Jason Littler is a pest controller and has specialised in the detection and treatment of bed bugs both within large national companies and more recently through his own company. Frustrated at the lack of available technology, he set out to investigate what could be developed to replace humans and dogs to provide quicker and more accurate results.
After approaching Paul Vernon (STFC) he was put in touch with Dr Geraint (Taff) Morgan at The Open University. It quickly became clear that the expertise and sampling philosophy that had been developed for the Ptolemy instrument, on ESA’s Rosetta mission, had potential to provide such a solution. The solutions for sniffing comets and sniffing bed bugs have a number of common features – although the biggest differentiator is of course price.
To exploit this opportunity, Jason and Taff along with their Finance Director Matthew Hothersall, started a new company to develop the idea through to a commercial product and beyond.
Within months of incorporating Insect Research Solutions (IRS) Ltd. they applied and were selected to become incubatees at ESA-BIC, Harwell. Within this nurturing environment and with capital investment the company continues to go from strength to strength.
Through Project APOLLO they are now seeking partners in the hospitality industry to allow them to evaluate the system.