The global market for membranes used in water filtration and purification is estimated to be worth more than US$20bn, with a growth forecast of US$14bn for water and waste water treatment.
Based on a licensing income model, the available market for G2O membrane coatings in the water industry alone is expected to grow by more than US$2.8bn within five years.
This presents a unique opportunity for investors to obtain a return on a radical technology that has a global application and seeks to address a growing humanitarian crisis.
Ensuring the availability of safe water and sanitation is one of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals: the latest UN information reports that more than two billion people are living in countries with excess water stress, which is the ratio of total freshwater withdrawn to total renewable freshwater resources above a threshold of 25%. Water stress levels above 60% affect Northern Africa and Western Asia, indicating a likelihood of water scarcity in future.
Existing investments in G2O
To date, G2O has raised over £2m in funding from the combination of a private investor and Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency responsible for funding science and technology developments that will drive economic growth.
G2O’s technology was reviewed and validated by Innovate UK’s independent, technical experts who said it presented:
“A clear and credible business opportunity with…independent evidence to corroborate and support this” and “The applications are widespread, with many opportunities for exploitation of existing, pre-industrial developments.”
Innovate UK also acknowledged the environmental benefits available through the technology, noting that:
“There are significant opportunities for sustainability benefits…through the availability of reduced cost and self-cleaning for filters to provide clean water.”
Innovate UK’s independent assessors’ report summarised the impact of G2O’s technology as something that would “help millions of people dependent on clean water…an essential new technology capable of providing contaminant-free water in a cost-effective way for people in the developing world”.
Investment and scaling up
The current investment has allowed G2O to embark on a two-year project with the UK’s Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), which helps companies develop next generation products and processes. The project is focused on transferring and scaling up the technology from laboratory to industry, ensuring the technology is usable with full quality control.
Since the project began in October 2016, CPI has validated the technology and developed various methods of scaling up to mass production. The work with CPI will continue to evolve and support the transfer of G2O’s technology to large-scale manufacturing.
Future investors in G2O
Investors that get involved in the next phase of G2O’s development will be funding a crucial part of taking the technology to market, including the creation of a pilot test plant designed to show the water industry how the technology will perform in a working water treatment plant.
G2O will then seek to licence its technology to existing membrane manufacturers in the different sectors of the water industry.