Tech start-up to further commercialise operations following £170k grant

From left: Duncan Jones (co-founder & CPO), David Smith, Michael McAiney (lead developer)

Manchester-based tech start-up has been awarded £170,000 from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund.

The six-figure grant will enable the firm to further develop and commercialise its pioneering technology providing automated and remote monitoring of industrial battery systems used to provide back-up power for critical infrastructure including hospitals, data centres and mobile phone masts.

The system uses state-of-the-art IoT technologies, data analytics and cloud-based software to constantly and remotely monitor battery health, replacing existing monthly or annual technician visits, something which has proved challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a robust monitoring system which ensures any faults are detected 24/7.

Also, the need to manually complete and administer inspection paperwork is removed via an easy-to-use mobile app.

The grant will enable the employment of two full-time software developers as the firm gears up to take the product to market in the UK and also internationally, where it will apply the same technology to renewable power systems in developing countries, such as Nigeria.

David Smith, founder and chief executive, said: “This is a really exciting time for The Innovate UK grant will enable us to expedite the development process and bring forward the launch of a viable product which we believe will have a significant impact on both the future of industrial battery management in the UK and the uptake of renewable power globally, particularly in developing economies.”

Innovate UK executive chair, Dr Ian Campbell, said: “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation.

“The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy –, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development.

“Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £191m to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of the Sustainable Innovation Fund over the next two years.

The aim of these competitions is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19. The Sustainable Innovation Fund is funding 1,103 projects, 1,189 UK businesses and totaling more than £130m in support across the UK.