Data Science Investment Counter —Funding raised by UK data science companies in 2018.
£ 5.640 Million

University of Leeds academics bag £750,000 for satellite data project

University of Leeds professors Tim Wright and Andy Hooper have secured £750,000 in Seed funding to create a  spin-out company, called SatSense, which will  harness AI software to spot the degradation of building foundations.

The funding came from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (which in turn is financed by the EU),  Unipart Rail and the University of Leeds itself.

The two academics are now working to use the fresh money to bring their technology—which uses algorithms to get measurements of ground motion from satellite radar images—to the market, and to grow their team.

The founders say that SatSense’s tech might be able to measure ground movements as small as 1 millimetre per year— and even work out the cause of the yielding within hours, through smart crunching of data. The company plans to provide its services to organisations monitoring large infrastructures such as as bridges, railways, dams, as well as oil and gas production sites.

Lisa Ward, investment director of NPIF, said in a statement: “While SatSense is a very early-stage company, its technology represents a step change in resolution and accuracy over anything that is currently on the market.

“The team have actively engaged with potential customers and clearly have a product that is in demand. The funding will allow them to take the first step into what is potentially a huge worldwide market.”

University of Leeds  director of innovation commercialisation Andy Duley, also commented on the deal: “The launch of Nexus, our new innovation centre, will build on this success by providing easier access for business and industry to the University’s world-leading academic expertise. It will bring together a vibrant community of innovators to make collaboration and commercialisation easier,” he said.

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