint Electric team at such an exciting time in the company’s history With Foresight’s support, Sprint Electric is in a good position to bring new products to market. This will materially grow the business, which already has an impressive export record.”
We will use the funding for the final development and commercialisation of the new VSDs, details of which are likely to be announced later this year. The DC drives market is worth an estimated £370m. The AC drives market is worth around £16bn, with regenerative drives constituting a small slice of this – but considerably larger than the DC drives market.
Sprint will continue to serve the DC drives market and aim to share some aspects of the new platform with our DC drives portfolio, which will benefit as a result.
More than 80% of production is exported abroad to more than 75 countries. Working with Foresight, we will use the new investment to expand its operations and drive growth and recruit extra staff.
Gary Keen, managing director, said: “We are excited to work with an investment partner who shares our passion for green energy and understands the potential of the drive technology we have developed with our colleagues at the University of Nottingham.
“We welcome the appointment of Tim to the board and the wealth of experience he has in leading cutting-edge engineering businesses. This will be invaluable as we commercialise the new product range, expand our operations footprint and accelerate our sales growth.”