Stories: EIC-funded company Q-bot gets £3.6m funding from Saint-Gobain
Q-Bot has built a small robotic device with an innovative underfloor insulation system that has the potential to improve the energy efficiency of houses and businesses. The British company founded in 2012 is connecting the built environment with the digital revolution to rethink processes that have not changed for hundreds of years. Last month the French multinational Saint-Gobain announced an investment of $3.6M in Q-Bot to bring a range of innovative building solutions to the global construction industry.
With an ageing workforce and the shortage of skilled people, the construction industry hasn’t changed for hundreds of years. Improving our existing homes and making them more comfortable is a crucial achievement to modernise the current construction industry and it’s one of the main goals of Q-Bot. The British company is putting quality at the heart of projects as well as creating buildings that are warmer, more comfortable and cheaper to maintain.
Q-Bot has already had a strong impact on improving energy efficiency, through the inspection and insulation of 1,000’s of homes across the UK. The EIC-funded company has developed an innovative process using a remotely controlled robotic device that can survey, assess and apply insulation. For both underfloor and solid wall insulation, Q-Bot radically reduces the time, cost and disruption compared to traditional methods. This new funding round led by Saint-Gobain will leverage Q-Bot’s world-class technology with Saint-Gobain’s expertise in building materials and global distribution network.
“Saint-Gobain manufacturers several building products that rely on an ever-dwindling network of skilled workers. By using robotics and digital tools, we can turn physically demanding and repetitive jobs into rewarding new career paths, whilst improving quality and reducing cost. We are committed to empowering workers with innovative solutions, giving them the opportunity to work safer, faster and do more, with fewer constraints”, explained Mathew Holloway, Q-Bot’s CEO and Co-Founder.
NOVA External Ventures seeks to create mutually beneficial partnerships between Saint-Gobain and the global start-up community and, over the last eleven years, NOVA has established partnerships with start-ups in various stages. According to Zahia Toutou-Melinge, Senior External Venturing & Business Development Manager at Saint-Gobain NOVA, this new Franco-British collaboration “makes perfect sense”.
“We share a commitment to help make work safer, ensure high-quality output, reduce fatigue, and increase productivity on job sites. Applying digital and robotics technologies in construction works will help us achieve these goals”, explained Zahia Toutou-Melinge.
If all suitable homes in the UK were insulated, the resulting CO2 saving could be over 5 million tonnes a year and Q-Bot aims to change all that and revolutionize this reality. The project has received a Phase 1 and Phase 2 grant from the EIC programme. The total Phase 2 grant amount is 2.1M€.