• 72
    Months in business
  • 1
    Architect contract won
  • £1.5m

Our Work Together

nquiringminds needed help to build on their agricultural concept,and work in a place where they could interact with fellow innovators. They recognised Digital Catapult could assist with both of those requirements.

nquiringminds were developing an early prototype for a technology solution to a worldwide agricultural problem – drying and storing grain optimally. Minimising energy usage, reducing spoilage and increasing yield. This is a problem that nquiringminds is perfectly set up to tackle, combining low cost Internet of Things solutions with advanced Artificial Intelligence powered analytics along with customised hardware.

Digital Catapult worked with nquiringminds to apply for the Euro CPS Seed Funding. The fund’s purpose is to support SMEs looking to develop industrial experiments and innovations. The initial seed fund they secured enabled an eight-month project cycle involving the design, development, deployment and testing of a complete agricultural monitoring system. The seed funding led directly to subsequent project funding totalling 1.5m investment from Innovate UK.
Digital Catapult’s mentors provided ongoing support throughout, helping to keep the team focused and on track to deliver the project.
nquiringminds used their InterliNQ IoT middleware to build both the IoT routers and the temperature/humidity sensors, which monitor and control the grain drying process. All of the data is fed into nquiringminds’s Trusted Data Exchange (TDX). The TDX is used to store both the historical and real time data.
This same platform allows this data to be shared, analysed and visualised at scale.

“This project has been pivotal in us securing a major research contract in India in collaboration with the Indian Government and other partners. This exposes nquiringminds to a potentially enormous market. Our technology can make a huge environmental and humanitarian impact, increasing efficiency in food production.”

Nick Allott

CEO, nquiringminds

The outcome offers the potential for massive savings and increased profit margins for grain farmers.With grain prices in the hundreds of pounds per tonne, a farmer who harvests 10,000 tonnes annually could (conservatively) increase their profits by £40,000 per year by retrofitting a sensor set and running the data through the NQR toolbox.
Not only will farmers sell their grain for more, they will also save on the fuel costs for drying the grain. The UK grain, seed and bean harvest is approximately250m tonnes a year. This would work out at approximately £60m saved per year for each percent closer to the threshold. That is equivalent to a cut of a third of a billion kilograms of CO2 emissions per year for each percent closer to the threshold.
The collaboration with Digital Catapult was instrumental for nquiringminds being selected to be part of a recent UK-India Tech Summit hosted by Prime Minister Theresa May. The £1.5m Innovate UK funding that Digital Catapult secured enabled them to develop the AgriSense experiment. The experiment has successfully increased nquiringminds technology readiness level from 2 (technology concept has been formulated) to 4 (experimental proofof concept).

As a direct result of working with Digital Catapult on the EuroCPS project, nquiringminds is working in collaboration with Brunel University to run further AgriSense pilots in India. This project is called Grain Care and will be innovating in rice drying and storage in Southern India for both rural and industrial farmers.