Hillingdon Council targeted £2.15m of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funding to a small number of Hillingdon based businesses through the Hillingdon Enterprise Fund to support the long-term benefits of jobs and business growth. The Hillingdon Enterprise fund, which was project managed by West London Business, targeted the following sectors: green economy, innovation, aviation/supply chains, creative/media and high growth. The initiative has contributed towards the development of the London West Innovation District.
The following innovative projects, demonstrating an economic and/or employment benefit for Hillingdon were successful in receiving the grant:
AI Drivers is building on their vast experience of deploying autonomous vehicles in a variety of environments, by offering innovative, cost effective and sustainable solutions to industrial and customer needs. In this project AI Drivers will provide complete independence to passengers with mobility restrictions by developing a fully autonomous, electric wheelchair, thus affording mobility-restricted passengers the same freedom and accessibility that other airport passengers enjoy.
Armaros was founded by equestrian, fashion designer and innovator Esmeralda Bright who has brought together a team of 300 equestrians, sport scientist, physio therapists and engineers. With 15 years of experience in soft body armour Managing Director Andy Gregory and Esmeralda are breaking the trend of restrictive body protection. Armaros is creating a new golden standard for equestrian body protectors by developing a novel protective mesh material, to protect the spine and torso from hyper extending and dissipating impact while allowing a natural range of movement. The carefully designed mesh material comprises of naturally strong geometric shapes connected with a defined structure that allows and prevents movement as determined for the use case.
MARS Academy Hillingdon is a job creation project that intends to train the next generation of Virtual Production Specialists with a specialism in Sustainability and employment-ready Virtual Production skills to support this high growth and highly innovative field for the film industry. MARS Academy will be the culmination of Bild Studios’ extensive and highly specific industry experience, leveraged their unique vantage point to see the industry skills gap, and a real need to attain the sustainable future potential that Virtual Production brings the film industry. It is these elements that woven together form the innovation of the project – producing world-leading training to develop Virtual Production Specialists, right here in Hillingdon.
Bubbles will be a Bubble tea and bubble waffle café, catering for the local community, providing all ages a safe space and healthy food and drink. The focus will be on healthy products served in sustainable, eco-friendly packaging encouraging customers to embrace a ‘greener lifestyle’. Bubble’s initiative will be to transform the disposable culture associated with these products to a sustainable, environmentally friendly one.
The Central Research Laboratory supports tomorrow’s pioneers to meet the challenges of our time. We know that innovation is born of collaboration and CRL facilitates powerful connections between industry, startups and academia to speed up the development and adoption of new ground-breaking products and services. As part of this project CRL will create a new ‘Innovation Collaboration Toolkit’ taking our learnings and those of our network and turning them into a powerful guide for both startups and corporates to use to form better partnerships and deliver more impact through collaborative innovation.
Cryogenx are developing technology to help people live on a warmer planet. Our first product is a revolutionary new portable body cooling device for heat stress. Globally, 495,000 people die from heat stress every year, with many of these deaths attributed to climate change. In the UK alone, Public Health England projects a 257% increase in heat-related deaths by 2050. This is an inescapably growing issue that demands a rapid, tech led solution. Our technology overcomes the critical barriers of current treatment methods, and provides a lightweight, compact and portable treatment option, able to be used in any scenario.
Enayball is an electronic tool that enables anyone with a physical disability, including people with severe paralysis, to independently write and draw. 1.5 million people in the UK have limiting dexterity issues which impact their ability to use art equipment and over half of these people are wheelchair users. Access to art and the creative industries is underrepresented within disability groups. Enayball can be attached to a person’s wheelchair, drawing on the floor as the person moves the wheelchair, and it can also be used on a tabletop by hand, supporting people with dexterity issues. Enayball wants to become an industry leader in designing accessible products that enables people with disabilities greater freedom, creativity and independence.
Freeaim is dedicated to creating new immersive technologies to solve some of the biggest challenges that remain with virtual reality (VR). They are currently focused on creating a natural feeling, affordable, safe, and compact wearable technology to enable walking in VR. There have been other attempts to solve this with bulky and expensive products that have not been well received, and no one else has created a product suitable for the mass market. Freeaim intends to change this with their omni-directional VR smart-shoes which are more like mini-Teslas for feet, but look like shoes and feel like a gym treadmill.
Haes Tech is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of fire alarm system control equipment. They are developing a comprehensive communication solution to allow fire alarm panels to communicate with each other and with third-party services through wired and wireless connections. The communication solution will provide high reliability and low latency and be fail-safe.
hangAIR is the world’s-first, forward incliner that is scientifically designed for optimal and time-effective rest and recuperation to help people breathe, sleep and reset anywhere, anytime. hangAIR is using a multitude of techniques and technologies including custom hardware, users existing wearable tech, big-data and AI to create new methods for prevention, treatment and recovery from burnout, and aim to develop the world’s-first Smart Rocking Incliner (prone position), designed specifically to enhance and provide guided breathing, relieve back pain, improve sleep and memory consolidation, and reduce stress and anxiety.
market access support to health tech companies, enabled by the application of the latest computing technologies, to demonstrate the value proposition of new healthcare interventions to commissioners and payers such as the NHS. It brings together state of the art health evidence modelling, health economics, real time data collection and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into a new data science platform that sits alongside tools such as The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) META tool. Health innovation often misses a robust economic analysis that then directs both investment optimization and positioning of selling strategies. Considering current health systems under budgetary and manpower challenges, it is essential that all stakeholders can assess the benefits that a new medical technology can bring about.
This project will use novel AI techniques to better target medical technology interventions and learn from previous deployments.
J S Agriculture Limited (JSA), a National Landscape and Agricultural Contractor, based just 3 miles North of Heathrow Airport, have been carrying out landscape maintenance for over thirty years. J S Agriculture is one of the few specialist contractors operating agricultural and landscape machinery ‘airside’ in the UK. In line with Hillingdon’s and JSA’s own Sustainability agenda, JSA is in the process of changing all their machinery wherever possible away from fossil fuel to electric whilst at the same time looking to increase their potential to deliver additional specialist wildflower area seeding across the Borough, putting Hillingdon and neighbouring West London Councils at the forefront of delivering a sustainable and ecological approach.
Lady Electric is a female-led electrician service based in Hillingdon specializing in green technologies. This projects aims to expand the team of electricians so that more green initiatives (e.g. Electric Vehicle charging points and solar PV) can be delivered throughout the borough. The company plans to recruit female apprentices and staff where possible, to provide an entry point to the building trade for a more diverse audience. The company also seeks to promote a greener way of living through the use of smarter green technologies within residential and commercial properties, and they specialize in Electric Vehicle charging point installations aiming to encourage more people to install these at their properties and businesses.
Mediterranean Foods is a family run business established for 25 years, specialising in the manufacture of dips and snacks into the B2B sector, whose range is supplied as ingredient in bulk non branded format to the sandwich ready meals manufacturers & airline caterers. This project will be tailored towards developing a retail range that is plant-based, natural with added health benefits and reduced environmental impact. It will be targeted towards the consumer rather than B2B. Mediterranean Foods are one of few food manufacturers producing solely plant-based foods with no risks of cross contamination from dairy or meat, and believe that these USP’s will make their retail brand hugely successful.
Manual labour for vegetable harvesting has become the greatest current challenge for English growers, with the desperate shortage due to Covid-19,
Brexit and an overall decreasing willingness to carry out hard physical field labour. Muddy Machines Ltd was founded to address this issue by building robots that automate manual field work sustainably. A major English courgette grower, Barfoots of Botley, have requested MM turn their robotics skills to test the feasibility harvesting courgettes. This collaborative project will test the feasibility of completely novel grippers, computer vision and software for the complex harvesting of courgettes on MM’s field-robust robot.
Otermans Institute, an innovation in education SME, have created a cross-border training system for soft skills and professional development that is functional in 10+ countries, and have created multiple conversational AI teachers to further scale their training delivery and outreach. This will democratise their training and give everyone a one-to-one AI teacher in their pocket. They are now creating an AI-powered avatar which will translate spoken work/audio (live/recorded lessons, speeches, social media) into sign-language in real-time to open up digital content, particularly online learning content, for sign speakers. Through the Hillingdon Enterprise Fund, they hope to launch this Sign AI at production level for mainstream sign and hearing-impaired users with a focus on Hillingdon and London.
Pet Instincts develop smart home devices which improve the mental health of pets and their owners. With the ambition to improve the quality of life of our beloved companions like dogs, who have been found to improve joy hormone levels in our brain by 300% through short bonding times. Pet Instincts’ goal is to return the favour to our pets and ensure that their wellbeing is also maintained. Pet Instincts is developing a product system that allows pet owners to remotely care for their pet’s emotional happiness and safety at all times. Their technology and data enable dog owners to track, interact, adjust and learn from their dog’s home alone experience, setting Pet Instincts apart from the competition.
Plexus Systems are developing a unique virtual reality glove technology for online interaction with virtual worlds – the system allows people to use their hands freely to interact with virtual objects, in both virtual reality and augmented reality. Plexus Systems are targeting both consumer and enterprise use cases for VR and AR interaction technology.
Radiant Matter is developing colour and material solutions for the circular textiles economy. The start-up transforms naturally abundant cellulose into a material that produces shimmering structural colours, used to create sequins and glitter. The cellulose displays nature’s brightest colours and unlike traditional sequins, Radiant Matter’s sequins shimmering iridescence is free from chemical colourants, metals and minerals, and are non-toxic and can be made biodegradable.
Through human centric design and customer insights, Stix makes mindfulness fun for children by delivering mindful training in an engaging way and encouraging an ongoing practice with rewards. Made up of two handheld electronic devices and a supporting app, the Stix design allows for screen-free mindfulness practice, unlike other app-based mindfulness activities for children. Stix aims to ground its activities in research demonstrating the mental health benefits of mindfulness, and to build an empirical evidence-base for their efficacy in promoting mental health and wellbeing in children.
Thinking Additive is developing an integrated design and manufacturing digital tool able to generate an adequate orthotic solution/treatment matched with the users/patients data and needs after clinical prescription. The tool itself will be an open cloud-platform dynamically populated by the clinical experiences and practical protocols of the Orthotists. The platform will capitalise and rationalise clinical experiences to create a more standardised approach to make the treatments less operator dependent and more reliable.
West London Film Studios is an independently owned studio, soon to be one of the largest in London. The studio is in the process of building a new state of the art facility as an expansion to its current site. With this in mind, West London Film Studios is looking to upgrade their offerings at the existing studio to ensure it can work in unison with the new studio expansion. As part of the upgrades, there will be a focus on sustainability, crew training and technically advancing the facilities at WLFS, moving with the ever-changing technologies the industry has to offer.