Finance Durham Fund co-leads £600,000 in Applied Monitoring

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Mercia and Finance Durham invest in sensor technology that can scan skin to detect the presence and quantity of alcohol and drugs in a person's blood

Published: Apr 13, 2022
Focus: Finance Durham Fund

The investment was co-led by the Finance Durham Fund, managed by Maven, and overseen by Business Durham, and the North East Venture Fund, managed by Mercia Asset Management and supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

Based at the North East technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, County Durham, Applied Monitoring has developed an advanced innovative sensor system that identifies the presence and concentration of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis in a person’s bloodstream by scanning their skin. The funding announced today will enable the business to embark on a programme of growth to commercialise its product. The transaction also includes a £100,000 investment from the Centre of Processing Innovation to support further research and development of its technology. 

Current onsite test kit technology for drug testing requires bodily fluid samples to be collected and either sent to a lab for subsequent testing or use dipstick test strips that confirm if drugs are present but do not confirm the amount of substance in the person’s blood stream. Applied Monitoring’s sensor technology software can analyse chemicals in the blood in a matter of seconds, to confirm if a specific chemical is in a person’s blood and if so, at what levels.

The global alcohol and drug testing market is projected to be $10.0bn by 2025, the UK alcohol and drug testing market alone was estimated to be worth £250m in 2020 and the global on-site testing market is expected to grow from $485m in 2020 to $950m in 2025.

Led by a highly experienced management team, CEO Jon Dixon, has over 25 years’ experience in sales, product and business development and prior to joining Applied Monitoring was a divisional leader at Sainsbury’s and Argos. He is supported by a commercial CTO, Rob Connell who has over 30 years’ experience designing, developing, and implementing numerous IT applications including the UK health sector and previously developed and launched a medical records platform currently used in hospitals.


"Applied Monitoring has developed remarkable technology to enable qualitative and quantitative onsite workplace test results in seconds. Jon and his team all have significant experience developing and launching new software products and operating large sales teams as well as diagnostic sector knowledge. We’re delighted the Fund can support the business as it embarks on its exciting next phase of development."

Michael Dickens, Investment Manager at Maven



"We are confident that Applied Monitoring has truly innovative and transformational technology offering the business strong competitive advantage versus the current market offerings. As a validation of our technology and business plan it is wonderful to have Maven and Mercia on-board and it has been a pleasure working with Michael Dickens and Thea Tebble of Mercia over the past few months. The financial support provided by Maven and Mercia, alongside the guidance of our highly experienced advisory Executive team, ensures the business is best placed for an exciting future."

Jon Dixon, CEO of Applied Monitoring



"Mercia are delighted to support Applied Monitoring in the continued development of their market disrupting technology, which will significantly increase the speed and ease of alcohol and drugs of abuse testing. Mercia look forward to collaborating with Jon and Rob on the exciting growth journey that lies ahead."

Thea Tebble, Investment Associate at Mercia



“Applied Monitoring are an excellent example of the innovative companies at NETPark, its fantastic to be able to provide finance through Finance Durham to enable the company to solve real world problems with novel applications of technology."

“Last year we announced plans to expand NETPark, we will be investing circa £50m to finance the expansion providing new laboratory, office, production and storage space to help companies, like Applied Monitoring, grow at NETPark, creating more and better jobs in County Durham.

Cllr James Rowlandson, Portfolio holder for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council


If your business is in need of finance to help unlock its growth potential, the Finance Durham Fund may be able to help. Contact our team today on 0191 731 8595.

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