Innovation Programme: Case Studies Phase 2 (2019 - 2023)

Totem learning ltd

Totem Learning Ltd case study

Totem Learning Ltd makes digital learning products for clients all over the world. From 90 second virtual reality modules to 30 minute fully immersive games, Totem exists to bring learning to life.

The company has been awarded £60,000 Innovation grant from The CW Innovation Test Bed Programme which is part funded by European Regional Development Fund for a set of 7 fully interactive assessment exercises for a large military client. These games are being used to test the effectiveness of new training programmes supporting the set up and running of remote satellite communication systems.

This was a hugely demanding project coordinated through Coventry but spanning the world, nothing like these games had ever been designed before. The deadline was extremely tight and the specification of the products highly technically demanding with no previous blueprint to work from.

The grant enabled Totem to run rapid prototyping and to partner with another specialist software company in Ukraine to build the products in the given timeframe.

All 7 games were delivered to a satisfied customer on time and are now being used as part of the wider training programme in the field. As a result of this project Totem's employees' numbers increased.

The Innovation Programme supports Coventry & Warwickshire SMEs to develop innovative products and services which are new to the market. If you are interested in the programme please email us at innovation@coventry.gov.uk

Energy Integrity Services (EchoBolt) case study

Echobolt

Support Received: Financial

  • Grant awarded: £14,306
  • Private Match: £14,306
  • Outputs Achieved: 3 jobs created, new service offering for the renewable energy market, follow-on commercialisation project with Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and GE Renewables supported by Innovate UK.  

Energy Integrity Services is a company based in Warwickshire providing structural integrity inspections for wind turbines. They help customers to  maintain their wind farms by providing skilled technicians to monitor the condition of turbines, providing detailed information about the health of the turbine whilst significantly increasing turbine uptime and reducing maintenance costs. 

The grant of £14,306 awarded from CW Innovation Programme, which is part funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has allowed the company to demonstrate an innovative new technique for monitoring the condition of the large bolted connections which hold wind turbines together. Through the grant they were able to access the skills and equipment to develop a new technology and carry out a pilot demonstration at one of their customers sites. 

Pete Andrews, director of Energy Integrity Services said: “The Coventry and Warwickshire Innovation Programme has provided an invaluable springboard for our business in our first year of trading. With the fantastic support of the Local Enterprise Partnership, we’ve developed our unique inspection technology which allows wind turbine operators to save 80% of the time and cost associated with managing bolted connections. The innovation grant gave us the opportunity to initiate further business development for products and services that we have been able to bring to market during the COVID disruption, setting the foundation for a more dynamic and adaptable business.”

As a direct result of the project Energy Integrity Services have been able to bring three new people into the business and secure backing from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, GE Renewable Energy and Innovate UK to carry out a full-scale demonstration of their technology on some of the world’s largest wind turbines.  The new inspection technique will allow to offer a game changing service to the wind industry helping to reduce the costs of renewable energy.

Pete Andrews also stated that the economic impact of COVID-19 has been a significant challenge for their business as a core offering involves providing inspection services at customer sites. They had to refocus their efforts on developing new commercial offerings such as an innovate data analysis platform and a wind farm life extension service. 

Feraru Dynamics Ltd case study

Glove with Midlands Engine and ERDF logos

Feraru Dynamics designs, engineers and collaborates to manufacture reliable, non-intrusive wearable monitoring devices, ensuring a proactive & fully informed health & safety management approach. The Company’s mission is to create and maintain a safe working environment for all tool operators while adding value towards the efficiency of the workforce & the quality of the work done.

Company has been awarded an Innovation grant of £11,992 from C&W Innovation programme which is part funded by European Development Regional Fund (ERDF) to develop a novel wearable device that is able to measure the exposure to vibration while taking into account all relevant parameters, not only acceleration. The ERDF grant allowed an accelerated pace in the product development and also provided some very useful industry connections to key manufacturing partners.

The main output achieved was the successful launch of a proactive, wearable vibrational dosage meter. The device is in a form of a glove with sensors to measure vibration from heavy duty power tools. Vibration exposure causes permanent hand injuries, Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). The HAV-Sentry digital-glove prevents industry workers regularly using vibrating tools from over exposure to vibration & create a safe work environment through compliance with ISO 5349 & ISO 8041.

The novel glove takes measurements of grip force, hand orientation & acceleration at
the point of contact between the human hand & tool handle. the glove guides the user towards safe operation with a pro-active alert system placed on the back of the hand.

The company has not only created and launched new product but also new process of Automated Exposure Assessment Algorithm and a new service - Online Health & Safety Management of Hand Arm Vibration exposure and workforce productivity. They have also filed product patents for Europe, U.S.A & Canada and created a job in the Coventry & Warwickshire area.

Feraru Dynamics is going to address the market through offering product trials and show the value the product can bring to the workplace. Andrei Ferraru, the Founder & Managing Director said:

‘’I am very glad I applied and was supported by the Innovation Programme. The support provided by the Business Advisor – Paul and the Programme Manager – Marzena was very valuable. The grant provided helped accelerate the product development spend and reduced the time spent on developing a final market ready product. Moreover, the company has made valuable connections through the Innovation Programme network with potential customers and also manufacturing partners.’’

Induction Technology Group (ITG) Ltd Case Study

Itg with logo

Support Received: Financial

  • Grant awarded: £5,025 Cap, £6,609 Rev
  • Private Match: £18,335.15 Total
  • Outputs Achieved: 2 new jobs; New product to the market.

For 33 years, Induction Technology Group (ITG) Ltd has designed, developed and supplied high-performance lightweight air filters for both the motorsport and aftermarket tuning industry.

The business was awarded an Innovation capital grant of £5,026 and revenue grant of £6,609 in April 2020 from Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Test-Bed Programme, which is part funded by European Development Regional Fund (ERDF). The ERDF grant was given to ITG to expand their range by using new innovative materials - world first filter shapes. The investment has helped ITG to succeed in their quest to capture the American market’s attention.

As a leading manufacturer of foam air filters, ITG have now been able to diversify using alternative materials which were missing from their range. The new product features a cotton filtration medium, as opposed to their previous model made from foam.

The financial support has allowed the business to assess their preproduction parts before they made the next step. The 3 layered pleated cotton gauze filter, which incorporates their previous model, is the first of its kind for ITG. It offers a distinct competitive advantage in the market and will remove the current need for the existing filter box to be sold without the filter.

The ERDF grant has allowed ITG to create a new IP for the design and work with a specialist agency to develop an end cap that is aesthetically pleasing and technically accurate. This innovative redesign of air filters will also extend the product’s lifecycle, generating larger revenues in the years to come. The product is already out in the market, and currently 2000 units have been sold to 40 distributors worldwide.

Richard Clews, General Manager at ITG Ltd has commented, ‘the ERDF scheme has allowed us, and would allow future applicants, to accelerate business growth and success rate by going in new and alternative directions. Without the funding, this move would have been delayed. The support from the staff, as well as the financial help, has given us the confidence that we are making the right decisions for our business’.

To find out more visit: https://www.itgairfilters.com/

Or contact: sales@itgairfilters.com

If you are aiming to grow your company and launch your innovation, we want to hear from you. To find out more about how we can help your business please contact us by email at innovation@coventry.gov.uk and one of our Business Advisors will be in touch.

Jetnow.com case study

Jetnow

Summary

  • Support Received: Financial
  • Grant awarded: £10k
  • Private Match: £10k
  • Outputs Achieved: 3 new jobs created and 1 new product launched

Jetnow.com is an online travel agency that enables consumers to spread the cost of their trips – beyond the date of departure. This new and unique travel agency combines both financial technology (FinTech) and traditional travel distribution technology to create the world’s first Vertically Integrated fintech and travel website, enabling consumers to search, book and borrow in one convenient platform to finance their trips.

The business was awarded a revenue grant of £10,000 in February 2020 from Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation Test-Bed Programme, which is part-funded by European Development Regional Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Coventry City Council. Without this funding it would have been a real challenge to launch their new product. They had secured some private investment into the business, but the ERDF funding enabled them to secure new jobs and finalise the development and delivery of the project.

The product is truly revolutionary to the travel industry, with its most innovative part being the development of a FinTech solution and combined with travel distribution technology. This has resulted in Jetnow.com becoming the world’s first travel agency focused on Travel Now, Pay Later – making travel more affordable (by giving consumers longer to pay off their trips) and accessible (by removing the upfront cost barrier to travel).

The product launched in July 2020 and the website is live, currently serving the first few customers and weathering the storm of Covid-19. The Innovation grant gives the business the support to survive the pandemic and have some amazing opportunities to look forward to once the recovery begins. Jetnow.com are actively exploring launching the product in both Canada and the United States next year, which is really exciting for the team.

Gavin Miller, CEO and Founder of Jetnow.com has commented: ‘We would encourage other SMEs locally to explore ERDF funding, the team at CWLEP were amazing and helped us no end. This funding and support are created and deployed to help SMEs just like yours. I would encourage everyone to reach out and speak to an advisor at your Local Enterprise Partnership or the CW Innovation Programme at Coventry City Council to see if they can assist with your project. We found the whole process hugely rewarding!’

To find out more, visit: jetnow.com

If you are aiming to grow your company and launch your innovation, we want to hear from you. To find out more about how we can help your business please contact us by email at innovation@coventry.gov.uk and one of our Business Advisors will be in touch.

ERDF logo

Route Thirty Six Ltd

Route 36

 

Summary

  • Support Received: Financial
  • Grant awarded: £42,870
  • Private Match: £42,870
  • Outputs Achieved: 1 new product to the firm/market, 3 new jobs created.

Route Thirty Six Ltd is a retail marketing technology business based in Wootton Wawen in Warwickshire. They design, build and provide SAAS (software as a service) solutions to customers in the retail and marketing industries.

The ERDF Innovation grant which is part funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has enabled the Route Thirty Six to construct a ground-breaking product which is new to the firm and the market. The new product – Rule – is an in-store marketing application that automates the briefing and distribution of retail marketing materials to an estate of locations. It has become the core product of the company and is now used by major retailers both in the UK and internationally. It is used by many well-known brands in the supermarket, homeware, discounter, convenience, fashion and postal service sectors.

The new product Rule is innovative in its automation and simplification of store data, meaning that it provides retailers with the ability to centralise, maintain, gain insights from and easily merge multiple data sources. Retailers can use this data to activate campaigns faster and allocate point of sale marketing material to stores in a targeted manner. This method enables them to consolidate marketing deliveries to stores and reduces waste/over production, in turn saving on the number of parcels and amount of packaging required. Customers are reporting a 40% time saving in processing in store marketing campaigns, alongside more accurate results and fewer errors than ever before.

The financial support from the Coventry & Warwickshire Innovation programme delivered by Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and Coventry University Services has allowed the company to create and market the new product in a much shorter space of time than if it had been entirely self-funded. Already, Rule is used by retailers in Europe and Route Thirty Six are in early stage discussions with customers in Canada, USA, Australia and Ireland.

Director of Route Thirty Six, Jack Rossiter, encourages other SMEs to apply for the ERDF Innovation grant. He said: ‘the team at Coventry City Council & Warwickshire County Council were extremely helpful throughout the process. For any businesses looking to invest in an innovative new product, the ERDF grant provides the option to achieve that goal.’

Route Thirty Six were supported with raising finance for their project by Steph Winter, a Business Advisor at Warwickshire County Council.

For more information on Route Thirty Six and their product Rule, visit their website www.rule.tech and find them on social media - Route Thirty Six Ltd on LinkedIn, and @routethirtysix / @rule_tech on Instagram.