The University of Wolverhampton and Caparo plc have invested £80,000 in a new company which develops specialist software for auditing the use of rooms in public buildings.
Universities are required to collect and report data about the utilisation of rooms in their estate, and need this information to help plan when new buildings are required.
A University spin-out company, Space Audit Systems Ltd, has been formed to build on a business plan proposed by Nathan Leadbetter (a graduate in computer science from the University, and who works in the University’s Registry department).
While carrying out audits himself, Nathan could see the potential for software to manage the same issue at other Universities.
Conventionally, this work is undertaken by students employed on a casual basis, but this can leave some doubt over the data quality. Nathan has overseen the development of software and a management system which has proven to be very effective in ensuring proper collection and reporting of the data at low cost, and he is now being entrusted to lead the new company.
Nathan said: “From my experience of working to solve this problem, and talking to my opposite numbers at other universities, I know that the software we’ve developed is a great step forward. It is fantastic to have been given this opportunity to prove the commercial potential.”
Space Audit Systems Ltd is receiving financial investment from the University of Wolverhampton and the Caparo Angad Paul Fund. This fund was established in memory of Lord Paul’s son, the late Angad Paul, and invests in new technologies to support University research projects in transitioning from the laboratory to the commercial world. Both the University and Caparo plc will have shareholdings in Space Audit Systems Ltd.