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Mixicap drinks device is taste of things to come

A North East company that has developed a new form of bottled drinking cap is now undertaking collaborative research and development (R&D) work to accelerate market entry, with assistance from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Gateshead-based Mixicap is working with consultants RTC North, engaged through UKTI's R&D Programme, and is in discussion with a range of collaborators to bring its new experience in optional sugar and flavoured drinks to market.

The new 'Mixicap' drink system will enable the consumer to have a choice over which specific ingredient to add to his or her drink - such as sugar or an orange, lime/lemon or grapefruit flavour - with a push of the button on the cap. The customer will be benefit from a fresher, more concentrated pre-mix, instead of consuming ingredients already mixed and stored till time of sale - as with traditional flavourings in bottled water.

Mixicap also eliminates the need for preservatives when dispensing a fresh and encapsulated solid flavouring. The ability to hold a sweetener in the cap or to add a flavour strengthener will be helpful to certain consumer groups such as people suffering from diabetes or those seeking a flavour impact.

Following initial discussions with flavour houses and a major UK bottled water manufacturer, Mixicap sought assistance through the UKTI R&D Programme to protect any new Intellectual property, develop a commercialisation strategy and to understand and map out key technical and commercial risks to developing a robust business model.

The company is in discussions with NHS Innovations, Faraday Partnership, RCID Innovation & Design, Entrust, AMAP Sunderland, bottled water manufacturers, international flavouring companies and bottle enclosure manufacturers to bring to its idea to market.

Amrik Pannu, Mixicap's Managing Director, said:

"The support we have received from RTC North, combined with the funding we have accessed, has helped greatly to assist our research and development, resulting in faster time to market.

"We are now working with the Product Group in Northumberland, a successful design group who have acted for many leading international brands, to design and manufacture the product and are committed to establishing a manufacturing base in the North East."

RTC North Business Consulting Manager, James Thwaites, said:

"The R&D support work has had an instant impact upon Mixicap, giving them the platform to raise significant venture capital investment that will help them to fulfil their promises and obligations to their many R&D partners. The company are now a credible player in the closures market place culminating in a recently received letter of intent from a major commercial and R&D stakeholder.

"As well as the beverage market, it is hoped that many medical applications will also be a match for the R&D."

Ross Cordiner, UK Trade & Investment's R&D Programme manager in the North East said:

"Mixicap is just the type of innovative business that UKTI 's R&D programme is designed to help. They have taken a novel idea through to commercialisation with the prospect of developing a number of product applications at the same time protecting their intellectual property, so vital for R&D based businesses."

" Soon we may be able to change the flavour of a drink at the push of a button "