Cardiff-based marine software firm GeoVS was able to develop a highly advanced 3D Geographic Information System (GIS) that is still at the forefront of the field, with the help of Welsh Government funding.
As a small start-up company, GeoVS needed financial assistance in 2010 for the ambitious new GIS, and was able to complete the project by 2013, thanks in part to innovation funding backed by EU funds.
The system – GeoVS Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) realtime 3D VTS display technology – is primarily used in and around harbours to track boats and ships. Unlike traditional radar systems that map ships as dots on a screen, GeoVS creates a real-time 3D model of the area and its surroundings. This shows the size of objects rather than simply indicating where they are, and can track all marine vehicles regardless of size.
It therefore significantly improves the safety and efficiency of harbours and waterways by giving officials a far more comprehensive picture of the area under their control, and more forewarning into potential issues that could arise.
For trademark registration and preliminary development, the company was awarded £19,230 worth of innovation grants in 2010, and secured a further £91,373 of innovation funding in 2012 for patent registration, research, and development. During this period, the company was also able to secure a significant amount of private sector funding.
The technology was the culmination of a decade of academic research by experts from the UK, France and Hong Kong. Despite its academic origins though, the technology prides itself on being ergonomic and accessible, and is presently used to monitor and direct maritime and harbour traffic in ten countries around the world.
Aside from the technological breakthrough, the innovation funding was also vital for safeguarding the company’s four full-time employees in the initial stages of the project.
In 2013, GeoVS was brought by, and incorporated into, Bathbased Software Radio Technology. SRT specialise in the same field as GeoVS, and have integrated the innovation-funded technology as a key part of their business.
Rafal Goralski, founder of GeoVS said:
“The project simply would not have happened without the innovation funding. It has helped create a system that is still being widely used and further developed.”