Molendotech reaches North American markets with Torbay trade bursary


Molendotech Limited have recently returned from the University of North Carolina Water Microbiology Conference where they introduced their new product, Siren.

The life sciences company, based in the University of Plymouth Brixham Laboratory, could only attend the conference with support from the TDA International Trade Bursary, a key element of Torbay Council’s Economic Strategy.

The company had a number of objectives for attending the conference including establishing Siren in trials with organisations in the USA responsible for recreational and irrigation water testing and control.

Councillor Swithin Long, Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, said: “It is great to assist Molendotech with their attendance at such a significant conference. To be able to present the company’s developments in research in water testing markets and demonstrate their expertise will develop collaborations with companies in North America.

“Supporting their export activities is an important part of helping Torbay businesses grow. Molendotech is the third business to benefit from the International Trade Bursary. We have seen businesses across industries including Marine, Life Science and Corporate Training all use the bursary to target new export markets.”

The Siren product is an innovative assay that is able to rapidly detect contamination with faecal bacteria in water without the need to wait for days for laboratory results. Siren can deliver test results in a matter of minutes significantly improving the ability to identify and track any pollution source in real time.

Molendotech were able to meet representatives of the US Environment Protection Agency (USEPA) who are keen to include Siren in water testing trials they are conducting in the Gulf of Mexico starting in 2020. This would be a first for large scale trials of the product in recreational water testing. If these prove successful, it could lead to the purchase of the Siren product by these organisations and the regulators in each US state with responsibility for water testing.  The initial potential market is healthy with estimated sales values of £20-50K in 2020-2021 rising each year.

The company were also able to meet with representatives of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who are keen to progress the potential of deploying the Siren product in their trial programme. Additionally, the conference was a useful platform for Molendotech to gain current knowledge of water testing and developments in the USA that will guide development of future products as the company are able to create other assays for different market applications.

Professor Simon Jackson, CEO of Molendotech, said: “We have more than exceeded our objectives of attending the Water Microbiological Conference. Having been able to seriously progress our relationships with the USEPA and the FDA are fantastic outcomes for us. We have valued the support from the TDA International Trade Bursary and encourage other Torbay SMEs to consider applying.”

The next steps for the company are to ensure everything goes smoothly for the water testing trials in the Gulf of Mexico with the USEPA. These will be in early 2020. After their successful conclusion they expect potential orders of the kit to follow in late 2020-2021.

Jason Buck, Investment Development Manager at TDA, said: “The US is an important trade partner for the UK and Torbay. It is exciting to hear the progress that Molendotech have been able to make to open up US markets. We look forward to seeing their product range developing to tackle other market applications and reaching new export markets.”

For Torbay based SMEs interested in accessing the TDA International Trade Bursary please contact Jason Buck on 01803 208799 or email jason.buck@tda.uk.net