Air Quality remote sensing and associated technologies: creating societal and economic benefit at the University of Leicester.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

Access to clean air is considered to be a fundamental human right, and yet the cost of poor air quality in the United Kingdom is estimated at £9-20bn p.a. The University of Leicester has a strong heritage in Earth Observation Science and Instrumentation which, through a number of NERC research programmes, has been focussed on a few key areas of environmental science. This project will support the development of air quality technologies in particular, building on recent successful projects in this area.
Under this fellowship, Dr. Roland Leigh will develop a commercial service for traffic and air quality management, and demonstrate this service operationally in 3 urban environments. This activity will be supplemented by collaboration within an international network of collaborative academic, industial and local-authority partners across Europe. Furthermore, the commercial potential of 2 new air quality technologies will be explored with appropriate commercial partners, with the objective of a new company formation within the first 18 months of this fellowship. Finally, an innovative treatment for the hearing condition, tinnitus will be taken to clinical trials, and the ongoing commercial development of this project will be pursued.
These specific activities will be supplemented by the ongoing development of a culture of innovation and impact at the University of Leicester. A previous KE Fellowship for Dr. Roland Leigh laid solid foundations for NERC research to be translated into economic and societal impacts. This new fellowship into 2016 will capitalise on this framework and seek new innovations and solutions.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description This KE grant has enabled the air quality research at the University of Leicester to be widely seen and considered, both by potential users, and collaborators. A number of local authority users, public and policy bodies have engaged with the research, and assessed new products and services. Industrial collaborators have sought and secured funding to jointly develop new markets with this knowledge.
Exploitation Route A Joint Venture company to exploit these ideas has been formed. A number of products have now reached the market. Details can be found at www.earthsense.co.uk.
Sectors Environment,Transport

URL http://www.earthsense.co.uk
 
Description A new spin-out company has been created as a result of this fellowship. EarthSense Systems Ltd (www.earthsense.co.uk) was formed in Sept 2016, and is based at the Dock in Leicester. A wide range of potential end-users have seen the air quality research portfolio at the University of Leicester, and a significant number of industries have been consulted for potential collaboration. EarthSense has now grown to a company with 10 employees, and has 3 offices at the Dock, Leicester. It is on target for over £1m of turnover in 2018.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Air Quality Mapper - 3D Tomography
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation UK Space Agency 
Department Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2014 
End 06/2016
 
Description CENTA PhD Studentship - Jordan White
Amount £75,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 09/2017
 
Description CEOI NSTP Flagship
Amount £1,400,000 (GBP)
Organisation UK Space Agency 
Department Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 08/2017
 
Description College Studentship for Antoine Jeanjean
Amount £37,500 (GBP)
Organisation University of Leicester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2016
 
Description CompAQS-ST Flight build (Me Co-I - Paul Monks PI)
Amount £511,355 (GBP)
Organisation UK Space Agency 
Department Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
End 10/2016
 
Description DfT - Cenex, instrumentation of Electric Vehicles
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department of Transport 
Department DfT, DVLA and VOSA
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description ESA Sysnova
Amount € 40,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country France
Start 10/2014 
End 02/2015
 
Description ESA Sysnova Follow-on - detailed CDF study
Amount € 60,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country France
Start 05/2015 
End 10/2015
 
Description HotSpotMapper - Space for Smarter Government (Paul Monks PI, me Co-I)
Amount £79,000 (GBP)
Organisation UK Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2015 
End 03/2016
 
Description Manila Observatory - Philanthropic support
Amount £17,500 (GBP)
Organisation Manila Observatory 
Sector Academic/University
Country Philippines
Start 09/2015 
End 09/2016
 
Description University of Leicester Proof of Concept Funding
Amount £14,600 (GBP)
Organisation University of Leicester 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2014 
End 02/2015
 
Description iTRAQ-Demonstration
Amount € 375,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Space Agency 
Sector Public
Country France
Start  
End 08/2016
 
Description Bluesky International Ltd 
Organisation Bluesky International
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution New MPhil Studentship for Philip Peterson to work on small sensors, detailed discussions now taking place on potential for Joint Venture between the University and Bluesky. Company formation expected in Summer 2016.
Collaborator Contribution Support of studentship fees, plus support on small sensor applications, particularly to schools. Access to planes for airborne demonstrator, free access to a range of datasets (worth £3m) for development of demonstration products.
Impact Prototype new instruments produced. Commercial service for air quality mapping launched. High probability of joint venture company being created in mid 2016
Start Year 2014
 
Description Cenex- electric vehicles 
Organisation Cenex
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Free lease of 2 electric vehicles over the summer of 2014, in order to examine the potential for the use of electric vehicles for air quality monitoring. Followed by lease of Nissan Leaf for 2 years. This led to a number of funding bids, one of which has been successful, and has led to a collaborative project to use instrumented electric vehicles to monitor air quality across a city.
Collaborator Contribution Lease of 2 electric smart cars, lease of Leaf, and leading a DfT project.
Impact One active DfT project currently funded (£50k approx). Further funding applications planned.
Start Year 2014
 
Description TRL 
Organisation Transport Research Laboratory Ltd (TRL)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Air Quality modelling for a novel traffic management system, under ESA funding.
Collaborator Contribution System Architecture developments, and delivery of air quality model
Impact Air Quality modelling, future cities.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Thales Alenia UK 
Organisation Thales Group
Department Thales Alenia Space
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Design of new air quality monitoring satellite instruments
Collaborator Contribution Design of satellite platforms
Impact ESA contract x2 and CEOI Flagship project
Start Year 2014
 
Title Air Quality PODs 
Description Small air qualtiy sensor 
Type Of Technology Detection Devices 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact A number of applications, including interactions with Leicester city Council, Cenex and Bluesky. 
 
Company Name EarthSense Systems Ltd 
Description EarthSense is a joint venture between the University of Leicester and Bluesky International Ltd designed to meet the needs of the growing air quality monitoring market. We aim to deliver products that enable the world to visualise and solve its air quality issues. We enable policy makers, planners and those responsible for delivering results access to data in a way that enables them to create scenarios which can lead to truly deliverable solutions on the ground. 
Year Established 2016 
Impact Only 6 months old at present. Commercialising outputs from ESA and UKSA programmes. Currently engaged in a Healthy New Towns initiative for the NHS among other things.
Website http://www.earthsense.co.uk