A series of innovative creative and digital projects have been awarded a cash injection this morning, as 10 Greater Manchester agencies share a £700k grant.
The aim of the Creative and Digital Launchpad is to stimulate the development of the sector, and the board felt that all the projects had potential for growth.
“The aim of this Launchpad is to draw companies, investment and people into the Greater Manchester creative and digital cluster and encourage networking and co-operation. Innovative SMEs that might not be able to develop their product without support will get access to a programme that includes funding for their R&D projects, as we want to help the whole cluster in Manchester to grow,” stated Nigel Walker, head of access to finance at the Technology Strategy Board, which runs the Launchpad in association with the Business Growth Hub.
The chosen projects are:
1. Digital Bridge by Shortbite Ltd from Salford.
They aim to develop an automated process to convert pictures and video into digital models, which would be of use in architecture, real estate, retail and oil/gas exploration. This would used augmented and virtual reality. Ultimately the hope is to make the process more cost-effective, efficient and quicker than creating the models manually.
2. Interactive Projected Displays ROI by Hardy & Ellis Inventions Ltd.
The Displays will be able to transform any surface in a room into a computer interface. No more mobile devices or tablets for applications, instead you could create a digital cocktail menu to order in noisy bars, or develop safety overlays for high risk industries and way finding for tourism.
3. EventBeat SaaS by EventBeat Ltd from Stockport.
This broadcasts social media comments and pictures onto screens displayed at live events to encourage interaction, build engagement – and generate revenue through advertising.
The cash will be used to take it to the next level – a self-service platform to help event organisers create branded or animated feeds and upload content from asset libraries and schedule their own digital ads.
4. Automating Knowledge in the Cloud by Empiricom Technologies Limited from Manchester
Described as “a knowledge acquisition interview tool” to help organisations unlock human knowledge and manage decisions by providing a structured interview technique and exhaustively documenting an individual’s entire expertise on any subject.
SOLAR Acquire can then create and distribute that knowledge through apps in mobile platforms and e-learning.
5. Impact by Reason Digital from Manchester
This has been developed to help customers gauge a company’s ethics using an online software package to record corporate social responsibility, participation in company-wide programmes and individual contributions, to visually monitor social impact.
6. User generated meta-data (POC) by Movobi Ltd from Stockport
The Movobi platform works by capturing date about on-screen information and the presenting it via clickable screen shots. It’s used for companies looking to obtain more intelligent information about on screen items, such as products, that have not only been purposefully placed on websites but also provides a new approach for gathering information about online user interaction with these products. This is done through mass tagging of shared images with intelligent filtering and has also been optimised for mobile. That means if you watch a film, like the set or the outfit, it can capture that data for you.
7. Tick by Tickvantage Limited from Manchester
Tick hopes to take online security to the next level, by evolving the process of authentication beyond just a username/password.
Tick can use any mobile (not just the smartphone) to offer multiple channels of authentication for an individual, organisation and products.
8. Moneystream by Play Creative Limited (trading as Play) from MediaCityUK
This is a digital finance product, which combines personal financial activity with multiple external data sources of information to provide both a meaningful analysis of past behaviour, and guidance on future decision making.
It monitors where users go and what they do, with the aim of helping individuals make smarter decisions to improve their financial life.
9. Retrofit design and assessment tool by the Society for the Reduction of Carbon Ltd (trading as Carbon Co-op) from Chorlton
The partnership of creative digital design companies are developing a house retrofit design and assessment tool to help home owners and developers undergo large scale home energy efficiency refits.
The tool will be integrated and automated with increasing standardisation of information management and data transfer to reduce costs and increase capacity, to unlock a new market for the construction industry in the UK.
10. Social Hosted TV by iBurbia Studios Manchester Ltd from MediaCityUK–
The project is creating a service to deliver web and social media devices, like recommendations and sharing, into TV set to boxes and Smart TVs.
The service would be sold via the set-top boxes or web sites of the free-to-air companies.
“We will now go on to work with the winning companies to help them develop their ideas and to prepare for further investment and, just as importantly, we will also be continuing to work with all of the companies that entered this competition, to make sure that they are able to access the funding and specialist support services that will support and drive their future growth,” said Richard Jeffery, director of the Business Growth Hub.
Each of the projects will receive up to 60% of their development funded by the programme.