A revolutionary new device to prevent motorists putting the wrong kind of fuel in their cars has been developed by the University of Wolverhampton.
The AA estimates that there were 120,000 incidents of drivers putting petrol in diesel cars in 2006 alone.
The inventor, Martin White a retired Royal Navy Commander, partnered with the Caparo Innovation Centre at the University of Wolverhampton to develop and license the patent rights for the new device.
Mr White said: “The act of refuelling a car is carried out so regularly that it becomes almost automatic, and drivers give the task very little thought. The problem is that the variety of fuels available at each pump on the garage forecourt is greater than ever, so the probability that a driver will pick up the wrong nozzle by mistake is greater than at any point in the past.”
The cost of rectifying the mistake can run to thousands of pounds, depending on the model of vehicle and extent of the engine damage. Now Martin has seen his product idea licensed to Caparo Vehicle Products, by working with the University of Wolverhampton. The arrangements for manufacturing the product are now set, although it will be a few months yet before it becomes available in the shops.
Andrew Pollard, Industrial Professor at the Caparo Innovation Centre, said: “Martin is an exceptional inventor and first class engineer, I am very pleased that the hard work put in by Martin and the development team at the Caparo Innovation Centre has been rewarded by the completion of a licence agreement that will see the device released into the market in 2008.”
The Caparo Innovation Centre is a joint venture by the University of Wolverhampton and the steel multinational Caparo Plc, which helps inventors to negotiate the early stages of the new product development process.
A European Patent has been applied for to protect the intellectual property behind this innovation.
The Caparo Innovation Centre (CIC), a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and steel multinational Caparo Plc, was established in early 2003 with the aim of helping inventors to transform new product ideas into commercial products. Based at the Wolverhampton Science Park, the CIC team comprises of engineering, product development and marketing professionals, who work with the inventor to strengthen the business case for promising new product ideas.
The CIC has been established under a basic principle that it does not require any upfront financial commitment from inventors. Instead the centre generates revenue by agreeing a percentage of the proceeds in the event that the product is commercialised, this system means that the CIC are as committed to commercialising the product ideas as the inventors are.
If you would like to find out more about the Caparo Innovation Centre or have a new product innovation you would like to discuss, please contact Professor Andrew Pollard on 01902 824182, email email@example.com or visit www.help4inventors.co.uk
Pictured are the development team on completion of the Licence Agreement, including Professor Gerald Bennett (University Pro Vice-Chancellor) seated left, Laurie Stokes (Director of Caparo Vehicle Products) seated right and Martin White standing centre.
For more information, contact Vickie Woodward in the Press Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335112.