The WITT (Whatever Input to Torsion Transfer) was designed and built by my husband, Martin Wickett, a Civil Engineer with many years’ experience in building roads and bridges. The first WITT was conceived over a period of 6 to 9 months in our workshop in France. After building the first ‘proof of concept’ the next stage was to find out if anything similar was out there. We engaged with a patent attorney and extensive searches were conducted confirming no other system could harvest bi-directional to rotation on 2 axes as a clean, green energy harvesting solution. The patent was filed on Dec 2007 and granted in 2009, of course as we have progressed we have filed several follow on patents and now have patents granted in the UK, Europe, China, and the USA. The next stage was raising awareness, Witt Limited received two £5k awards and worked for 1 year on a feasibility and separate marketing study. Both reports proved useful in gaining awareness and confirming that we had a solution that could harvest chaotic motion and turn it into electricity. Martin and I were living and working in France, but it was clear that if we wanted to advance the business we must relocate back to the UK.
Up to this point we had funded all the costs from our savings, it was time to seek investment. Witt Limited presented to 18 small investors, all based in the South West of England and all 18 invested, receiving investment of £100,000 and then match funding through SWIG South West Investment Group. Witt Limited now had a small group of investors, they loved the WITT concept and could see the potential. This opened the door to UK government Innovate awards, which we won several. As we all know R&D is costly and very time consuming, it’s safe to say we didn’t have an easy journey, but we were passionate about our goal.
Raising awareness and networking has been crucial, we had the great honour to present at Ocean Exchange event in Savannah USA, presenting to 600 world delegates, we won the $100,000 first prize and best viral video. On our return to the UK we presented to HRH Duke of York, and won pitch at the Palace.
As we advanced the technology we knew it was now time to seek further investment, we had a great story to tell and we had received interest from many sectors. After months of planning, a Crowdcube package was put together with the aim of raising £750,000 to help advance 1 WITT application. Witt Limited went live in April 2016 and achieved a staggering £1 million by the end of week one! We closed at £2.38 million achieving the highest clean tech investment ever raised and we were pre-revenue! Achieving this investment has allowed the business team to grow, bringing in our CEO, Ron Cowley with many years of expertise in engineering and licensing. Ron added key people to the team with a Head of Manufacturing and Products, a Head of Electronics and Power Take-off, and a dedicated Project Manager to ensure all contracts are in place and ensure we do as much as possible in-house. Our Chairman, Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent is a great asset to the company as Former Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy and Chairman to Plymouth Marine Laboratory. The strong team are now working on three different sizes of the WITT energy harvesting systems, we are delighted to say manufacturing is underway and full system testing will commence early in 2018.
Martin and I have enormous passion and energy for the technology, the potential for the WITT is a game changing solution offering a power solution from Water, Wind, Human & Animal motion, and we are thrilled to be on this incredible journey.
Co-founder & Director