KTP develops technology to help save miners’ lives
Warwick Adams, of Tioga Ltd (left), Stephen Jackson, KTP Associate, and Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill, of the University of Nottingham.
A KTP between Derby-based contract electronics manufacturer Tioga and the University of Nottingham is driving development of a head-mounted heart sensor which could save lives in the mining industry.
The penny-sized device, which can be slotted within a miner’s helmet, will monitor heart rate, temperature, activity and respiration while also checking for dangerous gases. As well as providing vital real-time information it can also, using diagnostic software, monitor long-term occupational health in any high-risk industrial environment.
It was back in 2008 that academics at Nottingham began to research more innovative ways of monitoring newborn babies and came up with 'Heart Light', an optical sensor which could be fitted to the child's head.
A chance meeting with Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill led Tioga's managing director, Warwick Adams, to wonder if 'Heart Light' might be adapted to monitor the wellbeing of miners.
The logical step was for the business and university to sign a licence agreement to develop the technology and to form a KTP – the 60th such project undertaken by Nottingham University. With the support of the Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a KTP Associate from the university, Steve Jackson, has been helping to develop a Mining Industry Mobile Sensor from the 'Heart Light' concept.
Tioga, which operates in sectors as diverse as telecoms, medical devices, security, gaming and transport, has already held successful trials in mining conditions and is aiming to launch the product in 2014.
Warwick said: "It will help us to establish our own unique product range for the mining industry and others that require similar solutions. The KTP is enabling us to cost-effectively access the skills of a top quality researcher and many leading experts at the university, who have helped us to develop a unique product."
Dan King, Head of Knowledge Transfer at the university, added: "Tioga is an excellent example of how research undertaken here at the University of Nottingham has real commercial potential and could lead to a new product which will save lives."
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