Jaguar Land Rover and BMW supplier expands with launch of design office
A designer and manufacturer of highly efficient power electronics has expanded with the launch of a design centre after seeing business boom.
Lyra Electronics, based at the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne campus, recently acquired a new office on the site to be used separately to its lab.
The firm creates a range of high-efficiency power electronics – components such as chargers, converters and inverters – for clients in a range of sectors such as automotive, energy, and aerospace.
Lyra was co-founded by Pete James and Mike Evans in September 2011. While power electronics already existed, such as in industrial applications, they realised there was a growing requirement in the market for making them more portable and able to operate at a range of temperatures in vehicles.
The firm originally moved into the Venture Centre at the University of Warwick Science Park in 2012 as part of its Ignite programme, which helps start-ups access business support, office space and advice from the Science Park’s team.
The company was later supported through the Science Park’s Business Ready programme which helps tech companies grow by giving them advice on raising finance, business planning, new product development, market research, and sales planning.
Lyra grew steadily over the years, with moves to UWSP’s site in Blythe Valley and later to the University’s Wellesbourne campus in that time.
James said: “In 2019, we had 12 employees and turned over around £900,000. Two years later, we have 37 employees and turnover around £2.6m – so we have grown very quickly in a short space of time.
“We had been based at the Wellesbourne campus of University of Warwick since 2015, and our engineers needed more space to separate their design work from their testing and prototype manufacturing work. Everything was done in our one office and it was becoming very cramped after our rapid growth.
“The University of Warwick Science Park was able to secure us a new office, which means we can spread out our work and make our designing and testing processes more efficient.”
Matthew Taylor, COO at Lyra Electronics, added: “It’s an exciting time for us – we have 12 to 13 projects on the go at the moment thanks to strong demand from the industries we work with and our recent successes.
“We’re currently working with the likes of JLR, BMW, the Advanced Propulsion Centre, and even a project to convert all ambulances into zero-emission electric vehicles. We’re hopeful our new design studio will enable us to work more efficiently on these many projects and will give us room to expand even further.”
Dirk Schafer, SME engagement lead at the University of Warwick Science Park, has worked with Lyra since the company joined the Ignite programme.
He said: “It’s fantastic to see how much Lyra has grown since Pete and Mike started it by themselves. We’ve helped them grow over time through our Ignite and Business Ready support programmes, but their growth in the last couple of years has been amazing.
“We’re really pleased that they now have their design office and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”