Profile: Rezatec

Amid the butchery of the UK’s traditional industries – shipbuilding, steel, mining to name just a few – it’s all too easy to overlook the newly emerging high-tech industries of the future. It’s premature to say which will emerge as world-beaters, but Rezatec, one of the newest Social Stock Exchange members, arguably has a better chance than most. Which is one reason no doubt that it was plucked – from a field of competing hundreds – to join this year’s CleanEquity conference in Monaco.

Originally based out of University College London, it was initially formed to assess the carbon stock in forests. Today, the Oxfordshire-based Rezatec takes satellite geo-spatial data and crunches this to provide invaluable information to customers in the water, food, built environment and forestry sectors. Using its own algorithms and computer modelling, it looks at what is going on around the world and provides monitoring and predictions for a whole range of customers. Their businesses depend on reliable and timely knowledge about things such as pipeline leakage detection, forest inventories, peatland management, crop mapping, agricultural diffuse pollution risk, crop yield analysis, harvest optimisation and much else besides. A privately-held company, founded in 2012, Rezatec in summary provides to its customers advance warnings of all manner of imminent Earth-related problems.

As an example we could take a water company, with thousands of miles of pipelines. Leaks from water pipelines don’t just invoke crossness from farmers and others trying to cope with a suddenly flooded field or urban area; there is also the likelihood of substantial fines from the industry regulator Ofwat. In 2006 Thames Water agreed to pay £150 million for tackling leakages. Trying to ascertain the possibility of a leak springing up from a pipeline without satellite geo-spatial data is a daunting task.

Philip Briscoe, Rezatec’s Chief Operating Officer, says joining the Social Stock Exchange “supports our values and helps raise our profile. Rezatec is all about providing solutions for sectors that are socially, environmentally and economically important.” It’s a fast growing company; established just four years ago Briscoe says “we will more than double head-count over the next 12 months [as of February this year Rezatec has 20 employees]. A number of large projects are coming up and we do anticipate pushing into international markets.”

The technology underlying its data products has been developed in conjunction with ESA, the European Space Agency, the UK Space Agency and Innovate UK. Rezatec deals in proxy information – it obviously can’t literally drill down below the Earth’s surface – but its vast array of analysed data inputs offers customers the best alternative to a time-and-money-costly physical inspection. “We look, for example (says Briscoe) at the change in vegetation. Is there any change in vegetation that is particularly vigorous? Is there any unexplained change in the surface that might suggest a pipeline is broken or cracked? There are all these different indicators, which we roll together with information about the age, depth, nature of the pipeline, and then we can alert the end-user to potential issues. We can inform them of high-risk occurrences and then they can send out a ground crew for a close inspection.”

Rezatec suggests it has a distinct advantage over competitors, in that its data analytics service “is continually refreshed and updated to meet customer the customer’s ongoing needs”, rather than just giving a static snapshot of a customer’s assets. It’s a company with a very clear focus and determination, as well as authentic commitment to socially beneficial values, as evidenced by its Impact Report. It’s a fine example of how UK businesses are ceaselessly regenerating and taking technological developments into new areas, where it’s possible to make a difference socially while simultaneously making a profit. When it comes to its further fund-raising, perhaps later this year, stand aside to avoid the stampede.



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