Cash boost for emissions project

MAKERS of a hi-tech device able to gather information on vehicle emissions and fuel economy have scooped a £200,000 grant from the East of England Development Agency.

MAKERS of a hi-tech device able to gather information on vehicle emissions and fuel economy have scooped a £200,000 grant from the East of England Development Agency.

Vehicle engineering consultancy Lysanda, which is based at Great Braxted, Witham, have created a new product called an Eco-Log, an on-board device which gathers information on the emissions, fuel economy and performance data of a moving vehicle.

The invention is seen as a way to monitor and, in turn, reduce the environmental impact and running costs of running a vehicle fleet.

EEDA has awarded a £200,000 research and development grant which will helps towards the final stages of the product's development, and help with its commercial launch. The funds will also help the firm expand its team.

Its first new appointment, Dr Manos Hatiris, joins as principal engineer, and the firm is hoping to recruit more technical and marketing support staff.

The business, founded in 2006, was previously awarded a £75,000 research grant from EEDA, and a further £25,000 from its 'proof of concept' fund.

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Mark Aspinall, head of innovation at EEDA, said Lysanda had demonstrated “a high level of innovation, a competent and credible management team and a strong alignment with EEDA's focus on environmental technologies”.

MP for South Suffolk Tim Yeo is among a group of “business angels” providing additional funding.

Lysanda chief executive and founder Alex Willard said: “We have received valuable support from EEDA since our launch in 2006 and with their continued backing we can now capitalise on the interest many fleet operators are expressing in Eco-Log.”

After two years of development, the firm launched an Eco-Log prototype at the end of 2006. The system has generated widespread interest as a means to measure and report CO2 emissions from transport, a key challenge in the global warming debate.