Barrier Ex Ltd, the Wallsend-based supplier of hazardous area solutions, has been awarded another six-figure grant to develop a new floodlight that can transmit wireless networking signals within hazardous areas.
The Smart Grants funding of £700,000 will support Barrier Ex’s 26-month Research and Development project which seeks to develop a novel data communication system integrated within lighting units.
The units would be used in declared hazardous areas, where appropriately certified and tested equipment is required, enabling data communications that will significantly improve the efficiency of equipment asset monitoring and control within hazardous locations.
Barrier Ex, which is a member of energy sector business development organisation NOF, will create up to 50 new jobs over the next five years with this project, which is due to begin in early 2020.
The project is forecast to generate sales of more than £50m over the first five years after the product is brought to market.
A previous Innovate UK grant created an 18-month project, which began in October and doubled the headcount at Barrier Ex to 20, as it created new positions in research and development and manufacturing.
Steven Lee, Managing Director at Barrier Ex, said: “In collaboration with our business partners PureLifi, Digital Catapult and Safecility UK we are delighted to have been awarded a full grant from Innovate UK for the Hazardous Area wireless network project.
“Our Technical Director Tony Oram with the excellent support of North Tyneside Council, has submitted a first class bid and secured funding that will create new jobs and continue to support the development of genuine world leading innovations in North Tyneside.”
Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor of North Tyneside, said:“I am delighted that the project is happening in North Tyneside and creating new jobs in the local area. It’s great that their application for funding has proved successful, particularly as I understand they were up against a great deal of competition.”
George Rafferty, Chief Executive of NOF, said: “The innovation that exists within the NOF membership is exceptional and the developments companies like Barrier Ex are making to improve operations, safety and efficiency are outstanding. This is a very interesting project that will deliver a brilliant solution for hazardous area operations, which will improve productivity enabling the use of more technologies in these specialist locations.”