Funding boost for Yorkshire green energy firm

Elland-based FeTu, which is developing a pioneering green energy device with the potential to substantially reduce global carbon emissions, has secured £7,000 of funding to upgrade the business’s digital technology and help the firm bring its innovative product to market.

The brainchild of engineer and designer Jonathan Fenton, FeTu Roticulate is a ground-breaking four-chamber heat engine that aims to reduce energy consumption and emissions on a global scale. Currently midway through its product development cycle, the device, which has just two moving parts, has the potential to generate green electrical energy by capturing waste heat from industrial processes.

Mr Fenton, who first came up with the concept when he was still a teenager, left his job at Elland-based manufacturer ValveTek to launch FeTu in 2017, after a 35-year career as an engineer. His invention has had collaborative interest from 15 UK universities, including Huddersfield and Sheffield, following a successful one-year test programme at the University of Bath.

FeTu now employs four people, with plans to double in size of the next two years, and has been awarded £7,000 toward a £15,000 investment in digital technology from Digital Enterprise, which provides funding for Leeds city region businesses to upgrade their digital technology and connectivity.

“The backing from Digital Enterprise has made a big difference in enabling us to get on with guiding our product through the development process – so that it can become commercially available and make the enormous positive environmental impact that we know it will have,” said Mr Fenton.

“As a small but growing team our most precious resource is time. The funding has enabled us to upgrade our in-house technology and become more time effective. Our new high-speed internet and a VoIP phone system means we can operate much more smoothly and efficiently.

“This will all help us to reduce our time to market and our product becoming a commercial reality – with a huge range of potential applications across power generation, transport and industry.”

Muz Mumtaz, who heads the Digital Enterprise programme, said: “FeTu is a truly exciting Yorkshire business at the cutting edge of step-change engineering innovation. We’re really pleased to have been able to work with Jonathan and the team to help them forge ahead with this amazing new product that promises a greener, cleaner future for all of us.”

He added: “We closed the latest phase of the Digital Growth Vouchers scheme in October after receiving more than 300 applications, however Connectivity Vouchers are currently available, providing funding for businesses to improve their digital connectivity via high speed internet connections and VoIP.”

Digital Enterprise is funded by the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, its nine local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.