As our most recent recruit we asked Ben Johnson to reflect on his first job since leaving university.
Having graduated from the University of Birmingham with a master’s degree in chemistry in July 2018 I was eager to get straight into the workplace to put my knowledge and experience to use. Being located in my home county of Cornwall, PV3 Technologies caught my attention when I saw a vacancy advertised. Having studied chemistry with the intent of working in green chemistry, the position at PV3 Technologies was the ideal opportunity for me, as the main focus within the company is materials for clean energy, ranging from fuel cells to batteries, to water electrolysers.
Just 6 months in and I have been part of, and seen the end of, a variety of projects. From the very beginning I was given the responsibility of quality checking a variety of catalysts, using techniques developed by my new colleagues and before long I was synthesising multiple catalysts for the innovation team to analyse and build on. It was great to be part of the team that manufactured the first commercial-scale batch of a new catalyst we’d developed. Despite my short time working at the company, I feel like from the first day I have had an impact within PV3 Technologies.
The whole innovation team is incredibly helpful and willing to help with any issues and questions I have, no matter how small or obvious the answer may seem. Joining and becoming a valued member of the team has been very easy due to both the friendliness of everybody, and the professional nature of the company.
It’s still a little hard to believe that a world leading company like PV3 Technologies is based in my home county. I feel honoured to be part of this team.
Well, best micro company to be precise. At the awards ceremony in Oct 2018, we were delighted to be given the award. The judges recognised our commitment to innovation, our desire to scale the business and the commercial success we’ve demonstrated to date.
More to come, so keep an eye on us.
A short visit this one, but it didn’t disappoint; this year’s FC Expo was as big as ever. All the big names are still there with FC technology and systems, with a small number of new additions. Interesting to see an increase in the number of water electrolyser companies exhibiting, and to see existing players developing new technologies. China was on everyone’s mind as the place where deployment is accelerating, requiring products and services to help. As usual attendance was international, and world-wide: from west coast Canada to Australia, via Europe.
The supply chain is evident, either exhibiting or in attendance – the Expo is the place to find customers and continue to develop relationships. It seems also to be the place to showcase intent – Australia was evidently eager to demonstrate its intent on hydrogen. The Germany Pavilion was showcasing its capability from research to projects.
Commercial pressures are building, if not already in place. Pricing is becoming more aggressive as everyone looks for greater deployment.
Get in touch if you’d like to know more about PV3 Technologies’ products for water electrolysers and fuel cells.
PV3 Technologies ‘for when materials matter’
PV3 Technologies, a leading supplier of electrochemical materials based in Cornwall and in scale-up phase, is ‘doing its bit’ by incubating graphene company, Amalyst.
One of the key challenges an early-stage company faces, is how to access the infrastructure needed to develop their intellectual property into a market-ready product. Incubators exist for certain sectors, but if a company needs more than a bean bag and a laptop, then it can be challenging.
Amalyst is a member of the EU’s Graphene Flagship, a €1bn programme to ensure the EU can exploit the potential of the ‘wonder material’ first identified by Nobel Prize winners at the University of Manchester. Collaborating with partners in the UK, France and Italy, Amalyst is working to develop advanced catalysts for the fuel cell industry based on graphene and other 2D materials.
Dr David Hodgson, CEO of PV3 Technologies commented: “The board of Amalyst were delighted with the prospect of working out of PV3’s laboratories. The ability to tap into PV3’s unrivalled expertise in the sector, to provide access to a unique suite of equipment and to supervise and mentor Amalyst staff were crucial elements of the decision. “
“Following-on from the launch of the Davy Initiative, an industry-led drive to promote the Cornish capability in electrochemistry and related materials, this is a further signal that Cornwall has a lot to offer to the world of electrochemistry. This arrangement is bringing additional employment opportunities to Cornwall in the world of 2D materials – does it get more exciting?”
“The arrangement is not without its challenges,” said PV3 Technologies’ COO Dr Nick van Dijk. “Our two companies are working in similar fields, so we’ve had to agree a very defined scope of activities, but the similarity also means we can leverage the work of both companies and we have arrangements for cross-licensing of IP in place, should we need them”
“I’m pleased we’ve been able to make this work,” said Hodgson. “Having done this once, PV3 would be eager to see if we could do it again and would welcome discussions with universities, or other researchers looking to spin-out their electrochemical ideas.”
Dr James Courtney joined the PV3 Technologies team today as Applications Scientist. James brings to the team a wide experience of fuel cells, batteries and materials chemistry.
This new role was created due to increased demand from customers for bespoke product developments. Dr Nick van Dijk, PV3 Technologies’ COO said “James will focus on customer-driven innovation, providing even better customer service to new and existing customers”.
James said “I’m delighted to be joining PV3 Technologies at such an exciting time”.
Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
A successful Davy Initiative workshop for PV3 Technologies and the University of Exeter
PV3 Technologies and the University of Exeter launched The Davy Initiative in Cornwall on the 1st February 2018, with the workshop acting as a platform to bring together the major regional players in electrochemistry.
A real cross-section of talent, the workshop played host to professionals covering all corners of the industry, from minerals to systems and projects.
What followed was a successful day of networking, knowledge sharing and the pinpointing of a real commercial opportunity for Cornwall going forward.
Why was the Davy Initiative Workshop launched?
The Davy Initiative’s primary objective is to help Cornish organisations gain economic value from the increasing growth of electrochemistry’s usage in energy storage, clean fuels and med-tech. PV3 Technologies aims to drive this by raising awareness of the capability, activity and exciting potential in the county.
The workshop: collaborating with a common goal
The first speakers, reviewing the national and regional political landscapes, of the day were Cornwall Development Company, Innovate UK and the University of Warwick. The theme was very much on highlighting national and regional strategies, as well as innovation support and new opportunities in battery technology for the electrification of vehicles, which mainly resulted from the Faraday Challenge.
PV3 Technologies, along with a whole host of like-minded organisations, including Hitachi, Cornish Lithium, Cornwall New Energy, and the University of Exeter, highlighted the current capability in Cornwall and the surrounding region. A lively, positive Q&A session between the panel, Chair and audience immediately followed.
Everyone in attendance was eager, enthusiastic and ready to take hold of new opportunities in the area, so naturally there was an abundance of interaction throughout the day. With ad-hoc debates and discussion sessions taking place, people had to be dragged away from coffee and lunch breaks, which was a testament to the strength of the day’s networking.
An overall success – thanks to all that attended
David Hodgson, CEO of PV3 Technologies, said:
‘The whole day was a huge success in many ways, but I found two things particularly exciting about the workshop. The first big achievement was how we managed to bring together previously unconnected companies through a shared common interest. The second fantastic result was identifying a real strategic commercial opportunity for Cornwall – which looks to progress and develop further over the coming months.’
The immediate feedback has been extremely positive, and already there are tangible actions underway, setting even more resource sharing and collaboration in motion. We all agreed that this should be the first, and not the last, Davy Initiative Workshop.
David added: ‘Finally – I must say that the support from the University of Exeter in organising this event has been fantastic – thanks Hollie, Jaime and Jim.’
PV3 Technologies’ success in the UK Government’s Faraday Challenge.
Following on from the Secretary of State for BEIS, Greg Clark’s, communication last week, we are delighted to announce that PV3 Technologies has been successful with proposals to develop advanced materials for Li-ion batteries.
Dr David Hodgson, CEO, said “This is a strategic move for us as a company. We already have products for a wide range of electrochemical technologies, but not Li-ion batteries, and these projects will allow us to develop new products for a very exciting sector. We’ve teamed up with the leading university research groups and industry partners in our projects, and we’re eager to get started”
“Our success in this competitive funding competition is a real endorsement of the world-class team we are building”
PV3 Technologies’ projects will aim to develop advanced cathode materials to reduce the cost and increase the energy density of Li-ion batteries, leading to cheaper electric vehicles with longer range than current models.
For further information contact:
Dr David Hodgson
PV3 Technologies Ltd
Our proposal for funding under Innovate UK’s Materials & Manufacturing competition, has been successful. The project will develop an automated manufacturing process to help increase throughput.
CEO Dr David Hodgson said ‘We’re delighted to receive this funding to support our manufacturing strategy by developing innovative production automation to increase productivity.’
Our COO, Dr Nick van Dijk, will be attending the FCH JU Programme Review Days 23-24th November 2017.