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

A Glasgow start-up is seeking investment to target the global space industry as it develops technology to boost connectivity in remote areas.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.”

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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.”