Nanostart invests in membrane-monitoring sensor startup

Frankfurt-based Nanostart AG, a nanotechnology venture capital company, has invested in Membrane Instruments & Technology (MINT) Pte Ltd, a cleantech company based in Singapore.

MINT, founded in 2009 as a spin-off from Singapore’s renowned Nanyang Technological University and chaired by well-know membrane expert Prof Tony Fane, is a producer of next- generation technology for monitoring and controlling water quality in filtration-based water treatment plants.

The core of the new technology lies in its proprietary, nanotech-based sensors, which automatically monitor the efficiency and proper functioning of filter membranes by continuously measuring key output parameters. The system monitors the performance water treatment plants in real time so that, in case of filter degradation or failure, corrective measures can be introduced immediately.

Until now, identifying and exchanging defective filter membranes has been an expensive and complicated process involving lengthy service disruptions. In contrast, the sensors from MINT enable these membranes to be identified and exchanged with unprecedented speed and ease.

Nanostart claims that there are no other systems on the market today which enable real-time monitoring and control, while offering efficiency and cost-effectiveness in water treatment. Its proprietary nanotech-based sensor technology puts the company in a uniquely strong competitive position.

“The breakthrough technology from MINT has already proved itself in the first operating applications, and we see enormous market potential ahead,” said Andreas Kroll, managing director of Nanostart Asia. “We are delighted about this superb addition to our investment portfolio.”

“Nanostart is exactly the right partner for us,” added Prof Fane. “It brings extensive know-how in commercialization as well as a proven track record in cleantech. I am confident that this experience will be of significant benefit to MINT. ”

MINT is the second Nanostart portfolio company to address clean water. ItN Nanovation AG, in which Nanostart has held an investment position since 2005, has developed a patented technology for highly efficient and compact water filtration based on nanoceramics.