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Coleg Sir Gar: A Project That Takes Vindico Pack To Our Roots...

We’re excited to be collaborating with the Llanelli college that has played an important role in Vindico’s evolution. Coleg Sir Gar is the place where almost half of the Vindico team gained their skills as students or apprentices (including our brilliant, blue-sky-thinking Technical Director Ryan Griffiths). It’s also shaped some of the finest thinkers and innovators in Wales. Vindico’s latest project is a collaboration with both Coleg Sir Gar and the Agriculture Research Centre for Wales. The task? To build a bespoke software platform that collects and analyses sensor data on a multi-site project. The software will measure everything from the weather and soil moisture to leaf wetness and everything in between. It will provide a simple visualisation of complicated data in the field (literally!). It will also prompt the correct actions to take for optimal results, as well as logging these activities. The environment is an area that we’re particularly passionate about here at Vindico. In fact, this project ties in perfectly with our existing clean air initiative – Think Air. Keep your eyes peeled for a full case study on this exciting Welsh eco project. Click here  to find out more about our clean air sensor network – and how it can help your environmental impact

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Make That a Double: Vindico Partners with Penderyn Distillery Again...

Vindico is kicking off 2021 with an exciting new digital project for Penderyn Distillery. It’s not the first time Vindico have partnered with Penderyn Distillery. We first worked with the famed Welsh whisky makers in 2016 – back when their tour bookings system was as aged as their bourbon. But thanks to some #ThinkPurple attitude, we worked with the hugely talented whisky-makers to digitise their distillery tours and vouchers. To date, this new system has raised almost £1m in revenue. The dreaded bookings diary is also finally gone! In fact, it’s been such a hit that, since going live, the new site and booking system has now been translated into Welsh, French, German and Chinese. But fast-forward to today, and we couldn’t be happier to work with Penderyn again. This time around, they’re putting the Penderyn e-commerce site in our hands. With UX (user experience) at the forefront, we’ll be combining the existing standalone site with our current digital platform to deliver a single, intuitive shopping cart experience to all visitors. Watch this space for a full case study. Cheers

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The Welsh Government’s Clean Air (Wales) Bill: 3 Key Take-Aways...

This week, the Welsh Government released their Government’s Clean Air (Wales) Bill. But what exactly does it mean for you, your business, and your CSR? Our head of R&D – and Professor Emeritus of Swansea University – Paul Lewis sums it up. In a nutshell, the Clean Air (Wales) Bill shows a clear commitment by the Welsh Government to reduce the harm caused by exposure to air pollution. There are clear benefits not just to people’s health but also the environment. The key points to take away are: New powers for local authorities to implement Clean Air Zones or Low Emission Zones Some control to tackle fine particle air pollution from domestic burning New guidance for inter-sectoral workforces to tackle air pollution, and to protect the health and wellbeing of employees, while simultaneously delivering benefits for decarbonisation As Paul puts it: “At Vindico, we’ve had extensive dialogue with companies who already recognise the need to better protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce. “The new guidance and clarity will help those discussions enormously by answering the ‘why’s’, the ‘what’s’ and the ‘how’s’. It will also allow us to better tailor monitoring solutions for our clients.” Clean air is cause that we’re passionate about here at Vindico. To find out more about our Think Air initiative – and how it can help your business –

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Barcud: Designing and delivering a new website during a pandemic...

When Tai Ceredigion and Mid-Wales Housing Association merged to become Barcud, they knew they needed to get creative. The housing association was undergoing a complete brand transformation. And that called for a new website design that would set them apart. That’s where we came in. “We were looking for a company with innovative ideas,” says Barcud’s  Communications Officer, Janice Thomas “We needed a company who took all the different platforms into account. One who had the capacity to fulfil a very tight deadline, and who approached the project with a positive ‘can do’ attitude to problem solving.” They had us at “problem solving”, but it was up to us to prove that we could deliver. “Jo blew us away during the interview,” says Janice. “We over-ran on what we thought was a very generous time slot! “But he gave us ideas and possibilities and made us look at the project in a different way.” On to the project. In true Purple Vinja style, our Lead Creative, Kieran, worked closely with Barcud to understand what they wanted to achieve. He also used in-depth analytics from both current websites. These provided the concrete evidence we needed to inform key decisions throughout the entire website design process. Or, as Janice puts it: “Websites can be frightening things for muggles, but he put us at ease! “Kieran came up trumps. He worked with us, took our ideas on board, and provided justified reasoning behind why some things could, and could not, work. “In effect, Kieran had to work with two different organisations as the merger had not been completed. This meant juggling different ideas and priorities. But he dealt with it all in a professional, calm and diplomatic manner – even at the 11th hour, on a Sunday night, with a launch looming within hours!” The result? A new organisation with a clear, easy to navigate, fresh-looking website that sets Barcud apart from all other housing associations. “It’s different to all other housing association websites”, says Janice. “We’ve been praised for how easy it is to navigate, and how clean and sharp it looks. It’s everything we set out to achieve and we’re very happy with the outcome.” Could your website be performing better? Drop us a line to see how our #ThinkPurple approach can help you look at your site in a different way – for maximum

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Prof-Paul-Turns-Purple!

Professor Paul Lewis Remains Swansea University Spokesperson...

Paul may be joining us to head up R&D full time from January 2021, but he’s not fully cutting ties with academia just yet. The former Director of the Centre for Health and Environmental Management Research & Innovation will continue to be a spokesperson for Swansea University on the subject of (no points for guessing here) Air Quality. Paul has been heavily involved in research an innovation at the university since he became a professor at both the Medical School and School of Management in 2015. By 2017 Paul was Director of the Centre for Health and Environmental Management Research & Innovation (CHEMRI), which carries out research into how air pollution impacts on health and wellbeing.  Sound familiar?  It should do. This is what led to us collaborating on Think Air  – which is heavily influenced by Paul’s scientific interests and expertise. Paul’s role as spokesperson means he’ll continue to lend his expertise on air quality to press and publications – so you can expect to see and hear him across media outlets when the subject of air quality pops up. As well as this spokesperson role, Paul will also continue to sit on a number of Welsh Government panels and committees – where his expertise is helping to shape objectives, awareness and policies related to air quality. But back at Vindico, you can catch Paul’s signature work from January 2021. Got a project that needs Paul’s professional input in 2021? Drop us a line to see how we can take transform your next idea, concept or product into

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Prof-Paul-Turns-Purple!

Professor Paul Lewis Joins Vindico!...

Paul will head up R&D at Vindico on a full-time basis from January. Bringing with him a wealth of experience and expertise, Paul – who became a Professor at both the Medical School and School of Management at Swansea University in 2015 – will be helping us kick off the New Year in true Think Purple fashion. This new role expands on Paul’s existing work with us – which involved lending his expertise to develop Think Air. In case you haven’t already heard by now, Think Air  is on track to becoming the largest live air quality network in Wales – and you can find out more about that here . But back to Professor Paul… Think Air was hugely influenced by the Paul’s specialist interest in air pollution – and its impact on our health and wellbeing. In fact, Paul is a Geneticist by degree, and carried out his PhD at Swansea University (which was a mixture of research into evolutionary Genetics, cancer genetics and molecular modelling). After his PhD, Paul began a career in genetic toxicology, modelling how nasty chemicals in cigarette smoke actually cause cancer by attaching to our genes and damaging them. I was also a martial arts instructor in the university and interested in the importance of lung health, breathing techniques and the whole concept of ‘good air’ required for peak performance. As Paul puts it: “My entire career since has mainly focused on studying the air that we breathe through respiratory health diagnostics, data analytics and technology development. I went on to work in the University of Wales College of Medicine as well as Cardiff University before returning to Swansea as a Lecturer in the new Medical School in 2004, where I led the Respiratory Diagnostics Group. “In 2015, I became a Professor at both the Medical School and School of Management. In 2017, I became the Director of the Centre for Health and Environmental Management Research & Innovation (CHEMRI) where we carry out research into how air pollution impacts on health and wellbeing.  “I first met Jo about two and a half years ago at the university’s Centre for Research Innovation and was blown away by Vindico’s whole philosophy. I was heavily involved in innovation at the university and had already spun out a diagnostic company as well as an air pollution technology company with my son, Sam, so was looking to partner with external companies. “I met with Ryan as well, there was an obvious synergy with what we were all doing, and real potential to develop sensor technologies and networks. “They ended up sponsoring Sam as a PhD student, developing new environmental sensors and Think Air was born. Vindico has provided a huge commitment in taking Think Air forward towards commercial success and after many happy years in academia I’m jumping ship to help them deliver it! “I’ll be heading up R&D, so I’ll be well in my comfort zone. We’re heading for a busy year developing the environmental management arm within the company so that will be my main focus. “I’ll also be bringing health technology IP into the company, and we’ll be looking at ways to further develop new healthcare management systems. “Aside from the technology development, my real interest is building the AI, data analytics and modelling capabilities within the company to provide new services and products. “What I love about Vindico though is the whole Think Purple approach to developing ideas and being able to literally visualise the pipeline from concepts to solutions – it’s very different to the slow slog of innovation from academia! Best of all though I get to work in Parc Y Scarlets. My boyhood dream was to play for the Scarlets and now I can go and play there every day!” Speaking of Paul joining the team, Vindico MD Jo Polson added:  “We’ve worked with Paul for 2 years now and he’s been instrumental in the evolution of Think Air. “He’s brought in a level of expertise you almost can’t buy, and we are blessed to have him join our team officially and full time on January 1st, 2021. “It’s quite a coup! “But it’s not just in Air Quality, Paul brings an extra Secret Sauce of Statistical Analysis and R&D expertise to our Defence and visualisation work too. “He’s going to be a busy boy!” Keep your eyes peeled for some of Paul’s signature work from January 2021.   Got a project that needs Paul’s professional input? Drop us a line to see how we can take transform your next idea, concept or product into

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Ksharp

When Two Tech Minds Combine: Our Partnership With K Sharp...

Our partnership with K Sharp has come a long way since a chance meeting in Llanelli. We’ve collaborated on several high-profile projects, we’ve joined forces to carry out top secret work for the MoD, and now we’ve taken our (business) relationship to the next level by moving in together. But who exactly are K Sharp? And why are we so proud of our partnership? Here’s why they’re kind of a big deal. K Sharp is a Human Science Research and Human Factors consultancy founded by husband and wife team, Barry and Amanda Kirby. They’re all about understanding and optimising the relationship and interaction between people and technology. “We believe in bringing interesting people to work on fun projects,” says Barry. They’ve got experience in everything from Blue Sky Research (which explores what soldiers will look like in the future) through to the design of next-generation systems (including how can we control an armoured vehicle or a submarine), and also lend a cultural and behavioural understanding of cyber and social media, smart cities and wearable technologies. K Sharp works mostly in the defence industry, and their clients include Dstl, the MoD, BAE Systems, GD UK, and QinetiQ. Sound cool? It really is. Our first collaboration was the MoD’s UKDEf500 project. For Vindico, it’s been our first experience in the military domain, and for K Sharp it’s meant working with a similar mindset, but from dramatically different background. Our collaborations don’t end there. K Sharp continue to bring their expertise to a number of our projects. They’ve most recently lent their expertise to our SWAPP app – our very own safe workplace application that’s proven so successful that we recently rolled out a bespoke version on behalf of the WRU. So how exactly does Human Factors lend itself to design? Well, we’re all about our #ThinkPurple mantra here at Vindico. It means asking better questions to deliver the best outcomes, and Human Factors (HF) provides a vital human focus that helps us do just that. “It’s surprisingly easy to forget just who you’re designing your product or service for,” says Barry. “But HF methods allow you to step back, gain a common understanding of the problem space, and develop measurable requirements that keep the project focused on providing the best output for the end user.” And the benefits of HF don’t stop there. Focusing on what’s really needed leads to cheaper product development, less rework and, and most importantly, greater customer satisfaction. We continue to develop our partnership from our new joint home at Parc Y Scarlets , so expect to see even more collaborations led by HF methods over the coming months. But for now, we’ll be adopting those same tools to optimise our office space. You can find out more about K

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Parc y Scarlets

Vindico has Moved (Back) Home...

We’ve officially moved into our new home at Parc Y Scarlets – and we couldn’t be more excited to be back. Our MD Jo has built a 20-year working relationship with the Scarlets – and we love them so much that we originally moved the Vindico HQ to Parc y Scarlets  back in 2014. We stayed until 2018, when we had to admit that we’d outgrown our office space. But we’ve now returned to the stadium. Our team has doubled since we left, so this time around we’ve filled a new, bigger workspace with even more tech talent and innovation experience. We’re also bringing our partners, K Sharp along with us. Speaking of the move, Scarlets COO Phil Morgan said: “Our relationship with Vindico MD Jo goes back to Stradey Park, before the game turned professional. He’ll be the first to say that, back then, it was held together with ‘yogurt pots and string’. “As Jo’s team grew, we benefitted from this accumulated skill and experience, and we like to think we also played an important part in the development of Vindico. “It was a symbiotic relationship that produced some wonderful innovation, and Vindico are still a crucial part of the delivery team here at Parc Y Scarlets. “We are delighted to welcome Vindico back to the Parc, and we have already begun planning even more innovations to work on together. We are equally delighted to welcome K Sharp, and it will be exciting to see what effect this Human Factors expertise can add to our already first-class development and processes. “Parc y Scarlets is at heart of the community within the region, so to bring in-house one of the leading tech innovation companies in Wales is a great fit for the Scarlets, while adding the potential of high-tech job roles to the area. In these challenging times it’s great to play a part in a local success story.” You can find out more about our 20-year partnership with the

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Think Air Rolls Out Across Seven Counties...

This expansion means we’re on track to having the largest live air quality network in Wales! The next two weeks will see Think Air  expand its network across Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot, Carmarthenshire, Newport, Caerphilly and Suffolk. No points for guessing the odd one out. No, Suffolk isn’t in Wales (or at least it wasn’t the last time we checked), but it’s an exceptional project (and a little bit special), so we’ll reveal the details in a separate blog post very soon. But back to Wales… These locations have been carefully selected to add to our urban/rural monitoring sensor web, which tracks particulates locally as they travel across Wales. Sounds technical, doesn’t it? And it is. In fact, it’s the only project in the UK to take on the challenge. It’s changing the way we understand – and measure – the impact at a local level. It’s also helping us recognise the factors that are out of our control – such as pollution blowing in from the South and East of England, as well as Northern Europe – and how we can better prepare for these circumstances. The latest expansion of Think Air will help provide a more accurate picture of background air pollution levels, which, in turn, helps make local pollution-reducing initiatives more achievable. You’ll be able to find out more about this in an upcoming white paper. But on to the expansion… “The engagement with local businesses who want to play their part in our project has totally blown us away,” says Vindico MD, Jo Polson. “We are yet to speak to a single business who doesn’t want to help if they can.” Our latest locations include Llety Rafel Farm in Neath, which is home to Bee1 , who are dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of bees for our ecosystem. They work with schools and businesses across Wales, and they also happen to make the most fantastic honey we have ever tasted! They’re also a corporate partner of Niche , who will be providing us with our superb new Think Air location in Newport. The forward-thinking independent financial advisors are leading the way for corporate social responsibility in their field. They’ll also be helping us broadcast live Air Quality information direct to their digital billboard that faces the M4. Further West Mark Davies of Kanso Business will be providing us with the location and power to bring Think Air to Cross Inn near Laugharne in Carmarthenshire. These new locations mean we are on track to reaching our live air quality network targets, but we still have opportunities to partner with other forward-thinking business across Wales. Want to get involved? Click here to drop us a line to see how you can do business for good by being part of

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When Scarlet Meets Purple: How We’ve Built a 20-Year Partnership With the Scarlets...

Business partnerships that last 20+ years are rare – especially in the fast-paced world of tech. But it’s precisely these types of working relationships that we’ve become known for. Just ask our clients. Our unique #ThinkPurple approach (in case you missed it: that means asking better questions to deliver better outcomes) means we continue to work with our clients year after year – and the Llanelli Scarlets is a prime example. We’ve been working with the rugby team since 1999 (back in the days when they were known as Llanelli RFC). By 2001 we lent our tech expertise to every match day at the old Stradey Park. When the team moved to the newly constructed Parc Y Scarlets  in 2008, we were the people behind the design, build and management of the stadium’s entire tech infrastructure. It was this project that led to the development – and continuous evolution of – our Vindishow system, which is used to control every digital screen within the stadium including the large pitch side screen. You can find out more about how we continue to enhance match days here. We loved our partnership with the Scarlets so much that we even moved our offices to Parc Y Scarlets in 2014 – and we stayed until we’d outgrown the space in 2018. By 2019 we’d also taken on the Scarlets website  – creating bespoke game analysis plug ins and helping them skyrocketing their online footprint. Today, we continue to take care of almost all tech solutions for the Scarlets. We’re so proud of the partnership we’ve built – and the work we continue to do – that we’ve also been the West Stand sponsor for the last three years. Those words “West is Best” mean more to us than just branding – It’s with tons of pride that we continue to sponsor that stand – and we’ll keep doing so for as long as we can. But what’s next? Well, as 2020 draws to a close, we’re already looking ahead to 2021 – and we’re planning to move back home. Yes, that’s right. Vindico will be returning to PYS. Our team has doubled since we left – but we’ll be filling this new (larger) workspace with even more tech talent and innovation experience. Want to start building a partnership that stands the test of time? Click here to find out more about our #ThinkPurple ethos – and how it can transform your business for years

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