Nominee Q&A - CageCapture Ltd
We spoke to Dr Ming Liu, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of CageCapture Ltd. You can find out more about CageCapture by visiting their website: www.cagecapture.com
Tell us a bit about your business? When and why was it established, what does it offer and to whom?
Founded in 2019, CageCapture Ltd is a start-up developing advanced materials that remove pollutants from the air and is focused on improving indoor air quality. Our patented technology was discovered in 2014 by our co-founders, Dr. Ming Liu and Prof. Andrew Cooper at the University of Liverpool.
How has the company developed? (changes to products or services, staff, location, markets etc)
CageCapture is already thinking about new markets for our technology, such as PPE, sensors, paints and coatings. We are also developing materials to address pollutants causing climate change such as SO2, SF6 and CO2.
What is the ethos behind the company and has this changed or developed since you started?
CageCapture’s mission is to deliver clean air to improve health, wellbeing and the environment. We started with a focus on indoor air pollution but we are expanding our portfolio to target climate change culprits.
What’s the business’s USP?
Our cage materials remove pollutants from the air at efficiencies 500 times that of current industry standards. Technologies that address particulate matter have advanced, but those that target molecular scale pollutants haven’t kept pace. We are filling that gap.
What investment have you sourced for the business and how has this helped you to go further?
CageCapture Ltd. has been supported by grant funding, most significantly an Innovate UK ICURe grant. Grant funding has supported the scale-up of our production process and develop application methods for our technology to different filter media. We are currently seeking investment to help us launch our first products to market.
What is the most important thing to remember when applying for funding/investment?
Plan ahead and get help. Funding applications are often complicated, and we have found that scheduling time to put in our best effort is essential. Also, we have attended some useful grant writing workshops that have helped us along the way.
Go Further celebrates organisations with the ‘foresight to inform and respond to the changing world around them’. How does your organisation fulfil this?
The pandemic closed our labs as we were in the process of scaling our material production process. This was a big challenge, but we pivoted to focus on computational material design despite a bad situation. The labs have re-opened and we’ve now scaled our processes and grown our team and capabilities.
What has been your company’s greatest achievement?
The company launched just before the outbreak of the pandemic, and subsequently faced challenges in every aspect of the business. We are proud to have adapted and responded, especially expanding our team and developing a computational materials design workflow. The in-silico development capability has mitigated the risks caused by the pandemic, and more importantly has added huge value to our technology and business.
What is your business’s short and long-term plans?
In the short term, we are focussed on launching our air filtration product in the indoor air purification market and gaining market traction for CageCaptureTM technology and products. In the future, we see CageCaptureTM material growing into a technology platform that delivers tailored material solutions for environmental challenges.
What sources of information or support (organisations, websites, books, podcasts, videos) would you recommend to other companies considering investment?
We have been spending more time reaching out to our community to build contacts in the Liverpool city region. This has been really effective, and we’ve found great support networks. A podcast we love which tells the stories of motivated and resilience entrepreneurs is NPR’s ‘How I Built This with Guy Raz’.