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UCD Spin-out PlasmaBound secures €1.1 million investment

Posted 24 June, 2020

PlasmaBound co-founders, Alan Barry, CEO and Dr James Nicholas Barry, Technical Director Photo: Nick Bradshaw/Fotonic

University College Dublin spin-out behind a new surface treatment technology that greatly reduces manufacturing waste has closed a €1.1 million investment round.

PlasmaBound, co-founded by Dr James Nicholas Barry, Alan Barry and Xavier Montibert, has developed patented process called controlled polymer ablation (CPA); which involves the structural adhesive joining of lightweight materials such as carbon and glass fibre reinforced composites.

The technology allows those in the automotive, aerospace and wind turbine industries to significantly produce less manufacturing waste while also increasing fuel efficiency and reducing product weight and carbon emissions.

This latest investment round was led by the Atlantic Bridge University Fund, with Enterprise Ireland, and a number of private investors.

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

A spin-out from the UCD College of Engineering and Architecture, following the completion of Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Funding, PlasmaBound is headquartered at NovaUCD, the University's Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs.

“Our technology took over 5-years to develop at UCD, so [this] announcement is a significant milestone for the company,” said Alan Barry, CEO.

“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 light weighting 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.”

Dr Helen McBreen, Investment Director at Atlantic Bridge University Fund said: “I am very pleased to welcome UCD spin-out company PlasmaBound to the Atlantic Bridge University Fund portfolio.

“The company’s ground-breaking technology, which has the potential to support significant reduction in carbon emissions, is an excellent example of the world-class, commercially-focused research underway at UCD and through this investment Atlantic Bridge University Fund is looking forward to helping to scale this early-stage company internationally.”

Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland CEO, added: “NovaUCD continues to elevate companies such as Plasmabound that are driving advanced solutions to streamline and simplify processes in manufacturing. I wish the team luck with the project and congratulate the company on its success to date.”

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations (with materials from Micéal Whelan, UCD Research and Innovation)