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Cumbrian small business wins BT competition

Invisible Systems at BT Tower

[S]tart-up Disruptive Technologies from Norway and established company Invisible Systems from Cumbria have been named as joint winners of BT’s latest Infinity Lab competition aimed at discovering business transformation solutions in the Internet of Things.

The competition attracted entries from almost 100 SMEs from the UK and overseas with several themes emerging around the potential application of future IoT based technologies. These included Buildings; Asset Tracking; Warehouse; Fleet; Data and Platforms and Sensor/Networks.

Disruptive Technologies’ sensor solution caught the eye of the judges for its use in buildings to monitor factors such as energy efficiency, security and how best to utilise space. BT believes that their micro sensors could be used for a wide variety of applications relating to building operations. This might include seat occupancy and granular temperature monitoring as well as user initiated actions like alerting suppliers when paper is running low. Invisible Systems’ technology features a range of low power wireless intelligent sensors and a cloud based real-time online monitoring solution. The technology is aimed at helping businesses save money and achieve regulatory compliance.

BT is interested in these technologies as a potential IoT based solution for buildings which currently lack a building management system (BMS). This is typically used to control and monitor equipment such as ventilation, lighting and power as well as fire and security systems. Such critical factors need to be continuously monitored in a data centre environment, for example, which is a potential application of Invisible Systems’ technology.

Marian Kost, Chief Sales Officer, Disruptive Technologies, said: “We are very honoured and amazed to receive this prize from BT. We’re really looking forward to collaborating in the delivery of digital insights, and working with BT to transform and digitise businesses.”

Pete Thompson, Managing Director, Invisible Systems, said: “We feel very privileged and proud to be a winner of the BT Infinity Lab competition. The benefits to Invisible Systems are numerous, from mentoring to development of innovative new products, increased business and job creation. We’re really looking forward to the journey of working with BT – a real win/win opportunity!”

Chris Sims, MD marketing and IoT at BT said: “We were amazed by the quality of entries and the fact that we have chosen two winners, offering very different sets of products, shows the breadth and standard of the finalists. IoT enables us to deepen our relationships with our customers, working with a host of innovative partners. The BT Infinity Lab competition has highlighted a range of companies who we can work with going forward through our ventures businesses in particular.”

BT announced the two winners after a Dragon’s Den style pitch session held at the BT Tower, believed to be the tallest building in the world to house an IoT base station. Judges included, from BT, Chris Sims, MD of marketing & IoT, Nick Hale, MD of ventures and Steve Best, MD of wholesale products and portfolio strategy. David Rayner, electronics and communications specialist from the UK’s Department for International Trade and Jessica Ellis, smart city consultant were also on the panel.

Winners will receive access to BT’s award winning research and development labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich. They’ll also gain a six month membership to TechHub’s global entrepreneur community, workspace and support programme. To kick-start their business idea, all the UK finalists have also been invited to attend the trade mission to TC3 in California in November, a two day event for telecommunications companies, major vendors and start-ups, courtesy of the UK’s Department for International Trade. The event will provide networking opportunities and an opportunity to pitch products to attendees.

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