Edinburgh startup secures investment for AI-powered solution to reducing workplace accidents

10/10/2023
FC Labs technology

EDINBURGH-based startup, FC Labs, has secured a £150,000 investment from British Design Fund, for its innovative AI-powered platform and brain imaging technology that can help reduce the risk of workplace accidents and fatalities caused by human error.

According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), more than 500,000 accidents happen in UK workplaces every year and more than 90% are estimated to be the result of human error. One of the most common underlying causes is fatigue, but other factors such as stress, dehydration, boredom and substance abuse can all play a part. 

FC Lab’s patent-pending solution is designed to help spot the tell-tale signs that an employee may be at risk, by monitoring trends in their brain activity.

FC Lab’s platform can help spot the signs that an intervention may be needed, using data taken from existing wrist-worn wearables, such as smartwatches and activity trackers. Alternatively,  the company’s own wearable neurotech devices can be worn, which use near-infrared light to measure blood flow and oxygen levels in the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which helps regulate focus, actions and emotions. The lightweight wearable devices can be incorporated into headwear, such as hard hats, and then collect data in real-time.

The insights are made available to employees and their supervisors within the dashboard and can help guide decisions on intervention, whilst also encouraging behavioural change, such as by ‘nudging’ the wearer to take breaks. Overall, helping reduce the risk of accidents and improving workplace health and wellbeing.

Mathew Norbury, founder of FC Labs, explains: “Human error is a factor in almost all workplace accidents and our mission at FC Labs is to get to the heart of the problem, with a simple, low cost solution.

“Our wearable technology and AI-powered software platform empowers anyone to measure and manage their brain fitness and unlock better health, wellbeing and performance. This has the potential to positively impact on safety and wellbeing for all sorts of industries where accidents are common, including construction, oil and gas and manufacturing. Through our unique solution, we hope to transform worker wellbeing and move the dial on workplace accidents.” 

FC Labs will be working with large construction firms for a pilot study of its CoreTech sensors and app later this year. Commercial trials are then expected to begin in spring 2024. 

Damon Bonser, CEO at the British Design Fund, said: “Neurotech is an exciting, fast-growth area and we’re delighted to have welcomed FC Labs to our portfolio. The team has created a product that meets a clear need, and it has global potential to save lives and improve safety and wellbeing across a diverse range of industries. We look forward to being part of the journey as FC Labs now looks to commercialise its solutions.”

British Design Fund is a leading early-stage British manufacturing investor. The Fund works with ambitious product start-up enterprises who are ready to scale-up and build thriving stand-out businesses. Alongside capital investment, BDF provides expert mentoring to support such companies to accelerate their growth plans. 

To find out more visit www.fclabs.co.uk and www.britishdesignfund.co.uk

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