Nova-Flo® rides wave of awards
November 03, 2008 – Press Dispensary – Famed for turning down four Dragons on Dragons’ Den, the makers of Nova-Flo® – a new product that prevents the troublesome, expensive and eco-unfriendly problem of overflowing hotel baths – today add further recognition to their list: the British Plastic Federation’s ‘Highly Commended Certificate’ in the 2008 Horners Award for Plastics Design and Innovation 2008.
The product, already the recipient of the ‘Best Innovation in Building Services 2007′ award at last year’s 2007 M and E Building Services Conference, is the brainchild of inventor and entrepreneur James Barnham.
James, and business partner at About Time Design, Ian Sillett, recognised that baths overflowing had been a major problem, from a cost, service and inconvenience perspective, for hoteliers worldwide for years. Until Nova-Flo®, no product has been designed that even came close to eradicating this issue. The environmental carbon footprint of a bath flood can be huge. By preventing bath floods altogether, hotels will be helping themselves, their guests, and the environment. Water is wasted in a bath flood, water which has been metered and paid for, heated, filtered and pumped all has a financial as well as environmental cost. Indirect environmental costs can be even more substantial when you take into consideration the carbon footprint of replacing ceilings, carpets, furnishings, electrical equipment and the list goes on.
Whilst Nova-Flo® was still in its development phase, the pair turned down offers of investment from Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, Richard Farleigh and Deborah Meaden when they appeared on the BBC Show Dragons’ Den. Turning down the Dragons proved a smart move. Alternative investment was sourced and Nova-Flo® was officially and successfully launched to the global hotel market earlier this year.
Orders have started to flood in, with boutique hotel chain Firmdale Hotels the latest to sign up, installing Nova-Flo® across its range of contemporary central London hotels. International hotel brands are now getting to hear about this money saving system to bath flooding, and requests to supply have come from as far afield as Singapore, Hong Kong and the USA.
Carrie Wicks, director of operations at Firmdale Hotels, says: ”We’ve had problems with baths flooding in the past where water has gone through ceilings and caused huge expense and disruption. Nova-Flo® is an excellent British invention that will eradicate this problem in every bathroom it is fitted to. Nova-Flo® will certainly be part of the bathroom specification for every hotel we build from now on and I can see it becoming a standard in all hotels in the future.”
Inventor James Barnham adds: ”While winning awards and receiving recognition for Nova-Flo® is always welcome, the real rewards lie in the realisation that, after many years of hard work, we have created a commercially viable and successful product that has been embraced by the hotel industry.”
High resolution images are available on request.
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Notes for editors
Nova-Flo® is the invention of James Barnham. James, a fully trained engineer, developed his first anti-flooding device while completing his final year in Industrial Design at London South Bank University. Aware of the costly damage caused by water overflows James decided there had to be a mechanical system to answer the problem . After graduating with a first class degree he embarked on a Masters in Enterprise Technology, a course set up by Ian Sillett in order to protect the intellectual property of the work created by students at the University.
Together James and Ian set up About Time Design Ltd, under which Nova-Flo® and Flowban&trade (the trading name used outside the UK) operate.
James has won numerous awards for Nova-Flo® including Winner of ‘Best Innovation in Building Services 2007’ at last year’s 2007 M&E Building Services Conference.
Nova-Flo® also featured on the BBC’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ series receiving investment offers from four out of the five Dragons.
Ian has set up more than ten companies to commercialise technologies developed at Southbank University. A graduate in Philosophy Politics and Economics, before joining the academic faculty at Southbank University he was an entrepreneur and business adviser.
Nova-Flo® is the first business venture Ian has undertaken with a student from the Masters in Enterprise Technology course.
The Guild of Horners is a medieval Livery Company whose activities were first recorded in 1284. Cow horn was the fore runner of plastics in medieval times and the Guild now recognises, supports and rewards innovation in the plastics industry.