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SWAPP: Helping Businesses and People to Stay Safe...

COVID has brought many new challenges for businesses. That’s where SWAPP (Smart Workplace Application) comes in. We’ve shouted a lot about SWAPP playing a crucial part in bringing British sport back safely. But SWAPP also provides the safety measures to keep staff, contractors, and visitors safe across all industries. But let’s rewind. What is SWAPP? SWAPP is our unique software platform that features a handy QR code scanner, contactless sign in / out access, valuable track and trace, and pre-registration features. It also monitors industry standards, workplace regulations, and industry accreditations. This makes sure that all members of staff and contractors are up-to-date and meet the current required guidelines. It’s also the app behind bringing many sporting events – including the Six Nations in Wales and the EIHL’s Elite Series – back safely in the UK. How did it come about? SWAPP was originally developed to meet the accreditation needs of Transport for Wales. But we used a new problem (COVID) as a catalyst to not just solve new issues but fix old ones, too. SWAPP then caught the attention of the WRU. So we developed it to meet the demands of sport during the pandemic. It was adopted to safely bring us the Autumn Internationals and the Six nations. Following its success, it was later adopted by Scarlets Rugby, Cardiff Rugby, Sale Sharks, and the Elite Ice Hockey League. Today it helps stadiums including Principality Stadium, the Arms Park and Parc Y Scarlets to safely manage staff, teams, contractors, and visitors. It’s also recently been adopted by Andrew Scott. “We used the Covid pandemic as a chance to not just tackle new problems, but solve old ones, too,” says Vindico MD, Jo Polson. “What started as product for a public sector client quickly became an essential tool for changing workforces. And we’ve continuously updated features to stay one step ahead.” New features and updates for SWAPP include contract management, track and trace, snagging, and risk assessments to make workplaces safer and more efficient. Promoting digital knowledge transfer (which is more important now than ever before), SWAPP is now one of the most prominent safety apps used in Welsh sport and business. It will also soon be rolled out at every train station in Wales, too! Got a business, venue, or team who could benefit from SWAPP? Click here to drop us a line.    

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VINDICO SELECTED FOR SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY COUNTDOWN...

Vindico has made the prestigious Small Biz 100 line-up, which showcases inspiring, independent businesses from across the country. Now in its ninth year in the UK, Small Business Saturday celebrates small business success. It encourages us to ‘shop local’ and support businesses in our communities – especially as we navigate the pandemic. Vindico will be highlighted on social media on 4 December 2021 as part of the 100-day countdown to Small Business Saturday UK. “It’s been a challenging time for small businesses everywhere, and we’ve all had to work smarter and harder to make it through,” says Vindico MD, Jo Polson. “For us, making the Small Biz 100 line up is recognition that we are on the right path and are set up ready for the next stage of our growth and development. “It’s about more than just our story though, this is an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with 99 other fantastic small businesses in the UK – and that’s something that excites us massively!” This year, ahead of the UN Climate Summit COP26 in Glasgow, the Small Biz 100 features small firms with a passion for sustainability, to demonstrate the important part small businesses play in tackling climate change and helping the UK to achieve net zero. And our self-funded Think Air project is helping businesses and individuals to do just that.  It’s on track to being the UK’s largest live background air quality monitoring network – and it’s changing the way that schools, businesses, and the agricultural sector approach – and manage – activities related to air pollution. With a pledge to go net zero, Think Air is helping to raise awareness of air pollution and encourage positive behaviour change for better – more sustainable – outcomes. “Throughout the crisis we have been reminded of the special role that small firms play in local areas, looking after their customers, communities and the planet,” says Michelle Ovens CBE, Director of Small Business Saturday UK. “We are excited to be kicking off this year’s campaign to show our thanks to amazing small businesses like Vindico. As firms recover from the challenges of the pandemic we are calling upon everyone to get behind the campaign to make it our most impactful Small Business Saturday yet.” A grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. It remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its ongoing championing the UK high street and commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. On Small Business Saturday, customers across the UK go out and support all types of small businesses, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Many small businesses take an active role in promoting the day by hosting events and offering promotions. Small Business Saturday attracts huge attention on the day itself, with an impact that last all year. Last year the campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter, with the Prime Minister, leader of the opposition and the Mayor of London among those publicly supporting the campaign. Over 90% of local councils also supported the campaign. Click here to get involved in Small Business Saturday

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Think Air Has Officially Launched!...

Think Air has officially launched – and we’d like to thank everyone who tuned in to support this virtual event.   This week saw Think Air officially launch – with hundreds of climate-conscious businesses tuning in to find out how they can make a difference to air quality in the UK.   The Welsh air quality sensor network – which has already been piloted at several locations, has had the thumbs-up from Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and has been shortlisted for a national Small Award – is now rolling out to organisations, local authorities, research projects, and schools across the UK.   Hosted by Barry Kirby of K Sharp, the launch featured conversations with experts including:   Professor Paul Lewis – Head of R&D at Think Air and Professor Emeritus at Swansea University   Jo Polson – Award-Winning Tech Entrepreneur and MD of Think Air   Catherine Lloyd-Jenkins – Former Head Teacher, and Education Consultant to TASK   Sam Lewis – R&D at Think Air, and Swansea University PHD Student   Robin Cammish – Entrepreneur and Chairman of Think Air   The insightful one-hour virtual launch also highlighted the health, wellbeing, and environmental risks of air pollution – particularly PM2.5, PM10 and CO2 – as well as the benefits of real-time monitoring. Professor Paul Lewis also presented new and unique data and insights about air quality in Wales.   Of course, the focus always returned to the solutions – the three Think Air products being launched: Internal Air Quality Monitors, External Air Quality Monitors, and TASK (Think Air Schools Kit). The latter of which has been specially created with former head teacher Catherine Lloyd-Jenkins to fit seamlessly with the current national curriculum for Key Stage 2. It has also been developed to fill the STEM void in the current Welsh curriculum.   We’d like to, once again, thank everyone who joined us online for the Think Air launch event.   All three Think Air products are now available via the Think Air online store. You can also speak to one of the team to find out more about Think Air – and how it can help your business, organisation, or school – by clicking

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The Think Air Launch Event – You’re Invited...

Think Air will launch on 22nd June 2021 at Parc Y Scarlets with a FREE virtual event. Think Air has had quite the year so far. It now powers the largest non-governmental external Air Quality network in the UK. It’s also transforming public and private sector workplaces by internally monitoring CO2 for optimum health, wellbeing and performance. It made the shortlist at this year’s national Small Awards, and it was also presented to Prime Minister Boris Johnson at No 10 Downing Street.   Now – after a whirlwind 2021 so far – Think Air is officially launching – and we’re inviting forward-thinking organisation, individuals, and school who care about climate change to be the first to see why we need to think air.   Air pollution is a major concern in the UK – and this virtual event will reveal how the air around us is key to driving better outcomes – for businesses, stakeholders, schools, communities, and the next generation.   This free virtual launch event – which takes place on 22nd June 2021 – will give you an insight into: Air quality in the UK – and why it’s never been so important The benefits of external air quality monitoring (PM2.5 and particulate matter) Internal air quality monitoring (and the impact of CO2 on health and wellbeing) Think Air for Schools (TASK) and its seamless integration into the national curriculum (Key Stage 2)   You’ll also learn: What air quality monitoring can do for your business, your targets, your productivity, and your community How low-cost local monitors can help organisations drive measured improvement Why it’s crucial that we measure PM2.5 – and the need for background monitoring How it impacts the next generation – and what you can do to become a champion for change There will also be a live Q&A, where you’ll be encouraged to send questions in advance for: Professor Paul Lewis – Head of R&D at Think Air and Professor Emeritus at Swansea University Ryan Griffiths – Technical Director of Think Air Jo Polson – Award-Winning Tech Entrepreneur and MD of Think Air Catherine Lloyd-Jenkins – Former Head Teacher, and Education Consultant to TASK   We all have a responsibility to create a better future and now you’re invited to join other environmentally conscious organisations and see how you can play your part, too. Click here to get your

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Paul Lewis and The Clean Air Act for Wales...

This week marked the first Cross-Party group session for the Clean Air Act under the new parliament – and Paul Lewis was there to lend his advice. The Clean Air Act Cross-Party Group was formed in January 2019 to deliver a Clean Air Act for Wales. Originally chaired by Dr Dai Lloyd MS, the membership included Members of Senedd (MS) across major political parties, Professor Paul Lewis (representing Swansea University), and representatives from non-governmental organisations. These include British Lung Foundation, Sustans Cymru, Friends of the Earth, Living Streets, British Heart Foundation Cymru, Royal College of Physicians and Renewables UK Cymru. More than just a meeting, these groups provide an important opportunity to bring academia, the public sector, and commercial enterprises together to find tangible solutions. “Cross-Party Groups provide an opportunity for Members of Senedd to engage with external stakeholders on a particular subject,” explains Vindico Head of R&D, Paul Lewis. “Given the major and growing concerns about air pollution in Wales there was an obvious need for politicians and experts to engage on a regular basis to help deliver and change and improved legislation.” Meetings are held quarterly. The Clean Air Act for Wales sessions usually involve a presentation from an expert on air pollution, followed by important discussions on strategies for clean air zones in Wales, transport improvements, and awareness campaigns. Following the 2021 Welsh Parliament elections, the group was reformed with a new chair, Huw Irranca-Davies MS, who now leads the group to debate the needs of the Clean Air Act – and how air pollution continues to impact on the health and wellbeing of people in Wales, and its biodiversity. The first meeting of the reformed group took place on 9th June 2021, and Vindico’s Head of R&D, Paul Lewis, was there to advise on air pollution patterns in Wales, and the impacts of pollutants – such as fine particulates – on health and wellbeing. “The Cross-Party Group – A Clean Air Act for Wales – through its members – have played a significant role in discussing air pollution problems in Wales, and what the requirements should be for new legislation,” says Paul. “Following the introduction of the Clean Air Act White Paper in January, the group now has a critical role in ensuring that the Act is delivered as soon as possible by the new Welsh Parliament. “The group will strive to ensure that Members of Senedd and Ministers are kept informed of new evidence on how air pollution impacts lives through continued engagement with experts until at least the Clean Air Act is delivered.”   And leading the way for the essential data needed to shape these decisions is Think Air. The largest non-government urban and rural background particulate monitoring network in the UK, Think Air is now live across over 100 locations in England and Wales. It officially launches on 22nd June 2021. Click here to find out more.    

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Vindico Helps Boris Johnson Launch Together For Our Planet Campaign at Downing Street...

Vindico Managing Director Jo and Technical Director Ryan were at Downing Street on Friday to help Boris Johnson launch the new ‘Together for Our Planet’ campaign. The event at No 10 Downing Street launched the nationwide campaign that will roll out across the UK in the run up to the UN Climate Summit in October. With the aim of encouraging small businesses to commit to cutting their carbon emissions, the campaign celebrates small businesses – like us at Vindico – who are taking steps to decarbonise their businesses. Only eight small businesses from across the UK were in attendance, and we were over-the-moon to be chosen as a UK Business Climate Leader for our leading air quality monitoring and measuring network, Think Air. Officially launching on 22nd June 2021, our Think Air network is already gathering live data across Wales and England. It’s also the largest non-governmental particulate monitoring and measuring network in the UK. Following months of research and development, we used Friday’s event to unveil our latest Think Air product: “TASK” (which stands for ‘Think Air Schools Kit’). We developed the latest product alongside head teachers – so it sits in line with the current Welsh and English curriculums. And it’s been specially designed to get children aged 9 to 11 building, coding, and measuring the air quality around them – at school, at home, and on the daily commute. Who was the first person outside of Vindico to get their hands on TASK? Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, of course. The PM not only built the product, but also praised Vindico’s vision and commitment to the next generation. “I’m not just a business owner, I’m a parent as well. And I, like many parents, want a better, more sustainable world for my children,” said MD Jo. “It’s our job to make sure that children have the tools and knowledge to deal with the challenges ahead. TASK delivers this in a practical and fun way, while learning about the importance of sustainability. “Sustainability spreads – and we’re lucky that we get to work with some of the UK’s most carbon-conscious clients. But now’s the time to help spread the message to the next generation. “Being a part of the Together for Our Planet campaign, and being able to present at Downing Street, has been a huge opportunity for us as a small business. By committing to Net Zero, we’re just trying to do our bit, and to be recognised for our carbon-conscious efforts is incredible.”   Click here for more information about Think Air, TASK, and our official

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New WRU Collaboration Is Another Try for Vindico’s SWAPP App...

Vindico’s SWAPP app and the WRU will be partnering once again to keep players, staff, and contractors safe.   Following successful Autumn International and Six Nations campaigns, the WRU are again turning to SWAPP to keep everyone safe during their upcoming Wales U20 Six Nations tournament.   SWAPP’s latest adoption by the WRU follows the EIHL’s successful Elite Series tournament at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena.   It will also be the first to extend SWAPP’s track and trace capabilities beyond the stadium.   “This latest gig for SWAPP will see it being used by the WRU’s teams and staff at Principality Stadium, as well as the teams looking after players and staff at each of the six allocated hotels in the city,” explained Vindico MD, Jo Polson.   “This latest extension will not only keep everyone at the stadium, both and off the pitch, safe and compliant, but will also make sure that all staff at the hotels are safe to work and make contact with the tournament’s teams and staff.”   “Additions including accreditation standards, access zones, daily COVID testing, and outputting data direct to the NHS have all been added. SWAPP will continue to evolve to play its part in bringing events back safely, and we’re looking forward to the next challenge.”   The safety app – which is a bespoke version of the original app we created for Transport for Wales – features a handy QR code scanner, valuable track and trace, and pre-registration features. It also monitors standards and accreditations. This makes sure that all members of staff and contractors are up-to-date and meet the current required guidelines.   We’re also continually enhancing SWAPP Lite’s safety features. Its latest features include accreditation standards, access zones, daily COVID testing, and the ability to output data directly to the NHS. A fire register, and a new look sign in/out book are among the latest app updates.   SWAPP is playing a valuable part in bringing sport back safely to stadiums and arenas across the UK. And as we gradually ease lockdown restrictions, we’re looking forward to seeing this valuable app continue to evolve.   Got a team, organisation, or venue that could benefit from SWAPP? Drop us a line to see how its tailored features can help you stay safe

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Think Air Partners with Thriving Hive This World Bee Day...

We’re buzzing about Think Air’s new collaboration with UK honeybee experts, Thriving Hive.  Thriving Hive is a Coventry University project that will see scientists and beekeepers work together to help bees in the UK to thrive in their environment. Honeybees today face many threats to their environment – and air pollution could be a key contributor.   We don’t yet know how much air quality impacts our bees – but Think Air is about to help change this.   Up until now, air pollution has been the subject of little research, but our collaboration will help us top understand the direct effect of toxic air (especially fine particulate matter, or PM2.5) on honeybee health and productivity.   How?   Well, it’s not an easy task, but Think Air will be working with Thriving Hive to map particulate presence across the UK. The project will help us to monitor – and better understand – the impact of small particle air pollution on the honeybees, their hives, and their hive products.   60 beekeepers from various locations across the West Midlands will take part in the project. Each one will receive a Think Air sensor to record local air pollution. They’ll then work together with Thriving Hive’s team of scientists to analyse results and put measures in place that will help UK honeybees thrive.   We’ll be reporting back with the latest buzz on this project when it gets under way.   You can find out more about our cutting-edge Think Air sensor and software network here, or by dropping us a

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Building A Team That Drives Innovation: A Think Purple Approach...

How we’ve created a community of the right people, doing the right roles, to transform client ideas into remarkable, results-driven creations.   Innovation. Not a week goes by without the buzzword popping up somewhere. From LinkedIn posts to strategy meetings to the mainstream evening news, innovation is having more than it’s fifteen minutes.   But behind the most successful innovations is a remarkable team. A team that brings together the essential roles, responsibilities, and blue sky thinking an innovation needs to succeed.   And that’s exactly what our Think Purple approach achieves.   Because anyone can have an idea. It’s what you do with that idea that makes all the difference.   Innovation is about transforming ideas into concepts, concepts into prototypes, and prototypes into products that change the way businesses operate – for the better.   Here at Vindico, we call it: Thinking Purple.   It means asking better questions to deliver better outcomes. And it’s more than just a catchy slogan. It’s our ethos, our mission, it underpins everything we do, and it’s what our clients know and trust.   Our Think Purple approach doesn’t just apply to our clients – we use it to shape everything we do inside the Vindico brand, too – including selecting the right people, for the right roles.   An innovation dream team (or, as we call them, ‘Purple Vinjas’) is a key to our framework.   We’ve created an award-winning community of Wales’ finest creative thinkers, engineers, and technologists to deliver real innovation, at pace.   Innovation also means staying ahead of wider trends – and a shift to digital adoption has seen Vindico add three new web dev experts to our team in the last few weeks alone.   It’s this forward-thinking, agile approach that lets us continue to design – and implement – the technologies that transform inspiring scenarios client success stories like no other.   Because, amidst the creativity, innovation is ultimately about results – and our Purple Vinjas have a track record of working together to turn exciting topics into concrete, commercial results.   And we do it all while predicting – and continually innovating – solutions that help our clients to navigate the ever-changing tech landscape.   Today’s environment can be challenging, but innovation (there we go with that buzzword again) is key for succeeding in challenging times. And we’ve got the team who can help you implement the solutions you need to adapt, grow, and thrive in today’s changing environment.   Want to start turning your ideas into tangible results that will give your brand a competitive edge? Drop our Purple Vinjas a

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Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah: Why We Must Take Air Pollution Seriously...

A coroner has called for a change in the law after air pollution led to the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. Vindico’s Head of R&D, Professor Paul Lewis explains why this is the right decision. According to the BBC, the inquest found air pollution “made a material contribution” to her death, adding that there’s “no safe level of particulate matter”. And we couldn’t agree more. Ella is the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as the cause of death on their death certificate. And it’s a trend we could see escalate if we continue to produce – and breathe in – particulate matter (PM2.5) at our current levels. But the report is a new milestone in the drive to get the UK government to adopt the WHO recommendation of a PM2.5 annual limit value of 10ug/m3. It means that some areas of the UK could be in breach of legislation in the future, and legal action could be taken against governments – in a similar way to what we have seen for NO2 over the last few years. The major area of concern from this report though is that people don’t know where to find information on air pollution. The adverse impacts of air pollution on patients are also not being communicated properly by carers and healthcare providers. We know that this needs to change, and we’re actively promoting air quality measuring and awareness through our Think Air network. Think Air is the only project in the UK to take on the challenge of understanding background and wide range air quality on this scale, and it’s changing the way we understand and measure the impact of toxic air – particularly PM2.5 – at a local level. Today, Think Air is on track to being the largest live air quality sensor network in Wales – and the largest in the UK by the end of 2021. To find out more about Think Air – and how your business can benefit – drop us

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