Glasgow IoT start-up targets multi-billion-pound satellite tech market

Kevin Quillien (left) and Allan Cannon founded R3-IoT last year. Picture: Contributed
Kevin Quillien (left) and Allan Cannon founded R3-IoT last year. Picture: Contributed
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A Glasgow start-up is seeking investment to target the global space industry as it develops technology to boost connectivity in remote areas.

R3-IoT, established last year by former Clyde Space colleagues Allan Cannon and Kevin Quillien, is undertaking a first round of fundraising as it looks to scale internationally in the multi-billion-pound internet of things (IoT) satellite market.

The start-up is currently working with Censis, the Scottish innovation centre for sensor and imaging systems and IoT, to develop a product capable of delivering IoT connectivity to some of the most remote parts of the world.

This would allow for the transfer of data from rural sensor networks to the cloud, via satellite, making data collection more timely, efficient and cost-effective.

The technology is aimed at industries that could benefit from access to real-time data from isolated operations, such as Scotland’s aquaculture, environmental monitoring, remote healthcare, and renewable energy industries.

Potential international markets include mining, oil and gas, logistics and industry 4.0, with a recent North Sky Research report estimating that the value of the “IoT via satellite” market would grow from $1.6 billion (£1.3bn) to $4 billion by 2028.

R3-IoT is also looking to capitalise on the ongoing commercial space race between the likes of SpaceX, Amazon, and OneWeb which is expected boost the competitiveness of space-based communication services. The start-up recently scooped the top prize of £100,000 at the Scottish Edge awards.

Co-founder and chief executive Cannon said: “Our model allows businesses to connect their most valuable assets in a seamless and cost-effective way that, in turn, provides access to high-value data with which they can make smarter decisions and cut costs.

“There is a huge market for this kind of service. Interest is growing in predominantly large enterprises across a range of sectors looking to make efficiencies or improve productivity through better access to data.

“They may even currently send someone in a plane or boat to collect the data, which is time-consuming, expensive, and the data itself is lagged by the time it’s delivered to decision-makers.

“We’ve had a lot of interest in our funding round as we look to take the business to the next stage.”

Craig Fleming, senior business development manager at Censis, added: “This project could bring a real game-changing technology to market, giving businesses the opportunity to understand their operations where previously it wasn’t technologically feasible or economically viable.

“What R3-IoT is doing underlines the transformative potential of IoT and the hidden value it can unlock in companies, whether they are tech-focused or operating in more traditional industries.”