Plus X Brighton
In times of unprecedented and turbulent change, it is a commendable step forward to focus on the future of innovation for your business. For this reason, we are taking this opportunity to tell the stories of the bold and ambitious businesses that make up BRITE cohort one.
BRITE (Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange) is an ERDF funded business support programme in partnership with The University of Brighton. The programme supports ambitious and scaling businesses in the Coast to Capital region (however applications are considered from outside the area). Want to find out more about BRITE and how it can help your business? Watch the film here.
From developing the new GPS to improving the experience of the healthcare system using VR, here’s some of the disruptive innovators currently on BRITE…
The ubiquity of smartphones and smart cameras has changed how shoppers buy, transforming the retail experience. Retailers and their marketing teams are getting to grips with developing strategies to meet this long-term change in behaviour towards ‘contact-free’ shopping and build experiences that meet shoppers’ needs. The ongoing shift to online shopping has only been accelerated by COVID-19. Retailer marketing teams are faced with meeting the challenges this raises but must also take advantage of the new opportunities this presents.
To meet this challenge, Percept Imagery is enabling personalised shopping experiences that blend the online and real worlds. Percept Imagery has developed a unique augmented reality platform called Sprie® that enables retailers to personalise online shopping experiences by allowing shoppers to try products in the real world before buying them. The AR solution easily integrates into eCommerce websites or social pages making AR more accessible and requiring no app download.
Winner of the Plus X Disruptors competition, MarinaTex is a home-compostable material designed as an alternative to some single-use plastic. Comprised of biological waste from the fishing industry and organic binders sourced from the sea, the material biodegrades in 4-6 weeks in a home-compostable environment.
The project began by utilising waste from fish processing plants. The UN predict that 50 million tonnes of fish waste is produced annually, worldwide. Through research and experiments, the material developed into a potential alternative to plastic film. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.
Created as part of founder Lucy Hughes’ Undergraduate project from December 2018 – May 2019, the material is in the early stages of R&D, but its potential has been recognised by The 2019 International James Dyson Award and most recently, has won the D&AD Future Impact award.
Storganise create tailored software for businesses. They help businesses identify areas in their processes that haven’t kept up with the company’s growth; create something streamlined and intuitively easy to use, saving the company time and money.
Storganise set out to help to scale-up, partnerships with other companies and support agencies (eg grant funding for R&D for clients) and support in improving routes to market.
23 Digital is a video agency that has transformed itself this year. They supercharge story telling for clients, but the impacts of the pandemic opened up opportunities for them to pivot and fast forward their thirst for innovation that had been bubbling away alongside their traditional video production work. All things digital (virtual events, animations, 3D motion graphics, live streaming, webcasts, etc) have taken off for them. They are also starting to collaborate with various partners to help large organisations transition into a new digital age, so if you have any transformational digital products or services, their ears are open.
Tom, founder of Gusto.film started his self-employed journey in 2010 as a “yes-man” freelance filmmaker – taking on anything and everything to build a portfolio, a network and to be able to move out of his parents’ house.
After 9 years of freelance life, working closely with blue-chip and grassroots brands as their nimble do-it-all video producer, he decided he wanted to build a team. Partly to create more of an agency footprint in Brighton and partly to share the awesome experience that is working in video production… with other awesome creatives around him.
Gusto.film was born Jan 2019 and it’s been kicking and screaming ever since. They’re now a team of 5 and describe themselves as the video production agency for brands that uncap the human spirit. Aside from continuing to push limits in the traditional live-action and animation content space – they’re going to be branching into two additional categories: Emerging tech (360, VR, AR content) and also software tools for filmmakers and video agencies.
“After being pulled into Plus X’s tractor beam of workplace utopia and basing our HQ here, we joined the BRITE programme to be able to achieve these ambitions at pace and in an environment where progress and evolution is all around us.” – Tom, Founder
The new GPS. Naurt is a software tool for developers to use to have 150 X improvement in tracking accuracy over GPS. Naurt can work out what pocket your phone is within. They don’t want to disrupt the logistics, transport and autonomous agent markets. Their goal is to enable companies in that space to disrupt their market by using Naurt. Naurt is an enterprise-level tool and soon will be a SaaS platform. They anticipate corporates or developers will use Naurt within their applications and use cases. Operating as a subscription or on a usage basis, they will enable the next generation of tracking, becoming the new GPS.
Naurt’s software can connect to any hardware, drone, smartphone, robotics, factory robotics, 3D printers for buildings etc. Soon will be able to track objects as well with our chipsets like parcels, shipping containers, equipment, construction equipment, materials, fire and rescue people etc. Naurt will unlock the ability for smart cities to come to life, from optimising movement within the city (people & goods), as well as knowing what is happening within the city in real-time.
Control Freq utilises mobile technology to create revenue-generating products and services to solve technical problems for a range of industries and applications. Since 2007, pivot after pivot, their e-commerce presence has formed the backbone to sell mobile technology online while building a trade customer base and commercial client list who trust them to help solve their problems.
Their ambitions are to create products and services that generate recurring revenue. Since day one, the goal was to create an access control system based on mobile technology, designed specifically for secure gated parking. Over the past 3 years, this has been playing out in the on-demand parking industry AKA ‘The Airbnb of Parking’. Control Freq as become an invaluable cog in the operations of the two biggest players in the online parking marketplace in the UK. They would like to refine the products, operations and services by growing my team to eventually replicate globally through a partner network.
Control Freq started their business journey at the U+I worthwhile project “FIELD” which was based at Preston Barracks before work on Plus X began. In the worlds of founder, Noel – “I started at Field, I’ll finish at Plus X.”
Hatsumi initially intended to be the PhD of founder, Sarah Ticho, who founded the business in 2018. The inspiration came from her own experience of navigating the health system. She became fascinated with combining participatory art with immersive technologies to help patients better articulate and understand their own experience. By adapting an existing arts and health research method; body mapping, into a virtual reality experience they are extending its capabilities. Hatsumi’s aims are to improve patient-doctor communication; develop new approaches to research on sensory experience and develop new ways to engage the public in conversation around invisible experiences like pain and mental health.
“The BRITE programme enables us to obtain a rare kind of cross-industry support that is vital to the success of Hatsumi through their connections to the creative, business and academic community. I am looking forward to diving into creating new business models for distributing creative immersive technologies into healthcare, and further examining both the scientific and strategic design behind the company. I also hope to expand my creative skillset through meeting and hopefully collaborating with other makers and founders -and intend to make plenty of use of their virtual reality and maker spaces to test out new ideas.”