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Biometrics Start-Up Signs to Welsh Government’s Programme to Engage with Housing Associations

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A Swansea-based biometric technology start up is the first social enterprise to join the Welsh Government’s Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP), a £20m service aimed at creating more than 10,000 jobs for Wales.

Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme

The Alpha Trust (Global) Ltd is a not for profit organisation that is currently creating employment for a team of people with learning disabilities called The Assemblers. The team is building, testing and dispatching biometrics products, bringing world-leading fingerprint technology to the doors of homes across Wales. The Welsh Government’s Business Wales Accelerated Growth programme will provide a unique support package to help the team engage with Welsh Housing Associations, social landlords and Welsh Councils. They will be encouraging take-up of biometric technology which could improve security for tenants and save thousands of pounds every year.

Theprogramme is being delivered through a consortium lead by Winning Pitch and Impact Innovation who both have a proven track record as high growth specialists. The support will provide The Assemblers with access to professional advisory services to support the company’s growth and export potential. This advice is being provided by accredited consultant Asiant Capital, who has experience in helping third sector companies grow and scale up their operations.

Lee Cecil, CEO at Asiant Capital, commented:

“The Assemblers are building a patented technology that can help housing associations in Wales save thousands every year, so our first priority is to help speed up the adoption of this technology. But we’re also keen to help the Alpha Trust exploit its export potential, which will go on to create more jobs in South Wales for people with learning disabilities. As a result of our input so far, The Assemblers’ first Welsh contract is already under negotiation.

“I believe we need more companies like this in Wales joining the scheme, as social enterprises in Wales have huge growth potential. Not-for-profit businesses can not only grow and make money, but they do it for the benefit of local communities and society rather than shareholders. It’s a winwin for the Welsh economy and the Welsh people.”

The Alpha Trust’s Founder Devi Sohanta explains:

“I believe that this technology can change lives. Biometrics is simple to use and highly secure, making it ideal for use in care homes and in housing association properties. We trialled the technology with tenants of the Family Housing Association, Coastal Housing Group and Gwalia. We installed the Connective Touch Flexi unit and the tenants, who all had learning disabilities, found it very easy to use and felt safer with it on their door. I am so proud that this technology can help some of the more vulnerable members of society, and that we can employ this same group of individuals to make more units to help more people. This growth programme will help us achieve this ambition.

“Every time a housing association tenant loses a key, or vacates a property, the security of the home is compromised. New building regulations and the police initiative Secured by Design, means that it’s no longer as simple as changing a lock. A new door and lock must be installed. Fingerprint technology changes all that. There’s no key to lose, and on departure, a tenant’s details are simply deleted, and the new tenant’s details are added. I believe that biometrics, using fingerprints to unlock doors, is a fast, highly secure and permanent solution that makes life easier for tenants and the housing associations.”