Smart society case studies

The DnaNudge store in Covent Garden

DNA startup

Startup DnaNudge offers the world’s first DNA based service for healthier food choices. At its flagship store in London’s Covent Garden, DnaNudge provides on-the-spot DNA testing, where the customer’s genetic profile is mapped to key nutrition-related health traits and paired with app and wearable technology that ‘nudges’ users towards healthier choices while food shopping. Founded by Professor Chris Toumazou and Dr Maria Karvela, DnaNudge has also developed a solution for rapid, lab-free, high-accuracy COVID-19 testing which is now being deployed within the NHS.

Dr Declan O'Regan with heart image displayed on computer screen

Heart drug discovery

A partnership between Imperial and Bayer Pharmaceuticals is using machine learning to accelerate drug discovery for heart conditions. Machine learning techniques developed under the lead of Dr Declan O’Regan, a consultant radiologist, heart expert Professor Martin Wilkins, and Professor Daniel Rueckert, an expert in computer vision, generate 3D models showing the structure and the function of hearts, and track complex relationships between heart function and genetic data. The results will allow the researchers to discover pathways involved in heart disease that could provide targets for new treatments.

Image of pedestrian with overlay showing metrics like 'distraction level' and 'crossing intent'

Safer autonomous vehicles

Humanising Autonomy, an alumni-founded AI startup building predictive AI technology for urban mobility, has raised investment of over £5.3m. CEO Maya Pindeus and her co-founders are piloting an AI system that is able to improve the way vehicles and systems interact with people in any environment by predicting human behaviour. The founders met as students on Imperial and the Royal College of Art’s programme in Innovation Design Engineering, and accessed support from Imperial’s entrepreneurship training and mentoring programmes to launch the venture.

Computer vision

Imperial and Dyson are continuing to advance computer vision technology to allow robots to perceive, model, and interact autonomously. The research at Professor Andrew Davison’s Dyson Robotics Lab is helping create a next generation capability for robots in unstructured environments. Many other Imperial labs are also developing computer vision technologies, for example a fast and simple method for building a 3D model of a person’s face, now available for licensing, developed by Dr Abhijeet Ghosh and colleagues.

Additive manufacturing

Imperial startup TOffeeAM has secured seed funding and industry customers including General Electric for its design for additive manufacturing software. Founded by Dr Francesco Montomoli from the Department of Aeronautics with researchers Dr Marco Pietropaoli and Dr Audrey Gaymann, the team designed software to create optimised designs for complex 3D-printed parts such as those used in aircraft and car engines. Following three years of lab-based research they launched the company with training and advice from the College.

Data Spark

The Data Spark programme, run by Imperial Business Analytics, offers students opportunities to tackle realworld data analytics-based problems by consulting for companies such as DLA Piper and KPMG. With mentoring from Imperial and the companies, recent projects include a dashboard to help global law firm DLA Piper understand how factors such as team structure affect client success metrics, and a simulation to optimise shipping logistics for a client of KPMG’s. The companies have benefitted from insights that have transformed their practices, and access to a pipeline of talent, with several graduates taking up positions at the firms. Follow at @IB_Analytics.