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Northern Powerhouse European Union

Demand response opportunity for Bolton tech firm

Bolton-based Synectic Design is ready to capitalise on the growing demand side response energy market thanks to support from low carbon sector specialists at the Business Growth Hub.

Bolton-based Synectic Design is ready to capitalise on the growing market for demand side response thanks to support from low carbon sector specialists at the Business Growth Hub.

Since forming in 1990, Synectic Design has been developing and producing measurement, control and monitoring equipment. Their products are used by sectors including waste management, construction, automotive and aerospace, and are relied upon by scientific and research institutes. 

The company comprises a small but highly skilled team who undertake all design and testing in-house. It creates bespoke equipment to specific requirements, often developing ingenious, problem-solving components for new client projects. 

Product innovation

Synectic’s latest invention is an innovative frequency monitor with an in-built noise filter. This has huge potential for monitoring changes in electricity usage on both commercial and industrial sites. 

This component is, therefore, highly suitable for the fast-growing demand-side response (DSR) market, where businesses are paid to turn down or turn off non-essential energy use to balance the grid during periods of high demand. 

Although Synectic has previously supplied components to a wide range of industries, its experience of the DSR and energy-efficiency market was limited. But, with a growing sense of the possibilities their latest product offered, the team were determined to discover more. 

“A large part of our previous work has been project based, and the idea of exploring a new market opportunity with an on-going need for a Synectic product was exciting, although something of a challenge,” said managing director, Adrienne Tonge.

Market opportunity

The company was introduced to Tom Bardwell, a low carbon sector specialist at the Business Growth Hub, whose advice helped Synectic decide that the DSR market was worth pursuing and who helped the company develop the best approach. 

Tom worked with Adrienne to specify a research project. The aims were to forecast the DSR market size, to increase understanding of the market’s structure and to identify the routes to market. The project brief also included a consideration of Synectic’s position in the supply chain and how its monitoring hardware compared with other products. 

In October 2016, the Business Growth Hub commissioned a specialist report to help answer these questions. 

Armed with its new knowledge of routes to market, Synectic is now already in talks with a range of businesses in the industry.

‘Exciting journey’

“Synectic Design is right to go down this path,” Tom said. “DSR will play a key role in our future energy system. My time working with the company has shown me that they have more than enough specialist skills and knowledge to challenge any larger manufacturer in the sector.”

Adrienne added: “Thanks to the Hub’s support with market research, we are now in a much better position to move into a thriving new market – we look forward to continuing this exciting journey.”