This Dutch startup has a solution to predict avalanches, using drones

This Dutch startup has a solution to predict avalanches, using drones

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Until explorers started to courageously sail the seven seas, people had no idea what laid beyond the horizon. Data startup Bright Cape uses that age-old explorers mentality, to map the world of big data. “The call for innovation is in our DNA”, says founder and CEO Serge Beniers. From their office in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, Bright Cape explores the world of data in a similar way their forefathers explored the globe centuries before him. Just with less scurvy and shipwrecks.

Bright Cape provides data analytics for companies looking to improve their manufacturing, purchasing, supply chain, logistics, finance, marketing and sales. By analysing all available data and suggesting a course of action, Bright Cape claims to reduce costs for companies by 50 percent, while revenue can go up 15 percent.

The core tools Bright Cape has developed, consist of a smart industry assistant comparable to Siri or Cortana, as well as AI that uses data to optimise the last-mile delivery for transport businesses. “Right now we’re mainly focussed on industry, logistics, banking and insurance companies”, says Beniers.” They traditionally have a lot of data, making it easier to get started.”

Answering the call for innovation

“We’re looking to translate the solutions we’ve created to other branches,” says Beniers. “We want to close the gap between scientific institutions and the daily life. That’s why we started Bright Cape.” To further close that gap, Bright Cape works with EIT Digital in Eindhoven. Last year, they responded to a call for innovation by EIT Digital.

Bright Cape pitched for a solution to predict avalanches, using drones. “The drones can create a 3D-image containing infrared imagery which contains all kinds of data. We use this to make more accurate predictions of avalanches.” The cooperation with EIT Digital opened many doors. “We’re working on this project with several other universities and organisations in France, Italy as well as the Netherlands, such as the Dutch Snow and Safety Center.”

Robots for medicine and AI for movement

Bright Scape’s lust for innovation doesn’t end with avalanches. They are currently working on a robot for care facilities. The bot, which is based on Bright Cape’s smart industry assistant, will monitor patients and distribute medicine.

Last year they also developed AI-Move. Funded by EIT Digital’s Digital Wellbeing, it measures physical movement in the workplace, so the well-being of workers can be safeguarded. Beniers: “After the call for innovation by EIT Digital, a lot of companies approached us to work on other innovations. We did a test with sensors in kids toys. They tell us how kids interact with the toys and provides input for therapists about how a child feels. It’s something we would’ve never thought of on our own.”

Just because Bright Cape can’t think of it, doesn’t mean they want to do it. Beniers says that innovation is an ongoing process for the startup. “A third of what we do on a daily basis is sketching roadmaps for organisations and companies. A lot of organisations still think the earth is flat, figuratively speaking, based on their data. If no one ever tells you there’s something beyond the horizon, you’ll never venture out to find gold there.”

Another third of the daily operations for Bright Cape is implementing the software solutions at those organisations. “We hired Ivo Schutz as a COO to further develop our core tools. In his previous job he created roadmaps for corporates at ADL.”

Constant innovation

The last third of what Bright Cape does consists of innovation and the building of stories. “Science and technology is constantly evolving. There’s always a new cape to sail by. We aim to be the navigator, next to the caption of the ship”, says Benier. “We’re standing next to him and point at the map. We tell him ‘these are the decisions that others have made, are you interested as well? There’s gold out there, you know’. That’s why we partnered with EIT Digital. To help us create those kind of stories.”

This year’s call for innovation is named EIT Digital 2020 and is still open until May 3rd. Companies, education and research organisations can apply for developing new products or startups with European partners. Just like Bright Cape did in 2018.

This article is produced in collaboration with EIT Digital. Read more about our partnering opportunities.

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