North of Tyne business grows global market with innovative new software platform

Grant funding focused on driving economic growth through innovation has helped a Newcastle-based business to grow.

Creative Technology business, Aircards, has grown its global market share thanks to a new self-developed software platform that has given them the edge and helped to create new jobs.

Founded in 2020, Aircards spcialise in the development of web-based Augmented and Virtual Reality experiences, with their technology used by high-profile companies such as Samsung, Unilever, Dell and Hewlett Packard.

Recognising the competitive nature of their market, the company took the decision to develop their own propriety technology, which would help them compete at the highest level.

“Since the early days of the business, we always knew we wanted to bring something new and different to the market and to grow a global business based here in the North East. Globally there are many good companies offering web-based immersive experiences for clients, and we wanted to be able to compete at the highest possible level. To do this, we needed to innovate and decided developing our own platform would help us to reach our growth goals.” 

Gordon Dodd, Head of Strategy at Aircards

Funding from the North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant has allowed the Newcastle city centre-based company to purchase specialist hardware and software, helping them complete their innovation project.

The new Spatial Analytics software allows clients to monitor, measure and manage user behaviour within any web-based immersive experience. The funding was used towards the purchase of several high-end workstations, specialist software solutions and connected audio visual equipment.

This investment into their technology and equipment significantly improved their computing power, allowing the in-house team to develop the integrated platform for next stage iteration; work that would not have been possible on their existing hardware.

The project has created three new jobs, all located in the North of Tyne area, bringing their locally based work force to 25 staff.

“We were guided through the application process, helping us frame our project in the right way and communicate how we hoped it would help us to grow our market share and local work force. The process was simple, and the guidance helped to ensure our project was a success. As such, we have actively recommended other companies to seek support, and we ourselves look forward to further funding opportunities.”

Gordon Dodd, Head of Strategy at Aircards

Aircards have been recognised for their addition to the export market and have been recognised as Northern Powerhouse Export Champions 2021 and 2022. They have also been able to export internationally, boosting their overall growth, with an international client base including Warner Bros, Microsoft, Pepsi, Disney, Haribo, Kinder, Unilever, Lush and Samsung.

There is still time to apply for a North of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant.

Small and medium businesses in Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside can apply for 50% funding for equipment projects totalling between £5k and £20k (exclusive of VAT) – alternatively eligible consultancy or design projects totalling between £8k and £20k (exclusive of VAT) can be supported. Eligible projects will be innovative and introduce new-to-market or new-to-business technologies or processes.

Any project that could improve efficiency, productivity or bring innovation alive within your company may be eligible. The final deadline for applications is the 3rd of March 2023, which will be the last chance to apply for funding through this programme.

Funded though the North of Tyne Recovery Innovation Fund and delivered by NBSL in partnership with Innovation Supernetwork, the grant was launched to enable a green and sustainable recovery after Covid-19. Projects with the potential to safeguard and create quality jobs, build a more inclusive economy and contribute towards the net zero agenda have all been given funding. For more information and to apply visit: https://ntca-innovationrecoverygrant.co.uk/