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Frontier IP Group - Portfolio news: new portfolio company AquaInSilico

RNS Number : 6393H
Frontier IP Group plc
26 March 2020

RNS Reach 


26 March 2020  



Frontier IP Group Plc 

("Frontier IP" or the "Group") 


Portfolio news - new portfolio company AquaInSilico  


Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, today announces it is taking a 29 per cent equity stake in AquaInSilico Lda (the "Company"), which is developing software tools to optimise wastewater treatment across many different industries.  


The Company, a spin out from Portugal's NOVA University, NOVA School of Science and Technology ("FCT NOVA"), has developed sophisticated algorithms, based on deep knowledge of biological and chemical processes, able to understand and predict how they unfold in different operating conditions. These include detecting possible problems with processes, often before they can be diagnosed by humans. AquaInSilico is Frontier IP's fourth spin out in Portugal.


This will allow companies, such as oil groups, brewers, pulp, paper, steel makers, food processing and waste recovery businesses and municipal wastewater treatment plants, to tune and adapt their treatment systems more effectively, and is expected to save them up to 25 per cent of their operating costs.


It also supports the improved recovery of valuable and recyclable products, such as nutrients, biogas, and volatile fatty acids that can be used in biofertilisers and biofuels. The Company believes this could result in new sustainable technologies in future.


One early application of the technology will be to make the removal and reuse of phosphorus from wastewater plants, which is widely used in fertiliser, more environmentally friendly and effective.


Current phosphorus extraction methods use chemicals that bind to the phosphorus and precipitate it. However, it is difficult and expensive to break the connection between the binder and the phosphorus. AquaInSilico uses a mathematically-modelled biological approach to remove phosphorus, based on controlling the operating variables. As a result, the process reduces the use of chemicals and energy, and produces phosphorus that can be sold.


This reduces the risk of environmental harm from phosphorus leaching into waterways from wastewater sludge. The phosphorus itself can be resold for use in fertilisers, and other industrial applications.   


AquaInSilico was established to develop and commercialise the research of Dr Jorge Santos, Dr Mariana Matos and Professor Maria Ascensão Reis of FCT NOVA.  This team had developed several research projects in environmental and industrial bioengineering in collaboration with several worldwide industry players. 


AquaInSilico co-founder, Dr. Jorge Santos, said"We are very excited to be working with Frontier IP on bringing our tools to the market after 30 years of cutting-edge research. We anticipate that these tools will have a high impact on the wastewater industry, as the sector is moving faster towards digitalisation and circular economy." 


Frontier IP Chief Executive Officer, Neil Crabb, said: "AquaInSilico is a further sign of the strong progress we are making in Portugal - it is our fourth spin out in the country, and the third from our relationship with FCT NOVA. The Company's ground-breaking software tools could transform wastewater treatment across a wide range of industries and lead to other new technologies being developed." 




Frontier IP Group Plc 



Neil Crabb, Chief Executive 

Andrew Johnson, Communications & Investor Relations 

T: 020 7332 2338 

M: 07464 546 025 


Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser) 

T: 0203 328 5656 


Nick Athanas / Nicholas Chambers  





Frontier IP unites science and commerce by identifying strong intellectual property and accelerating its development through a range of commercialisation services. A critical part of the Group's work is involving relevant industry partners at an early stage of development to ensure technology meets real world demands and needs. 


The Group looks to build and grow a portfolio of equity stakes and licence income by taking an active involvement in spin-out companies, including support for fund raising and collaboration with relevant industry partners at an early stage of development. 




The NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA) is one of the three largest and most prestigious schools of Engineering and Sciences in Portugal


FCT NOVA, with about 8000 students, is located in one of the best university campuses, and is distinguished by a culture of the excellent teacher-student relationship and intense academic life. It conduced to a scientific performance that allows the school to integrate the main technological international university networks and participate in key consortiums with European and US universities.


The Innovation, Research & Impact Strategy Office (IRIS) cooperates with Frontier IP supporting the research & innovation cycle of FCT NOVA scientific community, from the idea to its market application, fostering sustainable knowledge generation to increase the School's societal and economic impact. 



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