Posted on Thursday 1 October 2015 by Ulster Business

Tech company pledges to grow local production

The highly-porous material manufactured by MOF Technologies in Belfast.

A Queens University spinout company considered to have huge growth potential has vowed to maintain its manufacturing base in Northern Ireland after receiving substantial European Union funding.

Belfast firm MOF Technologies said it will use the €1.2m it has been awarded as part of the European Horizon 2020 project to scale up production in the city at new facilities which it hopes to open early next year.

CEO Dr Paschal McCloskey said the firm is bucking the trend set by similar companies in the technology sector which have off-shored production

“MOF Technologies view this success in securing funding from Horizon 2020 as verification of our plans to scale up our innovative production process,” he said. “This ensures the ongoing growth of our company to deliver the full commercial potential of MOFs in the clean tech and other industry sectors”.

MOFs is an abbreviation of metal organic frameworks, a term which refers to so-called solid absorbents which have been found to absorb gas at lower temperatures, and were only discovered 15 years ago.

MOF Technologies - which employs six people currently in south Belfast - are at the forefront of commercialising the use of the MOFs in an number of different industries including storing excess heat from computer servers at data centres, a process it is exploring together with computer giant IBM.

Improved safety is also a big selling point for the technology because the process allows gas to be stored at lower pressures, making it use in the likes of gas-powered cars have huge potential.

“Our technology could significantly reduce the size of a gas tank in a car and because the gas is being stored at a lower pressure, it’s safer and the design can be altered much easier,” Dr McCloskey told Ulster Business.

He said the company has a number of strong commercial leads across various sectors.

MOF Technologies is one of only around three companies in Northern Ireland to have been awarded European Horizon 2020 funding.

The programme has €80m to lend for companies involved in research and innovation in an attempt to create growth and jobs in European companies.

MOF Technologies won the NISP Connect £25k award in 2012.

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