Tag Archives: technology

myenergi awarded EcoVadis bronze medal for sustainability

Eco-smart home energy technology manufacturer myenergi has been awarded an EcoVadis bronze medal for its commitment to setting the standards in sustainable best practice. The prestigious accolade places the Stallingborough-based company within the top 35% of all companies assessed by the framework within the past 12 months.

EcoVadis is one of the world’s largest providers of business sustainability ratings, boasting a global network of more than 130,000 rated companies. Its certifications recognise and reward companies that go above and beyond to embrace sustainable practices.

The accreditation process requires businesses to submit documentation, examples and references for multiple sustainability proof points, with performance assessed against a bespoke methodology. myenergi scored well across each of the four performance themes analysed – environment; labour and human rights; ethics; and sustainable procurement.

Emma Brigginshaw, head of sustainability and ethics at myenergi, commented: “Being recognised by EcoVadis is a clear demonstration of our commitment to embracing sustainable best practice across the business. It affirms the robustness of our management systems and performance of our production processes.

“But while a positive endorsement of our work to date, this certification is just the start. As a leader in the design and manufacture of eco-smart home energy technologies, we’re committed to holding ourselves to account and really leading the way when it comes to setting the industry standards.

“We’re therefore already working hard in the background on numerous initiatives to further improve our environmental performance, each of which will be announced in due course. This bronze medal is a really valuable yardstick to fully understand where we’re already scoring highly, as Well as the areas that need additional focus moving forward.”

Best known for developing zappi, the world’s first solar-compatible electric vehicle charger, myenergi is a global leader in the home energy technology sector. The business manufactures a wide range of pioneering energy management devices, including the eddi power diverter and libbi battery storage system. Since its founding in 2016, the business has sold more than 600,000 units globally, while opening subsidiaries in Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland along the way.

For more information about myenergi and its latest range of eco-smart home energy tech, visit www.myenergi.com.

Green shoots of recovery for UK tech jobs market

The UK technology labour market is showing the green shoots of recovery after a torrid 12 months which saw the number of job vacancies plummet, a new report says.

Vacancies in the IT sector plunged more than 40 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous 12 months, as employers across the country tightened their belts amid uncertain economic conditions and rising interest rates during late 2021 and 2022 as the pandemic ended, the analysis shows.

However, in the first three months of 2024 there were 18,551 IT vacancies, a rise of nearly 16 per cent compared with the last three months of 2023 and 1.4 per cent up on the monthly average in 2023, when the market was significantly stronger.

The report on UK tech employment trends in the first quarter of 2024 has been published by Manchester-headquartered recruitment marketplace Hiring Hub. It is based on research by Vacancysoft, a provider of labour market data and analytics.

Information used to compile the report was gathered from the career centres of company websites and relates to unique job postings only, not duplicated ones.

Hiring Hub founder Simon Swan said: “Last year’s job market slowdown, which saw over a 40 per cent reduction in IT and tech jobs from the peak of 2022, clearly left its scars.

“But there is good news to share: the green shoots of a mild recovery were visible in the first quarter of 2024, leaving me cautiously optimistic about the next few months as employers are clearly adapting to higher interest rates, tighter financial conditions and seismic technological shifts catalysed by AI.

“We definitely felt this temperature change at Hiring Hub, with March 2024 the best month for job uploads on our recruiter marketplace this year. While there’s still a degree of uncertainty around the economy causing obvious headwinds, the jobs outlook is gently improving and the sentiment should be one of cautious optimism after a tough second half of 2023.”

He added: “Driving the rebound in IT jobs is a thawing of venture capital investment, as funders that were sat on the sidelines last year with dry powder to deploy seek high-quality start-ups and scale-ups whose growth they can fuel – jobs typically coming a few months downstream of each deal.”

London, which was particularly hard hit in 2023 as IT jobs there plummeted by more than 50 per cent, is the main beneficiary of increased VC activity, says the report. The capital and the south east combined accounted for more than 52 per cent of all IT and tech roles between January and March this year.

Nationally, there were more than 6,000 tech vacancies in February and March and only just less than that in January. March was the strongest month since August 2023.

The technology, media and telecoms sector accounted for 48 per cent of IT vacancies in the first three months of this year, followed by financial services on 22.7 per cent and consumer goods and services on 8.5 per cent.

The report says the trend of more jobs specialising in data has continued into 2024, as businesses look to integrate and exploit the opportunities which AI presents. This has meant the importance of data is more prevalent, leading to more jobs in this niche area.

Skills in greatest demand are IT development and engineering, IT management, infrastructure and support.

James Chaplin, chief executive of Vacancysoft, said: “After the downturn in 2023, the signs are positive. As economic conditions pick up, so the IT jobs market has been taking shape, with London in particular being the biggest beneficiary.

“A big part of the uplift can be attributed to the pick-up in VC funding. If VC and private equity funding are indicative of where the market is going next, we believe that technology firms specialising in climate and ecology will lead the way. Funding into these businesses is now at record levels.”

Hiring Hub, which is backed by Manchester-based private equity house investor MonacoSol, connects employers with recruitment agencies to help them find quality candidates quickly.

Only third of UK businesses are fully utilising their people data, research shows

Robust HR analytics and reporting is essential for any organisation looking for real-time insights into their workforce. But only a third of UK employers are thought to be getting the most out of their people data.
New research commissioned by HR software provider Ciphr shows that just 32% of HR professionals believe that their organisation fully utilises its people data to make evidence-based, strategic decisions.
That leaves over two-thirds (68%) of organisations that are not fully utilising workforce reporting to better inform decision-making and improve outcomes.
The findings, from a survey of 300 UK-based HR decision makers, also suggest that nearly two-thirds (64%) of organisations don’t actively seek HR’s input on business decisions – even though HR are the people who know the makeup and capabilities of the workforce better than anyone.
Claire Williams, chief people and operations officer at Ciphr, says: “It’s important to recognise the impact that utilising people data can have on overall company performance. Businesses that aren’t fully harnessing these powerful insights, particularly for planning ahead, are being incredibly short-sighted. People costs can be at least 80% of an organisation’s P&L (profit and loss), so this data should be scrutinised and leveraged in every way possible – the same way many look at their sales, marketing and pipeline data.
“Everyone knows you need people to run a business. Successful businesses know how to identify and harness their talent – their people – to ensure they continue to grow and succeed.
“People data is essential to this. Having an improved understanding of your workforce can help instil business confidence that you can scale your people in line with forecast growth. It can help inform workforce planning so that you can hire ‘just in time’ rather than once the capacity gap has started to impact your customers. It can give a clearer picture, backed by evidence, of how long it takes you to get new starters competent and ready to start making sales or servicing customers.
“As a business, could you easily identify your risks in relation to turnover or burnout, without in-depth workforce reporting? Do you know who your high and low performers are? If you don’t know where to focus your time and energies, it’s much harder to overcome retention challenges, for example, or ensure the right training needs are met.
“HR teams need to be able to access and utilise robust people data to answer these questions. Especially when the HR profession is becoming more recognised at board-level for its strategic value.”

So which HR metrics are the most useful to report on?

When asked to select which HR metrics (if any) they believed to be most important for their organisation to track regularly, nearly a third of the 300 HR professionals polled cited employee turnover rate (31%), employee engagement (30%) and quality of hire (30%).
Absence records ranks fourth (selected by 27% of people), followed by employee performance measures or KPIs – key performance indicators (26%).
Next on the list is reasons for absences, followed by employee training qualifications and training days per employee (with 23%, 22% and 20% of votes respectively).
Revenue per employee (17%) and compliance reporting – ie the percentage of employees trained in company policies (14%), round out the top 10 of must-track metrics.
To get a more complete picture of how HR teams use their HR systems’ reporting capabilities, Ciphr also compiled a list of the most popular standard reports used by its HR customers (custom reports were not included).
Ciphr found that some of the most commonly run HR reports tend to be those that track staff leaving (leavers report and leavers by department) or measure employee leave and absence, such as who is away, holiday left, reasons for absence, absence summaries and Bradford Factor scores. Pay-related reports are also popular, pulling together data on job and pay point in time, starters for payroll, job and pay changes, and current pay, for example.
Ciphr HR customers’ most reported on people data:
  • Leavers
  • Who is away
  • Holiday left
  • Reasons for absence
  • Departmental listings
  • Job and pay point in time
  • Absence summary
  • Starters for payroll
  • Start date
  • Departmental summary
Ciphr commissioned Onepoll to conduct an independent survey of 300 HR decision makers in February 2024. The full results are available at https://www.ciphr.com/infographics/the-hr-metrics-that-matter-most.
Ciphr is the go-to HR software and solutions partner for medium and large organisations in the UK. Its integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment software, services and content provide invaluable insights to HR teams to inform their people strategy and grow and develop their organisations. Based in Reading, Ciphr is on a mission to amplify the voice and value of HR through intelligent people data solutions that help HR be heard – in the boardroom and across the business.
For more information, please visit www.ciphr.com.

Kinaxia Logistics hails impact of new digital platform on workplace safety and engagement

Kinaxia Logistics has hailed the impact of a new digital platform in helping to enhance safety across its nationwide network of sites as well as for its drivers on the road.

A system developed by workplace operations technology company SafetyCulture has been implemented across Kinaxia’s regional warehouses, offices, transport yards, fulfilment centres and fleet of vehicles over the past year.

Stephen McCabe, Kinaxia’s quality, safety, health and environment (QSHE) director, said the platform has helped the company to improve safety engagement and culture, and incident key performance indicators.

Since the rollout began, Kinaxia has seen a 94 per cent reduction in lost time incidents and a 75 per cent fall in the number of incidents and accidents recorded under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

The strategy has also spawned a huge and beneficial increase in the reporting of issues, from minor housekeeping matters to near-misses which could give rise to more serious problems, said Stephen. Notifications have increased from 160 a year to 6,400.

Kinaxia, which has 1,600 staff, a fleet of 800 vehicles and 11 regional warehouses, is one of the first UK logistics companies to adopt the SafetyCulture platform.

In the first phase of the rollout, hundreds of QR codes were posted around its locations, providing employees with instant access to the reporting platform.

The second phase saw the QR code system was rolled out to vehicles in the fleet, enabling drivers to report safety issues from external locations as well as customer sites, with the ability to also upload images or video as supporting evidence.

Stephen said: “As a digital reporting system, SafetyCulture is having a tremendous impact, by providing the knowledge, tools and confidence to enable our teams to work more safely and meet higher standards.

“It allows limitless interaction across our sites and any UK delivery location. Its accessibility means that everyone, regardless of their role or location, can play their part in helping to improve safety across our business, driven by an inclusive culture and engagement rather than purely by compliance.

“Because reporting is being positively actioned, there has been a dramatic reduction in lost-time incidents and RIDDORs, more accurate measurement and improved outcomes across a range of safety KPIs.

“It has brought safe operating practices to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and has empowered employees at all levels and locations with the ability to drive positive change in the workplace.”

Kinaxia’s version of SafetyCulture features a ‘Heads Up’ function to instantly send details to managers across the business about any potential issues or urgent action required.

All data collected through the platform provides live dashboard reporting, enabling the company to capture trends and shape its strategy in a more rounded way to reduce risk in its workplaces.

Kinaxia chief executive Michael Conroy said: “Safety across our operations is central to everything we do. It’s also everyone’s responsibility, and the new strategy has not only improved our safety KPIs but has also empowered our colleagues with greater responsibility and the ability to contribute to their own and everyone’s welfare.

“The adoption of SafetyCulture is the latest demonstration of our strategy to fully embrace digitalisation to drive efficiency, safety and continuous improvement across our business operations.”

Alexander Brook-Sykes, SafetyCulture’s head of go-to-market for the UK and Ireland, said: “Kinaxia came to us with a clear goal – to streamline their processes and become more efficient. With SafetyCulture, they are on the path to paperless operations, and are now saving time, improving traceability and increasing visibility for their leaders.

“For those in the logistics and distribution sector, getting visibility and clarity over both dispersed workers operating out in the field and their fleet is always a challenge.

“SafetyCulture is committed to closing that gap. We help keep workers safe, empower leaders with data, prevent vehicle downtime, and empower everyone to report safety concerns or address potential risks.”

Hiring Hub and hireful link up to power growth

Recruitment marketplace Hiring Hub has struck an agreement with technology provider hireful to power growth for both companies and help more employers find the right candidates to fill job vacancies faster.

The partnership and platform integration will allow users of hireful’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to post roles directly on to Hiring Hub’s platform and gain access to its rated and reviewed network of specialist recruiters.

Headquartered in Strixton, Northamptonshire, and with offices in Spain and South Africa, hireful supports more than 400 organisations with its ATS software, recruitment workshops, training and recruitment process audits. The company, which has 60 staff, works with clients including Heron Foods, Kidney Research UK, Haribo and Fulham FC.

Its technology streamlines and automates the recruitment process, reducing the time spent on administrative tasks such as advertising jobs, scoring and shortlisting of candidates, interviewing and onboarding new hires.

It also includes a variety of features as standard to help support employers’ diversity and inclusion goals, including diversity capture, anonymised and disability-confident applications and ongoing performance monitoring.

The platform is designed to make life easier for employers and provide organisations of all sizes with the tools, insights and capability to compete with larger rivals in their sector.

In December, hireful secured a seven-figure funding package from SME Capital, facilitated by Leyton Capital Advisors, to support its growth strategy and expansion plans.

Hiring Hub, which is based in Manchester and operates across the UK and Europe, connects businesses with boutique recruiters through its marketplace platform to help employers find quality candidates quickly.

Companies post their vacancies on the platform and set the fee they are willing to pay a recruiter, and recruitment agencies pitch to work on them. This enables employers to manage recruiters centrally online, widen their candidate search and swiftly find off-market talent via specialist head-hunters.

The platform is used by employers such as Dodd Group, Sega Amusements and industrial and consumer goods company Henkel.

Simon Swan, founder of Hiring Hub, said: “The team at hireful are dedicated to making the lives of HR and in-house recruitment teams as simple and straightforward as possible, an ethos that very much aligns with our own.

“This partnership is a great fit for us as an organisation and, more importantly, it will deliver real value for the users of both our systems. It will increase the options available to employers using hireful when they are looking to quickly widen their candidate search, fill a specialist role or have a vacancy that has proven particularly challenging to fill. That is when we can add real value.

“We are looking forward to helping hireful users to find and hire quality talent using our award-winning recruiter marketplace.”

Adrian McDonagh, co-founder of hireful, said: “We are excited to be partnering with Hiring Hub.

“By combining hireful’s technology with Hiring Hub’s expansive recruiter network, we aim to set a new standard for efficiency and effectiveness in connecting employers with top-tier talent. Recruitment has always been about hiring first-rate talent, and our customers will benefit from the support of Hiring Hub’s network.”

Hiring Hub is backed by Manchester-based private equity firm MonacoSol, which last year invested a multimillion-pound sum to scale its sales and customer operations in the UK and overseas. MonacoSol is the private office of software and technology entrepreneur Richard Beaton.

New Port Partners and Matellio Forge Strategic Alliance to Boost Client Success with Enhanced Technology Advisory and Software Solutions

New Port Partners, a premier advisory firm specializing in tech-sector business performance improvements, and Matellio, a leading product development and digital transformation services provider today announced a strategic partnership to guide clients through complex business transformations.

“Joining forces with Matellio represents another step New Port Partners has taken to provide clients a comprehensive suite of business transformation solutions,” said Dan Mondor, co-founder and managing director of New Port Partners. “We’re thrilled to combine our strategic advisory experience with Matellio’s comprehensive technology advisory and software development capabilities.”

“The rapid rate of innovation in the Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) sector creates both challenges and opportunities for our clients” said Amrit Singh, Chief Strategy Officer of Matellio. “We have developed hands-on experience building, customizing, and integrating powerful solutions leveraging 5G technology, Internet of Things (IoT) platforms, cloud and edge computing, and AI/ML models. While technical competency is critical for implementation success, job number one is sense-making: which business problem(s) should be prioritized, what are the root causes, and what is the optimal solution(s) within each client’s unique context. We’re thrilled to team with New Port Partners and jointly optimize clients’ investments in core and advanced technologies, from strategic planning through solution deployment and benefits realization.”

Through this strategic partnership, New Port Partners and Matellio will offer clients a seamless experience, guiding them from initial business strategy through the implementation of cutting-edge solutions to increase both revenue and profitability.

For more information on how New Port Partners and Matellio are driving business transformations, visit www.newportpartnersgroup.com and www.matellio.com.

About New Port Partners

New Port Partners advises public and privately held companies on performance improvement and company-wide business transformations. New Port Partners founders are former tech industry CXO executives of Fortune 500, NASDAQ listed, and private equity companies. Collectively they have created over $6Billion in incremental shareholder value. For more information visit www.newportpartnersgroup.com

About Matellio

Matellio works together with clients to navigate the intricate journey of product development and digital transformation, becoming an essential catalyst for their innovation, growth, and sustainability. Led by former industry operators, we focus on accelerating time-to-market for early-stage SaaS / PaaS companies and driving outsized ROI for mid-market companies seeking to optimize enterprise applications. For more information, and to learn how we’ve helped clients including HPE and Siemens, visit www.matellio.com.

Redefining Compliance with V6 Cisco Director and V6 Cisco 360 Advisory

Helping businesses realize the full potential of their Cisco Partnership

Ensuring strong alignment with Cisco’s market direction and programs in today’s fast evolving commercial environment makes a material difference to the bottom line for Cisco partners.

That is why Vortex 6 is pleased to announce the launch of V6 Cisco Director and V6 Cisco 360 Advisory, a comprehensive suite of tools and services designed to maximize the value of Cisco partnerships. Together, this suite delivers greater management awareness, improved competitiveness, business continuity and better alignment with Cisco programs.

Commenting on the launch Peter Olive, CEO says: “We are driven by a passion for helping our customers fully realize the value of their relationship with Cisco. V6 Cisco Director and V6 Cisco 360 Advisory provide Cisco partners with new opportunities, better alignment, and more control and visibility for all stakeholders. Most importantly it delivers the opportunity to maximize profitability and make a significant difference to the bottom line.”

The Cisco Director suite comprises:

V6 BOM Analyzer

BOM Analyzer is a powerful sales tool for Cisco partners. It provides true deal margin visibility which can typically be up to three times the visible margin. V6 BOM Analyzer lets partners know the margin on the product, applicable VIP, CSPP, Life Cycle Incentive opportunities and Professional Services margin. This is good for partners and good for Cisco.

V6 Cisco Compliance

V6 Cisco Compliance fully automates management of compliance with the Cisco Partner Program in a single dashboard. Delivering full visibility of the current position and providing advanced notice of upcoming changes that will affect program status. It’s a powerful planning tool enabling partners to consider different strategies and includes all the training and costs required for each Certification to make budgeting simple. Partners no longer need to build and maintain custom spreadsheets or find people with deep knowledge of the Cisco Programs. V6 Cisco Compliance reduces cost and risk.

V6 Cisco Incentives

Cisco offers generous incentives and rebates to encourage partners’ business direction and market focus. The V6 Cisco Incentives management solution enables them to take advantage of these by providing a comprehensive view of incentives and rebates including accrued VIP rebate, status of minimum bookings, rebates accrued by client, financial forecasting and upcoming renewals.

V6 Cisco 360 Advisory

We have pulled together all of our expert advisory services into V6 Cisco 360 Advisory. It covers advice on every aspect of a partner’s relationship with Cisco from strategic alignment through to operational efficiency, specialization advice, incentive forecasting, and audit preparation.

V6 LCI Advisory (Life Cycle Incentives)

V6 LCI Advisory offers detailed guidance to unlock rebates across all LCI opportunities, ensuring compliance with Cisco’s criteria for Customer Success Plans and Business Outcomes. This strategic support assists in navigating Cisco program changes, optimizing lifecycle processes for efficiency, and securing maximum rebate potential through expert advisory services.

Vortex 6 is attending Cisco live in Las Vegas from 2-6 June, if you would like to talk to any of the team about V6 Cisco Director and V6 Cisco 360 Advisory please email Andy.Macleod@Vortex6.com

To find out more about V6 Cisco Director and V6 Cisco 360 Advisory, please visit www.vortex6.com.


1 in 5 people feel Open Banking is secure

Open Banking platforms still have a way to go to convince the public of their superior safety despite 1 in 5 feeling this form of online transaction is secure, according to I-Finity’s 2024 Open Banking survey.

Open Banking is not only safe and secure, but also faster and more efficient than regular online banking methods.

But many people are still concerned over the security of Open Banking suggesting that the public need more education on the topic.

Open Banking survey: the findings

I-Finity – a highly-experienced digital solutions company – surveyed 200 people who had used or currently use banking apps to find the public’s views on Open Banking security.

The results showed:

  • Only 1 in 10 felt Open Banking was not secure, with 23% feeling it was. 67% were unsure.
  • Just 46% of people were aware of Open Banking.
  • 36% of people would be unhappy to give personal data to an Open Banking app or platform.
  • 47% were unsure of whether they would give personal data, with just 18% certain they would be happy doing so.
  • Bank details being stolen was the biggest concern around Open Banking. with 20% choosing this option.
  • 18% felt the site might be a scam or phishing site.

While the survey highlights there is some reluctance by the public to adopt Open Banking, it also suggests education around the topic would be beneficial.

Like most new technologies – especially ones that involve personal data and money – there has been some scepticism around Open Banking’s security. But most of this is unfounded.

Russ Huntington, CTO of I-Finity, said: “The reality is that open banking is very secure. In fact, it’s more secure than traditional banking. But as with many financial products, everyday users can be a little wary.

“But with Open Banking you need to use secure data-sharing practices, such as using APIs and encryption, to ensure that customer data is protected.

“The connection between apps and Open Banking is also encrypted, which helps to keep data safe. Consumers need more education on how safe this form of banking integration is.”

Open Banking is highly regulated

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) makes sure that all open banking apps and APIs are regulated.

They create the standards that all third-party providers have to adhere to if they want open banking as part of their solution/environment.

Russ added: “Accessing Open Banking APIs is only possible for apps that have been through an independent audit to prove the systems and security controls meet the standards of the FCA.”

Proofworks launches to unlock a new era of digital transformation in the spirits industry

Proofworks launches today with a proprietary SaaS solution to digitalise the entire spirits supply chain, from production, maturation and bottling, to customer engagement and digital ownership.

Combining user-friendly solutions with the latest in powerful Web3 technologies, the Proofworks platform surfaces previously unseen data and insights, allowing for optimisation and transparency at every stage of the product journey.

This is a key time for the spirits industry, as visibility of channel inventory becomes critical with category growth changes, and as increasing costs and supply chain disruption drive the need for greater efficiency. We’re also seeing changing consumer behaviours with an increased desire to connect in new, authentic and more meaningful ways.

Proofworks is enabling the connectivity of distilleries and warehouses through technologies such as NFC, RFID, QR codes and smart sensors. All this data is stored securely on blockchain and made accessible via the Proofworks platform.

As well as this powerful data being used to inform and optimise production, meet emerging compliance requirements and achieve sustainability goals, it is also empowering the end consumer experience.

A fundamental principle is that users don’t need to be familiar with blockchain concepts or Web3 technologies to engage with the tools and services. As broader adoption continues and valuable use-cases emerge, Proofworks believe these technologies provide spirits companies with a unique competitive advantage.

With successful live deployments in Scottish, Irish and American distilleries and warehouses, Proofworks is already seeing significant demand and has an ambitious roadmap of new features and services which will be released over the coming months. This includes CaskPassportTM and BottlePassportTM which aim to directly address the challenges of investment fraud and counterfeits, through digital deeds.


Proofworks began as Metacask in 2021, a Web3 marketplace reimagining the way consumers buy, collect and trade authentic real world assets (RWA) such as casks. After achieving immediate success with the auction of an ultra-rare 1991 Macallan cask for $2.3 million, Metacask has evolved to support the industry in translating new technology into meaningful experiences, now under the brand Proofworks, and will continue as a product in the Proofworks’ stable.


Supporting Proofworks’ ambitions, the company has strengthened its board with two key Non-Executive Director hires: Jane Grier, a regulatory compliance and financial crime expert for over 30 years holding senior roles at Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays and Duncan McFadzean, Managing Director at advisory firm Noble & Co where he has led whisky transactions over the past decade. Prior to this, Duncan worked for the Bank of Scotland as a Director of its £25bn Joint Ventures arm, Merrill Lynch and BlueCrest, a $10bn UK hedge fund.

 Jane and Duncan will work closely with Proofworks’ CEO, Rob Hollands, who joined in September 2023, and the wider leadership team, to drive the company’s rapid growth strategy and continued expansion in the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States.


Rob Hollands, CEO of Proofworks, says “We approach this from a position of respect, knowledge and passion for the spirits industry, and with a proven track record in creating innovations that deliver. Proofworks’ launch signifies an important milestone in the digitalisation of the sector. We’re on a mission to help the industry discover and implement future technologies to solve genuine business and consumer challenges.

The digital landscape as we know it is at a point of significant change and we’re laying the foundations for brands to unlock future opportunities: from digital product passports and connected products, to the digitalisation of the supply-chain, as well as new incentive models to reward creators and communities.

 “With our new board members, we have a team of world class experts who together will launch and scale solutions that will help shape the future of the sector.”


Further information can be found at www.proofworks.com 

£750k funding boost for OSY Group’s technology which extends shelf-life of food produce

A company whose flagship technology increases the shelf-life of food produce and reduces waste has secured £750,000 from investors to support its rollout across the UK and internationally.

The funding boost for OSY Group will accelerate its commercialisation of Xtend, an antimicrobial packaging coating which enables a range of food types, including fruit and vegetables, to stay fresh in their packaging for longer.

It will also enable OSY Group to expand its team, who are based at the Manchester International Office Centre near Manchester Airport.

Marc Braterman, chief executive of OSY Group, said: “Currently 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted or lost each year globally, and between eight and 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions result directly from food waste.

“We aspire to lead the charge in global food waste reduction through our innovative technology, as well as helping to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and food poverty, supporting grocers as they strive to achieve their sustainability targets, and enabling food producers to tap into more export markets.

“This latest funding round is a major milestone as it will enable us to accelerate the commercialisation of Xtend in the UK and internationally, while also focusing on growing our team. We are looking to create a number of roles in the coming months in line with our strategy.”

Xtend is a water-based antimicrobial coating for packaging surfaces. It leaves microscopic pins on the packaging surfaces that puncture and kill microbes and slow the natural spoiling process that affects the fresh produce within.

It has undergone extensive testing at independent laboratories, universities and other facilities, which has proven the technology to be food safe and compliant with the Food Contact Materials regulations for fresh produce, said Marc.

Testing has shown that Xtend extends shelf-life by multiple days on various forms of packaging, he added.

It is suitable for lidding film, plastic trays, flow wrap, fibre and board, flexible film paper, outer packaging and board and film combined for food-to-go, such as sandwiches.

Trials of Xtend have also been conducted with a major UK grocer as well as leading soft fruit producers and large European packaging companies.

Marc said: “These trials, in addition to the extensive testing carried out at facilities in the UK, have demonstrated that Xtend maintains freshness for longer and therefore significantly contributes to reducing food waste.

“It can be easily integrated into existing packaging production, and has a range of other applications beyond food produce due to its direct coating qualities.”

The latest investment, from three new individuals and one existing backer, follows a £250,000 equity fundraising last year and an award from Innovate UK through its ‘Better Food for All’ competition to support companies forging innovative ways to tackle nutrition challenges. Innovate UK’s funding is supporting OSY’s ongoing research and development.

OSY is one of only a small number of companies selected to be part of a global innovation business programme run by Innovate UK in Canada and Australia.

Among the advisers to OSY are Dr Malcolm Driffield and Dr Rhodri Evans, of scientific, engineering and regulatory consultancy Exponent International.