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The SME Productivity & Innovation Centre (PIC) at Edge Hill University delivers impact through an intensive fully-funded programme that helps established SMEs, with the vision and potential for growth, build a coherent business model strategy to scale-up.

OakTec case study

Engineering research specialist

Tom Harrison, Director – OakTec Ltd

“Undertaking the programme was a timely reminder of the ease with which a business can lose sight of what it actually does. I would recommend the programme without hesitation.”

Tom Harrison, Director – OakTec Ltd

OakTec Ltd completed the programme and revised their business plan to commercialise their Pulse-R technology.

  • Rapid clarification and action plan to achieve key objectives.
  • Developed an Intellectual Properties (IP) licencing strategy.
  • Revised business plan and repositioning of business.
  • Adoption of the programme framework for future decision-making.

Starting point

OakTec Ltd is an engineering research specialist company with a wealth of experience developing world-leading innovation in low carbon vehicle powertrain technologies, novel combustion engines and hybrid vehicle energy recovery systems.

OakTec’s Pulse-R gas engine is an innovative, low cost, internal combustion engine that has been prototyped, developed and extensively tested using a range of gas fuels, including bio-gas, with exceptional results in terms of efficiency and emissions. The business’ sole focus is to further develop and commercialise their pre-market technology to capitalise on its global potential.

Unlike most new engine concepts that add complexity, or that require new materials and manufacturing processes, Pulse-R applies well understood principals and components in a new way to create a more efficient engine.

The technology continues to be developed in collaboration with industrial and academic partners.

The opportunity

OakTec’s priorities focus on the technical development and commercial exploitation of market-leading low emissions engines. The ambitious team wanted to maximise the commercialisation of the Pulse-R technology but required support from the PIC to help them make sense of their core technical and commercial opportunities.

The journey

The programme was attended by Tom Harrison, Director at OakTec. Tom worked with the PIC team to understand how best to exploit the technology’s capabilities and address current barriers to commercialising the Pulse-R technology. Tom found the process positively challenging and was able to rapidly clarify and establish an action plan to address the company’s two key objectives. The facilitated workshops enabled Tom to spend quality time to think about OakTec’s opportunities and challenges in a holistic way. This enabled him to explore potential strategies in more depth.

Solution and outcomes

The solution was to develop an Intellectual Properties (IP) licencing strategy for the Pulse-R technology linked to defined development and testing programme of the engines.

This has resulted in OakTec Ltd revising their business plan to reposition themselves from manufacturers of engineering technology to research and development engineers. They are currently completing key development work for the commercial launch of the IP licencing strategy. This involves working with commercial partners to establish alternative supply chains for the innovative technology.

The programme has helped the business clarify the process and alternative solution to commercialise their technology and the framework of the Innovation Sprint Programme is a formula that OakTec Ltd will adopt for future decision-making.

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