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Innovate UK backs firefighter tracker tech


Innovate UK has launched a competition for the development of technologies to track the movements of firefighters on operations.

The national innovation agency is making a total of £1.25 million available for projects aimed at providing accurate data on where firefighters are at all times.

It is the latest in a series of competitions under the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), with the money coming from the £20 million GovTech Catalyst fund, and is being run with the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Innovate UK said the proposed solutions have to:

  • be instantly deployable at unfamiliar locations;
  • operate on a self-contained mobile secure local network;
  • provide real time data about a firefighter’s horizontal and vertical location, including the room they’re in and the floor;
  • allow seamless sharing across multiple agencies, using local and remote software platforms;
  • present real time data in 3D using augmented reality or holographic technology.

Up to five projects will receive shares of £250,000 for feasibility studies that will have to deliver a detailed design package with technical and commercial specifications for the technology. Then under a second phase two projects will receive further contracts, worth up to £1 million in total, for prototype development and evaluation.

The competition is open for entries until 21 November, with organisations of any size being able to apply.

The GovTech Catalyst is making £20 million available over three years to support the development of new tech solutions for public authorities.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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