Five organisations have successfully progressed to the first
phase of the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) Gov Tech
With the ambition to develop location tracking technology,
in order to keep firefighting crews safe within buildings and structures, each
organisation has been awarded up to £50,000, including VAT, to take existing
technologies and combine them to develop a solution which can be used by all
emergency responders at live incidents.
The application process for the Gov Tech Challenge
Competition commenced on 15th October 2018 and ran until 21st
November. On Monday, 4th March 2019, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob
Quin formally awarded contracts to five organisations to participate in the
first phase of the competition.
The successful applicants are: Greeve Ltd, Brandwidth Ltd,
STS Defence Ltd, Oxon Tech Ltd and DIREK Ltd.
This first phase of the competition will run for 3 months
before the field of competitors will be narrowed down to two organisations. The
two successful organisations will then proceed to the second phase of the
competition and will be eligible to apply for up to £500,000, including VAT,
and will continue to work with MAWWFRS for the following 12 months to develop
this ground-breaking technology.
The Gov Tech Challenge Competition, to enable real-time
tracking of Firefighters within buildings and structures, is set out in 4
1.How can we enable instantly deployable real-time tracking
of Firefighters within buildings and their proximity to prevailing hazards at
previously 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?
Group Manager Steve McLinden, T20-Digital Programme Manager
for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said, “MAWWFRS are extremely
impressed with the quality of the 49 applications received for the challenge.
The five companies selected have done extremely well in offering innovative but
realistic solutions to enable tracking of firefighters within buildings at
operational incidents. As the challenge owner, I am looking forward to working
in partnership with the successful companies during the first phase of the
challenge. I am confident MAWWFRS will be able to pioneer the development of
this important safety enhancement for our firefighters and the wider first
responder community with the continued support of the GovTech and SBRI teams.”
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob Quin said, “This is an
exciting and innovative journey that we as a Fire and Rescue Service are
embarking upon. The safety and wellbeing of our firefighters are
paramount. I’m delighted, therefore, to
be working with the Small Business Research Initiative and GovTech Catalyst to
encourage industry experts to further enhance the level of protection that we
provide to these brave firefighters.”
Andrew Ayling Head of R&D and CTO, Brandwidth Ltd said,
"Brandwidth is delighted to be partnering with Mid and West Fire and
Rescue Service to develop an exciting new innovation – leveraging AR technology
to pinpoint firefighter locations in emergency situations. Our team specialise in delivering practical
yet transformation answers for our clients through a combination of creativity,
technology and data, that in this instance will serve to enhance the safety of
firefighters and first responders, whilst improving their ability for optimum
performance in the most challenging of environments."
FiRST – Firefighter Rescue & Support Technology ® Business Development Manager, Robert
Matthews, at STS Defence said “We applaud MAWWFRS for this initiative for the
development of a solution for Location Tracking Technology to increase
firefighter safety and welfare. The support provided by Gov Tech and MAWWFRS
will help STS Defence Research and Technology team work with our technology
partners, alongside the other four successful winning teams, to ensure a
successful outcome for MAWW to the next phase, leading to a National and
International success story.”
Click here to view a video of an overview
of the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service GovTech Catalyst Competition
information, regarding the GovTech Catalyst innovation challenge, please follow
this link https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/253/overview