Spatial Quotient were given the opportunity to attend the South West Innovation Expo held at Sandy Park , Exeter on 14/10/21. This event  brings together local technology innovators and entrepreneurs with business leaders, investors and others to share and understand the power of new technology. SQ manned a stand showcasing our cutting-edge tech, and  demoed our real-time PathwAI Dashboard to passers-by, drawn in by our new popup banner!
We stood amongst a huge variety of other tech companies innovating in the South West. Some that caught our attention were Cineon , HydroSurv, SupplyDevon and Build solar (which I’ll go into more depth further into this article). Some organisations we had come across whilst at the Science Park: SETsquared especially. This community of entrepreneurs enable regional creators, innovators and disruptors to grow and develop business ideas, creating an inspiring innovation culture among high-tech businesses. They had a large presence and were running the Pitchfest sessions on stage, offering founders and entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their business to the audience. To finish off, there were also companies offering services to businesses, from those dealing with regulatory aspects, to accountancy firms, to individual investors.

COMPANIES THAT CAUGHT OUR ATTENTION

Cineon is a virtual reality training company, their aim is to enhance learning and improve performance through evidence-based training. They apply cutting edge research and adopt immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) simulation to understand and optimise human behaviour in safety critical and high pressured environments. They develop high fidelity virtual reality environments that instil preferred behavioural traits in high risk working environments. Their Virtual Reality environments can solve problems, detect faults and improve staff training and wellbeing.

HydroSurv is a global innovator in Uncrewed Surface Vehicles (USVs) which democratise marine geospatial data for the ocean industries. They design, build and operate multi-mission capable USVs for inland,nearshore and offshore operations. HydroSurv’s range of long-term and short-term options enable customers to accelerate the transition to using USV technology in their projects. They produce training packages that include factory familiarisation training, simulator sessions and water-based courses to enable customers to get the most out of their USV.

SupplyDevon is a company specialising in local procurement services. They help organisations buy better, supporting the local economy and reducing carbon emissions. Funded by the government’s Sustainable Innovation Fund. They help suppliers in Devon recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. SupplyDevon is completely free to use for buyers and suppliers in Devon. They strive to provide a simple and intuitive solution to sourcing locally and supporting the local community, as well as helping Devon reach its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. 

A special mention to our table neighbours, Build solar! After many years of research into integrated solar technology, a small team from the University of Exeter decided to create a spin-out company to develop some of their innovative ideas. The company is led by entrepreneur and solar scientist Dr Hasan Baig and world-leading renewable energy scientist Professor Tapas Mallick. Build Solar is supported by cutting-edge research. It brings together the latest solar technology and embeds it within conventional construction materials. This combination provides access to new markets and creates opportunities to deploy solar technologies within urban environments.

stalls
USV
drone
Dome

COVID-19

One major highlight of the day came from talking to Attomarker , a company developing cutting-edge COVID-19 antibody testing equipment developed by scientists at the University of Exeter. They believe that new challenges to the health of the public require innovative answers inspired by rigorous science. Rapid diagnosis will speed earlier treatment and personal diagnosis will enable targeted treatment. High quality diagnosis will reach beyond the laboratory and be accessible to everyone, in clinics and at home. My colleague Simon Kirby, booked in for a blood test and had his COVID antibody levels measured in their mobile unit outside. He received a normal response for someone who likely hasn’t had COVID, but has received both jabs). This test took less than 5 minutes, and can indicate whether someone might be adequately protected from COVID, or maybe require a booster shot. It was really interesting to experience, not just from a results point of view, but also to see what the rest of the HealthTech field is up to.

HIGHLIGHTS

Another highlight was a talk from one of the founders of Shazam which covered his journey into investing for good and insight into some of his ventures which was very interesting! Shazam is a music discovery mobile app which identifies the songs playing around you on the go. It’s said to be the best way to discover, explore and share the music you love. Shazam connects more than 1 billion people. It took them 10 years to reach 1 billion Shazams and now they deliver an impressive 1 billion song results every month. It’s an amazing app, available in the Apple and Android stores.  The presence of Exeter, Plymouth and Falmouth universities was very noticeable. It was amazing to see the impact the universities had on the innovative atmosphere. Many companies (including SQ!) had links with some of these organisations and it was clear they played a huge role in fostering an innovative atmosphere in the South West.  Overall, we had a great day at the expo. It was surprising to find common links with companies that, on paper, you might’ve thought we [SQ] had little in common with! This led to some really interesting chats and lots of exchanged business cards. We’re excited to see what the future holds and can’t wait to attend more events like these!
Simon Kirby
Simon Kirby
Data Scientist