Tech manufacturer wins funding support for IoT product

Leeds-based technology business FactorAI has been awarded funding from the InnovateUK SBRI Sustainable Innovation Fund.

This will support further product development of the company’s AI enabled real time IoT sensor, which aims to make the formulated products industry more sustainable.

A formulated product is composed of at least two ingredients which are selected, processed and combined in a specific way to obtain well-defined target properties.

They include shampoos, conditioners, moisturizing creams, toothpastes, cosmetics and many other chemicals and are used daily by billions of people worldwide.

FactorAI embeds its sensors in factories that make formulated products, allowing manufacturers to combine real time data capabilities with artificial intelligence to help them innovate quicker, reduce waste, and create superior products.

The technology business was founded by Dr Jujar Singh Panesar and Dr Andrea De Santis.

Singh said: “Most of these products are manufactured in batches in industrial mixers; the ingredients are pumped or poured into the mixer; and they are mixed and combined to form the finished product.

“In this project we develop a solution to retrofit an innovative sensor inside industrial mixers, thereby digitizing them.

“The sensor outputs real time quality data during the manufacture of formulated products and uses artificial intelligence to increase the sustainability of the industry enabling reduced manufacturing times, identifying problematic ingredients and helping the industry attain higher levels of compliance, traceability and sustainability.”

Factor AI is part of the NatWest Accelerator programme in Leeds.

The programme is fully funded by NatWest and participants do not have to be a customer with the bank to take part in the initial six-month programme or give-up any equity in their business.

De Santis said: “We are collaborating with Just Lovett Design, a fellow NatWest Accelerator business, which is suppling FactorAI with precision laser manufactured parts for our test rig that forms a part of our proof-of-concept study on the InnovateUK SBRI Sustainable Innovation project.

“Being part of the NatWest Accelerator, and working with multinational formulated products companies and Just Lovett Design is a key driver in the growth of FactorAI.”

Nick McCafferty, entrepreneur acceleration manager at NatWest, said: “Congratulations to FactorAI on the award from the InnovateUK SBRI Sustainable Innovation Fund which will enable the tech firm to develop its innovative product even further.

“FactorAI is a great example of the collaboration efforts we see from businesses on the programme as we know collaboration is vital to many SME’s successes.”