A university spin-out which allows businesses to use advanced computer simulations to test new ideas and make better decisions has secured £750,000 to help further develop its technology.
Slingshot Simulations has secured the funding from the University of Leeds and NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Based at Nexus, the University of Leeds’ Innovation Hub, Slingshot was established to commercialise seven years of research by computer scientists at the university. It uses advanced computer simulation technology to help businesses devise more efficient ways of working by simplifying decisions and mitigating risk.
Organisations can use the platform to build a ‘synthetic’ world that mirrors their own operations. For example, identifying the optimal design and location of a warehouse so it functions effectively, minimises fuel costs and meets supply-chain demand.
The investment compromises £500,000 from NPIF – Mercia Finance and £250,000 from the University of Leeds. It will see Slingshot – which has proved its software with some of the world’s leading technology companies – further develop its technology and break into new markets.
Dr David McKee, Slingshot’s chief technical officer, said: “Slingshot’s simulation technology is significantly faster and more cost-effective than alternative solutions, and is designed for use by non-technical staff.
“Our vision is to define a global standard for an Internet of Simulation so that it could be used by anyone, anywhere. It will allow people to use simulations to communicate and collaborate across industries and organisations.”
Dr Arshad Mairaj, head of commercialisation at Leeds University, said: “The University has a strong record in transferring academic research to industry, and that approach continues with our investment in Slingshot Simulations.
“The company is based in Nexus, the University’s new innovation hub where academics and business collaborate to maximise commercial opportunities. The University’s aim is to see our research contributing to the UK economy.”
Will Schaffer, investment manager with Mercia, said: “Slingshot allows companies to make better decisions and improve efficiency by testing out new ideas in a ‘synthetic’ world that mirrors their own operations. This investment will allow the team to further develop the product and develop new customer relationships.”
Mark Wilcockson, senior manager at British Business Bank, said: “Since its launch in 2017, NPIF’s impact on new and scaling businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to launch new products, employ new staff, enter new markets and acquire new facilities.
“In addition to helping these SMEs, it is also important for us to tap into the academic resource available and strengthen industry collaboration, so this investment is a particularly exciting one.
“We are pleased that NPIF is continuing to unlock the North’s growth potential by supporting small growing businesses with vital investment.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.