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Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, has marked the launch of a revolutionary new product which has been developed through a unique collaboration between two innovative EU-funded projects.
Swansea University’s ASTUTE (Advanced Sustainable manUfacturing Technologies) project and Bangor University’s SEACAMS (Sustainable Expansion of the Applied Coastal and Marine Sectors in Wales) project showcased the Daily Diary tag at a free business breakfast at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium.
The Daily Diary tag, which primarily tracks the movements of marine and land animals, but can also track people, has been developed by Wildbyte Technologies Ltd – a spin out company established in 2012, from Swansea University’s Swansea Laboratory for Animal Movement (SLAM) research group.
The Spring Forward: Manufacturing your next profit in style using 3D prototyping/printing breakfast event was aimed at demonstrating to other Welsh businesses in the Convergence area how such collaborations between academia and industry can support them to become more competitive. The event was opened by Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, who is also the Minister for EU Structural Funds.
She said: “I am delighted to hear that the collaboration with the ASTUTE and SEACAMS projects has enabled the commercialisation of the Daily Diary technology. This is an excellent example of how we can maximise the impact of EU Structural Funds to meet the goals of our Programme for Government, and ensure we support innovative investments which help drive forward growth in Welsh companies in partnership with our highly acclaimed academic institutions.”
Initially developed as a research tool by Swansea University’s SLAM research group, the Daily Diary is a tag which uses sophisticated electronics to monitor the movement and behavior of animals in their environment. It records information in multiple channels at very high rates (multiple times per second) to give a detailed picture of where the animal is in its environment and how it behaves.
The information recorded varies according to the animal fitted with the tag, but it always consists of at least acceleration, magnetic field strength, pressure, and temperature.
The electronic circuitry of the Daily Diary has been gradually developed and tested over the past five to 10 years, but to bring the product to market, a well-designed and tested housing was required to provide a strong, robust ‘case’, custom-designed to contain the electronic circuitry and related components and that could be attached to different animal species while minimising impact to the animal in terms of its shape, size, and weight.
The SLAM research group needed access to engineering expertise to design and produce such housing and so approached the SEACAMS project to assist with 3D modeling and manufacturing designs for the first commercial products, which then enabled Wildbyte Technologies Ltd to be formed.
The SEACAMS project then introduced Wildbyte Technologies to ASTUTE for assistance, primarily through their design expertise, their advanced computational fluid dynamics knowledge, and their state-of-the-art 3D printing facilities, allowing them to respond to requirements in very short time frames.
This was an ideal opportunity to harness their expertise to design and produce the Daily Diary housing prototype and 3D models of Daily Diary housings.
Professor Johann Sienz, Project Director of ASTUTE and Nicole Esteban, Project Manager of SEACAMS, said: “We are delighted to be part of this multidisciplinary collaboration between two European funded projects. It is very exciting to bring our combined technical expertise and equipment to support Wildbyte Technologies Ltd with their Daily Diary development with its huge potential, and at the same time to collaborate across projects, thereby combining the fundamental, unique expertise from a range of academics across Swansea University with the in-depth knowledge of our project officers.
“This collaboration has been able to deliver on a very short timescale, thus enabling the company to progress quickly and get their product to market.”
Dr Mark Holton, Director of Wildbyte Technologies said: “It is difficult to have all aspects of technical capability under one umbrella and so the collaboration between Wildbyte Technologies, SEACAMS and ASTUTE has propelled us forward in terms of readiness and ability to produce our first complete, housed Daily Diary units, in such a short space of time. We really appreciate the assistance provided and hope that we can continue to work together in this field.
“We are also grateful to the Early Stage Development Fund (ESDF) A4B project, which funded the production of the first 10 electronic devices used for testing. Future developments will look at increasing the capabilities of our existing device technology to allow longer term sensor monitoring, radio telemetry, and pushing into more challenging environments.”
Watch a video on the 'Spring Forward: Manufacturing your next profit in style using 3D prototyping/printing' event here, including interviews with Professor Rory Wilson (Wildbyte Technologies Ltd), Nicole Esteban (SEACAMS), and Professor Hans Sienz (ASTUTE) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCl4Ez-EedI.
For more information visit:
Swansea University’s SLAM research group – http://www.swan.ac.uk/biosci/research/smart/
The ASTUTE project – http://astutewales.com/en/
The SEACAMS project – http://www.swan.ac.uk/seacams/
Or email Wildbyte Technologies Ltd at email@example.com.
- Thursday 18 April 2013 01.00 BST
- Wednesday 24 April 2013 17.21 BST
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 295049