Edinburgh tech firm develops tool to help make workplaces Covid safe
Data Innovation.AI, which is based in Edinburgh, is investing further in the development of its WorkSafeAI technology having secured an additional Innovate UK grant.
The firm’s artificial intelligence-driven bio-safety assessment tool is aimed at combating the spread of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. It is designed to ensure that the £130 billion of commercial property built in the UK every year is pre-assessed for pandemic safety.
Funding was granted to the firm through Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund, after it enlisted the support of The Data Lab’s external funding service to help with the application.
Innovate UK executive chair Ian Campbell said: “Data Innovation.AI’s work, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development.”
The tool can inform the design and construction of facilities to ensure the health and well-being of workers, while supporting the sustainable long-term use of the building itself, even in the event of a future outbreak.
Robert Walker, chief advocacy officer at Data Innovation.AI, said: “Covid-19 has revealed risks inherent in large structures where people congregate for work, business and leisure.
“In the same way we design buildings for fire safety, air quality and water safety, we must now consider the continuous health of occupants, including infections transmitted through the workplace.
“As we return to our workplaces, these bio-safety issues will become ever more important, and we just need to look at the southern hemisphere which has largely avoided its flu season due to the same measures being used to counter Covid-19.”
Chief operating officer Craig Fenton said: “Future buildings cannot be designed and built the way they have been in the past.
“WorkSafeAI assesses building designs through extensive simulation, human movement modelling, infection modelling, and uses artificial intelligence [AI] to assess the risks to occupants’ health and wellbeing.
“As we have found with Covid-19, AI is essential to work through all the epidemiological models and building engineering to provide a comprehensive assessment of the suitability of a building design to minimise infection risk and maximise facility operation – protecting the health of building occupants while ensuring sustainable use of the facility.”
Adam Turner, external funding service lead at The Data Lab, added: “We were more than happy to support Data Innovation.AI with its application for additional grant funding for this key expansion to their services.
“It’s great to see the team leveraging the services of both The Data Lab and our partners at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to support their ongoing development.”
Earlier this year, The Data Lab launched its external funding service to aid Scottish companies in their quest to unlock available grant funding. To date, the team has supported more than 60 Scottish companies in securing in excess of £8 million in data related innovation funding.
The Data Lab has hubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness from where it “fosters innovation through collaboration, builds skills and grows talent, and champions Scotland’s data science community”.
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