Creating innovative wastewater devices to reduce the impact from intermittent wastewater discharges on the environment
SMART Innovation helped Samatrix:
- Design a blockage solution device to reduce the impact of releases from Combined Storm Overflows (CSOs)
- Develop a collaborative approach with Welsh Water
- Propel the company to a turnover of £1.8m
Samatrix – a Swansea-based engineering company – has designed a wastewater screen blockage reducing device that has the potential to reduce the debris which can come from CSOs from entering rivers thanks to the support it received through the Welsh Government’s EU-funded SMART Innovation programme.
Samatrix was formed in 2001 by the company’s current managing director, Samuel Munn, with the aim of creating a sustainable business that was committed to providing solutions to a variety of pumping problems.
The company subsequently came up with design ideas that helps improve river quality but lacked the required funds and expertise to help them grow into a viable business.
Samatrix initially contacted the Welsh Government in 2005 for a support grant that provided the necessary funds to hire several top-class engineering graduates from Swansea University, with some progressing to become full-time employees.
Since then, SMART Innovation has also been able to provide the company with innovation specialists who have assisted with product development and provided network links to key stakeholders, such as the Welsh Government, Welsh Water and Severn Trent.
Thanks to the support from the Welsh Government initiative, Samatrix has now presented its wastewater solutions to 27 companies in the EU.
Mr Munn said: “SMART Innovation is more than just financial support or a package - it’s a friend as well – another member of the team.”
Since 2015, SMART Innovation has supported Samatrix on its NORAG screen blockage solution device – from supporting the implementation of a design study, to providing funding to develop the product’s mechanics and carry out modifications.
Samatrix’s NORAG system filters out items such as wet wipes and face masks from sewer systems. The simple, cost-effective device does not require maintenance or need a power supply, instead, it works off the water current. It has no moving parts and draws off material that would otherwise build up and potentially clog screens.
It’s important that companies like Samatrix understand the challenges facing the water industry and can work collaboratively with industrial partners to develop innovative solutions that can be tried and tested in a real-world environment for the benefit of the public and the environment.
Mr Munn added: “I invited SMART’s innovation specialists to our plant to take a look at NORAG and they were blown away, insisting that we needed to get it onto a platform.
“When I first started the company, turnover was £80,000. Flashforward to early 2020 and we had 23 employees and our turnover was £1.8m.
“So, we have grown considerably over that time. Without doubt, that was down in no small part to the influence, assistance and support of SMART Innovation.”