Axxium Ltd designs, manufactures and sells electrical and wirelessly operated locks, particularly for doors and windows in assisted living environments. Wheelchair users and people with restricted mobility face considerable challenges in opening and closing doors and windows and moving freely around their homes. Admitting carers and visitors to their premises and security can also prevent problems.
Andrew Taylor, Managing Director of Axxium Ltd, was looking to start a new enterprise manufacturing mass market ‘smart locks’, which would unlock remotely via a mobile device enabling individuals who had restricted movement, to move more freely.
He has worked with locks all his life, including for the family business, but it became apparent that the technical expertise to develop the electronic components and the funding to take the prototype to market needed some support. This is where the Technology Strategy Board and University of Hertfordshire were able to assist.
How did the University of Hertfordshire help?
Axxium were successful in winning a TSB Innovation Voucher award of £5,000 which was subsequently spent on the design and development of an electronic locking mechanism. Upon delivery of the project they still had to implement the design in to an actual lock to be able to take the concept to market. For this they applied for the University of Hertfordshire Innovation Voucher programme for an extra £2,500 matched funding support. This support was focused on successfully developing a working prototype for the company.
Real business results
The final phase of the work, carried out under the University of Hertfordshire Innovation Voucher scheme, provided Axxium with a working prototype and improved design for them to market at various trade shows. Axxium are now in the process of building up sales of this novel product.
August 2013, ‘smart locks’ was ready to launch to the mass market.
Axxium are now working with a major UK lock manufacturer to produce and market the lock for Spring 2014.
“My initiative is part of re-establishing manufacturing in the UK. There is an upsurge of manufacturing in this country and people are looking for quality British products again and this has been invented, developed and made using British expertise and British funding from the Technology Strategy Board.”
Andrew Taylor, Managing Director – Axxium Ltd