Orcan Energy AG collects award as outstanding spin-off of the Technical University of Munich
Munich, 17. August 2016 – Energy AG has won this year's TUM Presidential Entrepreneurship Award, presented by the President of the Technical University of Munich, Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult.Wolfgang A. Herrmann. The jury for the TUM Presidential Entrepreneurship Award particularly praised the Orcan team's highly strategic, robust and innovative response to what is a huge growth market and the team's successful mastering of serial production and market entry. "Orcan Energy offers a product of high quality that utilises a previously untapped CO2-neutral energy source – opening up huge potential for society," said Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann, Vice President of TUM Research and Innovation, in his speech at the award ceremony. TUM has produced more than 800 spin-off companies so far. Orcan Energy is the fourth company to be awarded this prize as the fastest-growing and most successful high-tech spin-off of the Technical University Munich. The prize also comes with 10,000 euros for the winner, provided by the “Bund der Freunde der Technischen Universität München” (Friends of Technical University of Munich).
At the Chair of Energy Systems at TUM, Richard Aumann and Dr.-Ing. Andreas Schuster have been conducting intensive research on solutions for converting waste heat into electricity since 2004. In 2007, they were contacted by Dr. Andreas Sichert who was looking for a business idea. The trio then developed a concept and business plan for Orcan Energy, and made the decision to found the Orcan Energy company in 2008. In order to bring their technology to market, the three founders first received funding in 2009 from the EXIST Transfer of Research programme run by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). They built the first demonstrator model of their ePack, accumulated operational experience and, supported by the Technical University of Munich, registered the corresponding patents. In total there are now over 90 patents registered worldwide. The business plan impressed several interested parties: in 2011, venture capital companies KPCB and Wellington Partners invested in the company. 2013 saw E.ON brought on board as investor and cooperation partner, followed in 2015 by Air Liquide and Quadia. Orcan Energy AG now has 65 employees and distributes its efficient-energy solutions throughout several European countries.
Board member Dr. Andreas Sichert explains how Orcan Energy has achieved market breakthrough: "We developed an innovative approach based on standard industrial components; this approach enabled us to create the time necessary to develop a mature product with the attributes required to attract venture capitalists and simultaneously get product costs to previously unachievable levels. As a result, we entered the market with a functioning, standard product, what you might call the "2nd generation ORC", and our customers were impressed: they value the reliability, robustness and economic viability of our ePacks. There are now 34 of these mini generation units in operation, with availability at over 95%. Orcan Energy today provides customer solutions in kilowatt- to megawatt-range capacity. In addition to the biogas and industrial segments, Orcan Energy is now represented in the marine, mobile and rental power markets.