A North Yorkshire business that has developed a pioneering security system to ward off metal thieves has secured a £120,000 government innovation grant.
The match-funded money – awarded by Innovate UK – will enable Trace-in-Metal to further develop its revolutionary metal marking system and to help garner vital third party accreditations
Trace-in-Metal is led by a former police detective and a Swedish ballistics expert, and its process involves infusing thousands of microdots into metal sheets – in particular lead – “marking” them with a unique identifying code.
And, such is the science behind Trace-in-Metal, that even the smelting process cannot destroy the nickel dots and their unique tags.
In addition to being impregnated into the metal, the dots – which are almost invisible to the naked eye – are also painted on to each sheet using an all-weather lacquer that shows up under ultra-violet light.
The deterrent is currently protecting a series of churches and historic buildings in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Lincolnshire, many of which have been victims of metal thieves in the past.
Trace-in-Metal chief executive John Minary said: “Receiving this grant from Innovate UK is very welcome news indeed. This money, combined with funding we have secured from private investors, will allow us to take this unique security system to the next level.
“We now have the financial resources in place to enhance our research and development both here, in the UK, and in Sweden.
“Whilst Trace-in-Metal was initially designed to security-tag lead, we are now developing different responses to other metals, especially copper.
“Additionally, it will allow us to obtain crucial third party accreditation, which will then help us achieve ‘preferred supplier status’ with a number of key organisations that own and manage historic buildings across the UK.”
Trace-in-Metal Sales Director Paul Batty said: “We have a fantastic, unique product that is a real deterrent to metal thieves.
“Because the dots can’t be destroyed, even in the smelting process, it also makes unscrupulous scrap metal dealers think twice.
“The simple fact is Trace-in-Metal is making lead simply too hot to handle, and is another key feature that sets us apart from any other products on the market.
“We are now introducing Trace-in-Metal to an ever growing audience, both here and abroad, who are keen to find out more about its applications and benefits, and how it can protect their property and products.”