"We have been excited to be one of Enswarm's first customers. Their Innovation tool, in particular, helped us support our clients in collaborating and improving their organisations, and really exceeded our expectations. We are so impressed we are now building Enswarm's tools into our events and consultancy services, and we look forward to continuing to work together."
Beth Collier is a a nature based psychotherapist, who uses London’s parks and woods as a therapy room. This is Beth’s story about how she discovered the power of combining psychotherapy with nature, and the positive impact it has on the children and adults that she works with.
Since the introduction of fire safety laws over ten years ago, fire safety is a legal necessity, and most commercial properties in the UK are fitted with compliant fire doors. Despite progress in raising awareness and improving standards, there have been fatal incidents, where inadequate or poorly fitted doors have contributed to the outcome. In one tragic case, the inquest ruled that death could have been avoided (1), if a self-closing fire door had not become stuck on the floor, preventing it from closing. Correct fitting is critical to ensure that fire doors remain compliant and meet the appropriate standards. Tests to certify doors to a declared fire resistance period (typically 30 or 60 minutes) become redundant, if not fitted properly or maintained over years of wear and tear. The consequences for safety are frighteningly obvious – one incident highlighted where blocked exits and door faults trapped hotel residents (2) and there are plenty of video examples where door-sets fail to impede fire (3) as planned. The financial implications for the building manager and owner are significant with hefty fines for fault or negligence. Property management companies are held to account in cases where the council carry out inspections, such as Kier Stoke (4). However, the laws and standards can be confusing – and EU policy makers are urged to review them for the hotel and tourism industry (5). Alarmingly, statistics from Fire Door Safety Week (6) indicate that 45% of building managers do not know how to spot a problem with their fire doors.
Lack of confidence and procrastination are common issues that block individuals from identifying and achieving their personal and career goals. Negative thinking and the resulting patterns of behavior can be very difficult to change, especially when they are reinforced through self-fulfilling prophecies and embedded beliefs about oneself. Achieving happiness, fulfillment and attaining career goals are possible for everyone. Practical techniques like interview performance can be learnt, and self-limiting beliefs can evolve.
Karen Livesey is a documentary film maker who comes from a politically active, campaigning background. She attended film school in Sheffield, studying cinematography and directing. This is when she first became interested in the gender divide – specifically, what separated “men’s work” from “women’s work”. The inspiration for the Ladies Bridge documentary came from a story Karen heard in Sheffield: that Waterloo Bridge had been almost entirely rebuilt by women during the Second World War. The river boat pilots on the Thames knew the story, although they didn’t know how they knew it: as they passed under Waterloo Bridge tour guides would always tell tourists the story of the women who had worked on it. The story had been handed down orally, but did not appear to have been documented, and so wasn’t classed as “official history”. Karen was astonished that this wasn’t part of any official record, and so – somewhat optimistically, as she admits – started to try and track down the truth.
Health business Isansys Lifecare has developed a wireless system that allows doctors to monitor patients at all times from anywhere. Revolutionising monitoring of patients A groundbreaking monitoring system developed by Isansys Lifecare that receives signals from wireless sensors on a patient is being shipped to hospitals around the world. The patient status engine receives patients’ vital signs from wearable wireless sensors. It lets healthcare providers monitor patients at all times, in real time, wherever they are, allowing speedier detection of changes in their condition. Researchers and clinicians are also using data from the system to investigate improved treatments for a host of conditions. System trialled at Birmingham Children's Hospital The patient status engine and Lifetouch wireless heart monitor – one of the system’s key sensors – were first trialled at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, Aston University and McLaren Applied Technologies. The Health Innovation Challenge Fund awarded £1.8 million for the three-year trial. Abingdon-based Isansys launched the second generation of the system in 2016. It has shipped it to hospitals in Scotland, Germany, Norway and India, and continues to process orders from all over the world. This case study has been republished under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Savings result: 19.9% £239k An education establishment client with a baseline spend of £1.2M Occupational Health services including pre-screening health checks, ongoing health services and health insurance.
Applying chrome-based coatings has proved a very effective way of protecting aerospace systems and components from corrosion over the 40-year life of a typical aircraft. Unfortunately, these ‘hexavalent chrome’ compounds also cause cancer and are prone to damage the respiratory system, kidneys, liver, skin and eyes. The process is being phased out from 2017 under European REACH (registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals) legislation. That poses particular problems for smaller companies who lack the resources and scientific knowledge to research and develop alternatives – and it’s often their employees who need protecting most. The Challenge So 3 years ago Innovate UK offered up to £2 million funding for companies throughout the aerospace supply chain to get together to address the issues. The engineering and physical sciences research council was a co-founder of the project, which involved 17 partners, including 3 universities. The project aimed to: Establish new, common test methodologies for surface protective coatings Identify and demonstrate hexavalent chrome-free surface protection systems Improve science-based understanding of the coatings, surfaces and how to optimise them Set up a knowledge management and dissemination system The Consortium Rolls-Royce led the successful consortium exploring chemical processes that might offer alternative and viable ways to provide similar anti-corrosion properties. Among the participants was Birmingham-based SME Ashton & Moore, who started in the aerospace industry through applying coatings to fighter aircraft components during World War II. Dr. Keith Tucker, managing director, said: “Hexavalent chrome is in about 80% of things that we do. We hold approvals for 27 different prime contractors. If they don’t want their supply base to be drastically reduced, we must coordinate our efforts to find a common solution. “As a relatively small company with 100 people and a turnover of £3-4 million we don’t have the budget to do this kind of in-depth scientific research. “The project was really good because it kept us up to date with everything the primes were looking at. the sooner we know which way they are going to go; the more time we have to react.” Everyone appreciated that if they could point the way to new protective treatments and design practices, the UK would be in a strong position to influence international standards – and win global business. As hoped, with companies of all sizes supported by high-calibre academic thinking, a number are collaborating on allied topics. The aerospace industry has to apply very stringent safety considerations to any new or substitute technology. Brian Norton, managing director of Indestructible paint at Sparkhill in Birmingham, outlined the problem: “There are 8,000 parts in a car, but 3 million in an aircraft. It doesn’t matter too much if a car rusts. But if you get a rusty plane … well, there are no lay-bys at 35,000 feet. “To change a design concept is very difficult. And aircraft are built from such things as an aluminum body, a magnesium gearbox on an engine, steel and alloy turbine parts that spin. each of those uses a different chromate. “if you see a new airbus before being painted, it’s green. that’s strontium chromate. the project has dealt with strontium chromate paints and primers – and hard chrome plating on axles too.” Bryan Allcock, of Monitor coatings, based in North shields, Tyne and Wear, said the project had achieved all its major milestones: “As a business, we are more enlightened than we were before – on the legislation and the available alternatives. “Do we have a definitive solution? We’re probably a bit way off that yet. But that was never an objective of this project, which was to move things forward, put the REACH legislation into perspective from a technical and commercial point of view. “Without Innovate UK, it definitely wouldn’t have happened in the same way and it would have taken a lot longer. We are unpacking a piece of legislation, trying to find a technical solution, and you need to be incredibly focused and coordinated.” The consortium partners were: Rolls-Royce plc, Agusta Westland, Ashton & Moore, BAe systems (operations) Ltd, short Brothers plc, Ge Aviation systems, Goodrich Actuation Systems Ltd, Granta Design Ltd, Indestructible paint Ltd, Meggitt Aerospace Ltd, Messier Dowty Ltd, Monitor coatings Ltd, Poeton Industries Ltd, Aero engine controls. The academic partners were the universities of Loughborough, Manchester and Southampton. This case study was originally published in Innovate UK: Aerospace SME case studies, 2015 and is reproduced here under the Open Government Licence v 3.
A 3D growing system devised by a UK business has been shown to increase crop productivity by 3-to-4 times and cut labour costs by 50%. Horticultural business Saturn Bioponics has developed a new system that can grow more crops in a defined space and grow them faster. The modular system lets growers cultivate ground crops in layers. As well as increasing crop density, this makes cultivating and harvesting cleaner and easier, reducing labour costs up to 50% and producing almost 100% saleable yield. With precise hydroponic management, growers can maximise water and nutrient efficiency within the system’s closed loop – potentially gaining 30% more crop cycles in each 12-month period. They can also manipulate colour, flavour and shelf life. Investment in the technology pays back in 1-to-4 years through increased profitability. Innovate UK is funding the development of unique in-line sensing technology to further enhance the capabilities. International growers interested in system One major UK pak choi grower has achieved consistent yield of 11.5kg per square metre using the Saturn Grower. Average pak choi yield is 3kg/m2. International growers are interested, including from China – the world’s largest market for such technology. This case study has been republished under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Hibi Racs is a blogger, cookery teacher, community worker, and is training to be a nutritional therapist. After a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, she underwent a series of physical and financial challenges that left her wanting to challenge the idea that eating healthily is expensive and difficult. As part of her work with the Shoreditch Trust, a charity based in the East End of London which works to reduce social and economic disadvantage, Hibi started writing about food and nutrition. She decided to turn her knowledge and experience into a business, so starting in September 2015 she set up the How To Eat For Less website.