Collaboration between Science Park tenants to create digital prototype for developing countries

A chance meeting at one of the popular SETsquared IGNITE events held at Southampton Science Park has facilitated an exciting collaboration between tenants BluPoint and UK Mobile Media.

Catalyst Centre tenant BluPoint has received funding from ‘New Economic Models in the Digital Economy’ (NEMODE) to fund the creation of a prototype of its BluPoint system and it has chosen fellow Southampton Science Park tenant UK Mobile Media to carry out the work.

BluPoint provides a physical access point to enable people in off-grid low resources communities to access free digital materials on their mobile phones alongside giving them the ability to create and share their own digital content within their communities.

UK Mobile Media will be carrying out the manufacturing of the prototype, the server software and the phone app and web applications. This will enable BluPoint to demonstrate and test the devices in workshops held during the upcoming research trips to rural Africa and India.

Mike Santer, Founder of BluPoint commented: “We are thrilled to have received this funding from NEMODE to enable us to test the technology in its intended environment.  After meeting the team at UK Mobile Media, we realised that there were real synergies between what BluPoint was looking to achieve and UK Mobile Media’s delivery of technical expertise in Wireless Networks and infrastructure. To have all the skills and expertise we need right on our doorstep here at Southampton Science Park is fantastic.”

Matt Poole, Founder of UK Mobile Media said: “We are currently in the first phase of the project which will see us produce a working prototype system that can be used to demonstrate the proof of concept. This is an exciting project for us to be involved with as it features two Science Park based companies working together on a piece of work that requires technical ingenuity. Once delivered, it will have a positive social impact on the developing countries it is designed to be used in.”

BluPoint has already seen grant success during their time at the Catalyst Centre having won funding in 2013 to sustain a 6 month research project that is seeing BluPoint travel to countries where its services could be of immense value to underprivileged and remote communities.

Did you know? NEMODE is a Research Councils UK (RCUK) initiative which aims to support innovative businesses in digital technologies. The ‘New Economic Models in the Digital Economy’ project aims to inform policy on issues pertaining to the digital economy and engage with SMEs to stimulate new ideas and the creation of new markets. It will also inform business sectors and large companies about the changes necessary to enable them to take advantage of the opportunities created by today’s technologies. For more, visit: