Edinburgh data firm Topolytics bags major contract

From left: Alastair Hanlon, chief commercial officer of PragmatIC, and Michael Groves of Topolytics. Picture: gavinpriestley.com.
From left: Alastair Hanlon, chief commercial officer of PragmatIC, and Michael Groves of Topolytics. Picture: gavinpriestley.com.
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Edinburgh-based data analytics firm Topolytics has won a £500,000 contract to build the UK’s first digital waste tracking system in a project billed as “truly ground-breaking”.

The system will monitor and analyse all waste transactions across the UK every year and will enable the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and environmental regulators to generate an up-to-date view of patterns of waste movements, enable better oversight, drive improvements in the waste system and support efforts to counter waste crime.

It will track waste from households, local authorities, businesses and the construction sector, and will tackle data from many sources, including invoicing records, weighbridge and bin-weighing systems, vehicle telematics, “internet of bins” sensors, and smart labelling systems.

The contract is administered by Defra under the UK GovTech Catalyst programme and Topolytics will work again with the Ordnance Survey and new partners Google Cloud and SAP to build a working version of a data-driven tracking system. Additionally, a key collaborator will be PragmatIC, whose radio frequency identification labels will be used to track the movement of used tyres.

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Topolytics founder and chief executive Michael Groves said: “This is a truly ground-breaking project and one that we are proud to be working on. It will transform waste regulation and the industry in the UK and has significant international potential.

"It further validates our use of machine learning, mapping, sensor systems and cutting-edge software to enable the waste industry to maximise the utility of materials and enable the circular economy.”