Exist Insight ISSUE 11

Multi-million-pound project will put Devon at the forefront of solving global environmental and big data challenges

  • Multi-million-pound project will put Devon at the forefront of solving global environmental and big data challenges image 1

Added: 24 September 2018

A £6.4 million initiative to boost Devon’s expertise in solving future global environmental and big data challenges has formally launched in Exeter - The Environmental Futures & Big Data Impact Lab (Impact Lab).

140 guests attended the launch, including business leaders, regional influencers, technical specialists and local and national government representatives. The event was a chance to learn about the Impact Lab and hear from some of the businesses it has already helped, since its inception in January 2018.

Led by the University of Exeter, the Impact Lab is based at the state-of-the-art Met Office HPC Complex and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  The initiative brings together Devon’s leading scientific research centres to help Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to create innovative products and services.

The Impact Lab is a partnership of seven organisations: University of Exeter, Exeter City Futures, Met Office, Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, University of Plymouth and Rothamsted Research.

Robert Kathro, Impact Lab Programme Director, said: “The Impact Lab is a service for SMEs in Devon who need deep technical support to help them solve a key business challenge in the fields of big data, data science and environmental futures.

“Each of our clients receive a bespoke package of support, tailored to their requirements and addressing their specific challenge. Experts from our seven partner organisations ensure the highest quality support and advice is offered.”

Mr Kathro added: “The Impact Lab is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, which means that most of our services are free. We also have grants available for SMEs to partially recoup certain costs.”

Since January 2018, the Impact Lab’s Innovation Support Team has engaged over 100 businesses. It is now delivering a number of projects, creating innovative new products and services with Devon-based businesses through the exploitation of environmental intelligence and data science.

These companies include City Science, whose ‘Last Mile’ project looks at how autonomous vehicles can be used to ferry commuters quickly and safely to and from transport hubs, such as train stations.

Kathryn White, Impact Lab Innovation Manager, said: “Bringing Last Mile to the Impact Lab has enabled us to create a team that combines City Science’s data and subject knowledge with the University of Exeter’s expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning. This collaboration will enable City Science to build a more robust model for urban planners and transport authorities to reduce congestion in cities around the world.”

Mark Goodwin, Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Engagement), University of Exeter said: “The University of Exeter is delighted to be leading this initiative. The Impact Lab represents a major step forwards, towards delivering a transformational economic agenda that builds on the presence of world class assets in the area, like the University and the Met Office, and which develops our region as a national and international centre for environmental intelligence and data analytics.”

The Impact Lab offers access to free collaboration space, innovative support and expertise from its seven partner organisations.

For more information about the Impact Lab, visit impactlab.org.uk or contact the team on 07867 341750. Follow the team on Twitter (@efbd_impactlab) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/efbd-impactlab)

More news

  1. South West Creative Technology Network Call for Fellows in DATA

    Data is information, and data is everywhere.

    Read article

  2. Come and explore what happens when we combine Art, Science and Technology at the ExIST STEAMM Show

    Come and explore what happens when we combine Art, Science and Technology at the ExIST STEAMM Show

      Join ExIST (Exeter Initiative for Science & Technology) for on Wednesday 4th December 2019 for a special Christmas event at Exeter School of Art.

    Read article

  3. Company car technology launched by driver rewards firm Lightfoot

    Company car technology launched by driver rewards firm Lightfoot

    Lightfoot, the maker of the world’s first technology to reward better drivers, has launched a “revolutionary” new company car and grey fleet product that enables businesses to provide duty of care to staff through improved safety of drivers, without invading their privacy.

    Read article

  4. Start-ups and Scale-ups: essential sessions for entrepreneurs at Venturefest South West

    Start-ups and Scale-ups: essential sessions for entrepreneurs at Venturefest South West

    Venturefest South West has announced a top line up of speakers for the Start-Ups and Scale-Ups sessions which will look at ways entrepreneurs can grow their businesses.

    Read article

  5. New Innovative Tech Hub to be Developed in Exeter City Centre

    New Innovative Tech Hub to be Developed in Exeter City Centre

    We are excited to hear about Grenadier Estates plans for a new innovative tech hub that is to be developed in Exeter city centre.

    Read article

  6. Applications invited for Business Promotion Grant

    Applications invited for Business Promotion Grant

    Businesses in Devon have the opportunity to apply for Devon County Council’s Business Promotion Grant this May.

    Read article

  7. Call for speakers at Tech Exeter Conference

    Call for speakers at Tech Exeter Conference

    The multi-disciplinary, grassroots tech conference from TechExeter CIC returns on Wednesday September 11th at the University of Exeter Business School.

    Read article

  8. Former IBM Master Inventor joins South West design firm

    Former IBM Master Inventor joins South West design firm

    Plymouth based digital agency Elixel welcomes highly experienced IBM Master Inventor and UX designer, Rob Breeds, to its team.

    Read article

  9. Cranbrook Education Campus Governor Vacancy

    Cranbrook Education Campus is a new 2 – 16 all through school situated in the new town of Cranbrook in East Devon.

    Read article

For older news articles please click here to view our news archive.