Tech innovator Vert Rotors hails milestone compressor sale to Edinburgh University

Vert's John McNeil with Scott Denham at the mass spectrometry core laboratory. Picture: Contributed
Vert's John McNeil with Scott Denham at the mass spectrometry core laboratory. Picture: Contributed
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Edinburgh engineering pioneer Vert Rotors is gearing up for a new phase of commercially-driven growth after concluding its first major sales contract.

The firm’s revolutionary type of compressor – based on technology that has been described as the biggest advance in the industry in 40 years – has been deployed at the University of Edinburgh to streamline operation at its mass spectrometry laboratory.

It has allowed the lab to take full advantage of new instrumentation that prepares biological samples for trace level clinical analysis.

Vert’s patented technology lies at the core of compact and portable compressors that are capable of quiet continuous operation. The design is said to be “significantly” quieter than other compressors on the market, which means researchers in the shared laboratory are not affected by high noise levels.

Scott Denham, deputy core manager at the spectrometry laboratory, said: “The Vert A100 has solved a big problem for us. It fits neatly under the lab bench and works away quietly, so has been a quick and easy solution to what could have been a major obstacle to our operations.”

Vert Rotors, which was set up in 2013, employs 14 people at its compressor design centre on the southern edge of the capital. It has to date focused on the technical development of its compressor technology, which has potential applications across a wide range of fields.

The deal with the University of Edinburgh marks the firm’s first commercial success, and follows the appointment of John McNeil as sales engineer in charge of driving new business.

Under new chief executive Phil Harris, Vert is focusing on three key compressor markets – fibre optic cable installation, laboratories and hand-held tools.

Harris said: “This is a significant sale for Vert and demonstrates that the A100 is ideal for busy lab environments where a quiet, compact source of compressed air can make a real difference to people’s working environment.”

The company’s technology has won multiple awards since the first working prototype was produced in 2014, and led to Vert securing a government grant earlier this year from the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Harris joined Vert from Clear Surgical, a medical device company based in Glasgow. He was previously chief executive of Clear Surgical from September 2016 and will continue with that firm as a non-executive director.

Harris replaced Vert founder Olly Dmitriev, who set up the company in 2013. In addition to the change in leadership, Vert recently strengthened its management team with two further key appointments.

READ MORE: Change at top as Edinburgh’s Vert Rotors enters next phase