Project Case Study: CDO2 and the Sussex Programme for Quantum Research

CDO2 is the creation of Dr Gary Kendall. They're pushing the boundaries of quantum research by developing new kinds of battery sensors for electric vehicles from their new research facility at Sussex Innovation. CDO2 have been with us since 2017 and have gone from strength to strength, since winning £455,000 in funding as part of the government's Faraday Battery Challenge in 2018. Last month they approached us with their biggest challenge yet; helping them apply for £5.4 million in funding from Innovate UK as part of the 'Commercialising Quantum Technologies' programme...

The Challenge: The quantum scientists from CDO2 and the University of Sussex have been developing quantum sensors for electric car batteries, which will allow the manufacturers to gauge the charge and health of the battery without opening it up, which can be time consuming and dangerous. This technology promises to reduce cost, and speed up the process, of electric vehicle battery production. The challenge they brought to us was to help them commercialise this new innovation and then help deliver the pitch to the review panel at Innovate UK.

Our Solution: We began by doing some market research into electric vehicle batteries, which contributed to the evidence used in the pitch document. The real difficulty lay in bringing together all of the different collaborators, all of whom had played a different part in the process, to come together and present a coherent and persuasive pitch. 

© 2020 Alan Fentiman/CDO2

Gary approached our Innovation Support Manager, Peter Lane, who is used to acting as a "translator" between business and academic. Peter met all the partners before the pitch, to coach them on presentation technique, clarify and coordinate their message and tie together the disparate elements of the team. He then conducted a mock pitch and provided feedback to ensure that the finished presentation was the best it could be.

The Outcome: The pitch was a success, resulting in the £5.4 million project going ahead, including £1.1 million for CDO2 and the University of Sussex, which will now be used to invest in creating these quantum battery sensors for commercial use.

"With such a large and diverse team it was difficult to keep a coherent message in a presentation setting. Peter helped prepare us for the pitch by running a mock interview and coaching us to present in an effective way that resulted in us securing the funding." Dr Gary Kendall, Director CDO2

What's Next? CDO2 now plan to use this funding to begin a prototype quantum battery testing system at their research facility at Sussex Innovation. After that, the Sussex team plans to deploy the system at AMTE Power's factory in Thurso, Scotland, taking the UK closer to the front of the global quantum race. 

If you're looking to commercialise a new tech innovation, or just looking to brush up on your presentation skills, our expert team have the experience and academic connections to make that happen. Get in touch here.