Scotmas is a leading manufacturer of water treatment, hygiene and environmental care products. Best known for its extensive range of chlorine dioxide systems, developed with over 25 years experience in the market, it is now actively involved in developing microbial biotechnology, insect repellents, insecticidal textiles and consumer product ingredients.
With a strong and continued commitment to R&D, Scotmas is always on the look-out for strategic investment opportunities with other companies and projects which can provide experience and capabilities that will add value to its offering.
The Business Challenge
An introduction to Interface - The knowledge connection for business, presented an opportunity to advance two research projects, one looking at bacteria identification and another on bacteria and virus tests. Following an extensive search of expertise in the field, Interface helped the company to develop active partnerships with several academic institutions.
The company produces microbe-based products used for a variety of applications in waste water treatment and land remediation, but wanted to expand this into a range of domestic cleaners and products for specific industrial contamination.
Following discussions with the University of Aberdeen, it was learnt that spin out company NCIMB was undertaking the characterisation of the bacteria strains on a routine basis.
Scotmas was looking for help to investigate the effectiveness of one of its products for a client. Interface facilitated a project with Glasgow Caledonian University's Dr Chris Woodall, from the School of Life Sciences, offering specialist testing services for bacteriological and viral testing. The project resulted in a continued relationship and subsequent testing work.
Following the success of the initial project, Scotmas embarked on a number of new collaborative projects, including corrosion studies and a project on microencapsulation and was in active discussions with other academic groups including Scottish Crop Research Institute and the University of Glasgow.
- The company advanced two research projects with the help of university expertise
- The company accessed specialist testing facilities to validate the effectiveness of one of its products.
- The collaboration has resulted in a continued and sustained partnership between the company and Glasgow Caledonian University.
- The success of the project initiated new collaborative projects with other academic groups
Alistair Cameron, Technical Director at Scotmas commented:
"We were looking to strengthen our range of microbe-based products in a variety of domestic cleaners and products for tackling specific industrial contamination. Interface linked us to academic partners who helped in the commercial culturing of these microbes, in order to supply a powdered product to Scotmas's commercial operations."
Scotmas went on to collaborate with the engineering department at Heriot Watt University, an academic team that were included in the University's research submission to REF 2014* (Research Excellence Framework), 94% of which was judged as "world-leading" or internationally excellent.
In November 2016 Scotmas announced that they are sending new self-sustaining technology to Botswana to bring properly treated water supplies to some of its most remote areas.The Bravo Hydro system runs without grid electricity or solar power, using a tiny generator in the water pipe. Scotmas said the technology could bring reliably disinfected water to areas where it had not been possible before.It is being sent to 40 villages in Botswana thanks to a major investment by the country's government.
Scotmas undertook around ten collaborative projects with academia since the original project facilitated by Interface including two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with Heriot-Watt University. The family business employs 42 people and provides chlorine dioxide water solutions around the world – including in Doha for the Qatar World Cup 2022 and in villages in southern India.
In 2020 Interface linked Scotmas to Robert Gordon University to support the development of a new and innovative method of producing disinfectants without harmful by-products for use in hospitals, water supplies and food production applications. The project was funded through an Advanced Innovation Voucher and won Innovation of the Year at The Scottsh Knowledge Exchange Awards 2021.
*The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.