2022 Cohort > FC Laboratories Ltd

FC Laboratories Ltd

Business Proposition

Interest in mental wellbeing and performance is booming. Yet current wearable technology can only guess at what’s going on inside our heads. Our mission is to make wearable brain imaging technology a part of everyday life. Our vision is a range of products and solutions across multiple sectors and applications which empower and encourage individuals, teams and businesses to perform at their best, avoid accidents and injuries and improve overall health & wellbeing.

Our first product, CoreTech, is a groundbreakingly simple, small, low cost device which tracks levels of mental attention and fatigue, providing insights and alerts to keep people safe, optimise performance and prevent burnout. Our primary target sectors are initially challenging, high-risk work environments such as construction, engineering, oil & gas, mining and utilities. Future applications for CoreTech in other sectors are also being explored, primarily passenger transport, logistics & warehousing, manufacturing, defence & emergency services. We have also received a lot of interest from employers with people working in traditional office jobs (many of them now working from home) who are interested in using CoreTech to support broader wellbeing, encouraging behavioural change and preventing burnout. A pre-production prototype will be completed by the end of Q3 22, with pilots commencing Q4 and launch in Q2 2023.

Research from the UK’s Health & Safety Executive confirms that over 90% of workplace accidents, injuries and errors are caused by human error, typically a simple lack of attention. In the UK alone there were an average of 690,000 workplace injuries, 134 workplace injury fatalities and 559,000 new cases of ill health annually between 2017-2020. The total costs to individuals, employers and government of workplace self-reported injuries and ill health in 2018/19 was £16.2 billion, with 34% of this caused by injuries alone (£5.6 billion, £1.7m per fatality, £8,800 per non-fatal injury). The major costs to employers arise from productivity costs (occupational/ statutory sick pay payments made, plus ‘production disturbance’ costs) and ELCI premiums. Latest figures estimate direct costs to the employer of almost £3,000 per workplace injury and £578,000 per fatality. CoreTech’s fundamental benefits for businesses are to reduce the occurrence of workplace accidents, injuries and errors, thereby reducing costs and maximising profitability, whilst also encouraging widespread self-management and behavioural change which improves overall health, wellbeing and productivity of the workforce.

Our anticipated price point for Core-Tech is just $60, a fraction of any competitor or comparable solution. These include a range of technologies, from eye tracking to employee education. All tend to be complicated, cumbersome, costly and intrusive, so limited to the highest risk, highest value scenarios and typically fixed to vehicles and other plant & machinery (CAT’s driver safety system for example). Our closest brain imaging competitor, Smartcap, uses EEG, a technology which is vulnerable to factors such as sweat, dust and movement so unsuitable for challenging, real-world environments. It is also more than 20 x the cost of CoreTech. Other brain imaging devices available are intended for academic and clinical research (eg Kernel, Artinis, Gowerlabs). Their solutions are portable rather than wearable, extremely expensive (up to $100k), and produce raw data rather than processed insights which an everyday user could benefit from.

CoreTech is part of the rapidly growing smart PPE market, worth $2.41 bn globally in 2019. Driven by accelerating adoption of Industry 4.0, particularly the Industrial Internet of Things, it is expected to reach $7.7 bn by 2027. Our ambition is to have CoreTech adopted wherever hard hats or high viz vests are seen; to make it a ‘no brainer’ decision for employers, with bottom line benefits more than covering the cost.

Our core team is possibly our greatest competitive advantage. We appear to be adopting a unique approach in the wearable brain imaging space, with our ethos being to build products which solve real problems in a simple, low cost way suitable for everyday, real world use. Our team includes dedicated software development, electrical engineering and product design, all with extensive experience of wearable technology product development. We are supported by a team of advisors, with areas of expertise covering biomedical optics, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, performance & productivity, workplace health & safety, business development and finance. Our academic research partner is the University of Stirling.

Our IP focuses particularly on the algorithms which process raw data and deliver the required insights and alerts, becoming more personalised and detailed as the volume of data allows. We are currently working with HGF on our first patent application, due to be submitted by end Feb 22.

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