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Extronics awarded Second Development Fund for social distancing & contact tracing solution

24 March 2021

Extronics has been awarded a phase two grant from the UK government sustainable innovation fund for its work in developing a contact tracing and social distancing solution primarily targeted at process industries but also suitable in other work environments.

Extronics was previously awarded an initial grant for developing a social distancing and contact tracing solution as part of the existing iTAG X30 product platform.

Learn more about the phase one grant

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £200 million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of the Sustainable Innovation Fund (SIF). The aim of this grant is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19.

Dr Julian Poyner, Engineering Director at Extronics, commented on the need for this development, “Although a vaccine is available and is being rolled out free of charge in the UK, this is not the case in many other countries. It is unknown how long it will take to vaccinate the world population and therefore it is highly likely that social distancing and contact tracing (SD&CT) will need to remain in place for many years. Facilitating safe working is still key to getting economies back up and running. The benefits of contact tracing and prioritising testing of operatives who have had encounters with a confirmed case have proven to be useful and practical to organisations operating in the process industries.”

Extronics was one of 19 companies successful in receiving the grant as part of the SIF offered by the UK government.

Extronics iTAG X30 is the world’s first hybrid technology tracking tag for hazardous areas Zone O, 1 and 2. In February 2021, Extronics delivered its first batch of 1,300 iTAG X30 tags to a major petrochemical company in Malaysia.

John Hartley, CEO of Extronics, added “We are extremely pleased with the iTAG X30 development and see it as a game-changing step in the hazardous areas RTLS marketplace. The grant funding has allowed us to accelerate the development and add social distancing and contact tracing to further increase worker safety across the process industries.”

iTAG X30 Phase Two Funding Development

The second phase of funding will build upon the successful deployment of the iTAG X30 social distancing and contact tracing solution. It will mean that Extronics can develop an offline version that does not require site wide wi-fi. This will help speed up deployment of a SD & CT in cost effective way to ensure personnel remain safe whilst on-site.   

The major development areas made possible by the second phase of the UK Innovate grant include:

Alternative communications technologies to allow the backhaul of data from the iTAG X30 to the Extronics Location Engine (ELE).
Design and incorporation of a software Application Programmable Interface (API) to allow information from the ELE to be sent to any third-party platform.

Elimination of the virus from the surface of the iTAG X30 which will help prevent its spread.

If you would like to learn more about how Extronics is driving innovation with the new iTAG X30, please contact us via phone on +44 (0)1606 738 446 or, email us at info@extronics.com


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