MID and WEST WALES Fire and Rescue Service says it is pleased to announce that it is progressing into Phase 2 of its GovTech Catalyst challenge.
Phase 1 of the GovTech Catalyst challenge involved 5 companies who were each awarded up to £50,000 to develop location tracking technology in order to enhance firefighter safety within buildings. Following a highly competitive process, Phase 2 will provide funding for the two successful organisations, Oxon Tech / Greeve Systems and Brandwidth, as they progress to the next stage of the Challenge.
Under the terms of Phase 2, Oxon Tech / Greeve Systems and Brandwidth will continue to work with MAWWFRS to further develop and refine their solutions to track firefighters within building and structures in real-time. Both organisations will now be eligible to apply for up to £500,000, including VAT, to further develop this ground-breaking technology over the course of the next 12 months.
The GovTech Catalyst challenge aims to enable real-time tracking of firefighters within buildings and structures by developing technology to answer the following four questions:
1.How can we enable instantly deployable real-time tracking of Firefighters within buildings and prevailing hazards at unknown locations?
2.How can we deploy mobile technology to allow the tracking of Firefighters which can instantly create a ‘digital network’ to share information at all incident locations?
3.How can we provide a software solution which improves the way we collect and share information with other Emergency Responders and partner agencies?
4.How can we present a real-time 3D map of operational environments, using virtual and augmented reality technologies, to enhance operational safety and post-incident review?
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Roger Thomas said, “We have grasped this opportunity to utilise funding from the GovTech Catalyst challenge to reduce operational risk and further enhance the safety and wellbeing of our firefighters.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is looking forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with Oxon Tech / Greeve Systems and Brandwidth to develop a product that will help us realise our vision, to be a world leader in emergency response and community safety.”
MAWWFRS Programme lead for the GovTech Catalyst challenge, Group Manager Steve McLinden said “I am delighted to be able to continue our work with Oxon Tech / Greeve Systems and Brandwidth following the successful progress which was made within Phase 1 of the challenge. We are looking forward to further developing our professional partnership with both teams to evolve this pioneering, lifesaving safety solution. The complexity and difficultly of this technical innovation should not be under-estimated, however, we are extremely confident that we will be able to develop commercially viable solutions over the next 12 months.”
Jason Jones, CEO, Brandwidth, said: “Winning one of the two final spots in this process, which saw us compete against defence contractors, incumbent firefighter OEMs and engineering specialists, is a huge validation of our agile, innovation-led approach.
It’s been a humbling experience working with the Mid and West Wales Fire Service, and we’re delighted to have built such a strong partnership with them. Our close relationship has enabled us to create a cutting-edge, potentially life-saving solution to their everyday challenges.”
Chris Murray, Tech Lead, Oxon Tech / Greeve Systems, said: “Oxon Tech is delighted to be supporting this exciting project, alongside collaboration partners Greeve Systems and Dynium Robot. Wherever IT meets extreme use cases is always a fascinating area to be working in, and we’re looking forward to bringing our combined experience to the table to solve this incredibly worthwhile challenge.”