ProSpectral Ltd

Jun 15, 2023

ProSpectral is a start-up developing next-generation spectral imaging technology and have been working on a mineral identification camera in collaboration with University of Exeter staff through Deep Digital Cornwall (DDC). This has included technical input from Prof. Ben Williamson and Prof. Robin Shail, together with Cornish Lithium, and using cleanroom facilities at the University of Cambridge.

Nature of intervention

ProSpectral wanted to test technology for the design of novel spectral imaging systems, aided by the domain-specific knowledge of DDC DPs, for the subsequent development of highly compact application-specific hardware and software for rapid exploration and on-site mineralogical identification.

Value of any grant support

The project started on 3rd January 2022 with a DDC Innovation Voucher of approx. £5k to demonstrate the validity of the approach, which was followed up with an ERDF Research and Innovation Project grant of £75k running from 1st July 2022 for the ‘TopoSpec’ project.

How the DDC connection occurred

ProSpectral attended a Business Assist meeting in December 2021 where their project, along with any collaboration with delivery partners, was discussed.

What the business assist/grant has achieved

Amongst other research costs, the grant has enabled ProSpectral to purchase a Short Wavelength Infrared (SWIR) spectrometer and other camera sensors to assist them in developing their new mineral-analysis hardware. With the provision of samples from Cornish Lithium, and data from Profs Williamson and Shail, this has furthered the development of ’TopoSpec’, which is expected to be a new-to-market, customisable, low-cost, handheld or drone-mountable imaging platform, powered by cutting-edge metamaterial sensor technology inspired by the team’s past research at the University of Cambridge. The project has been tailored initially towards lithium detection and exploration in Cornwall and has included a site visit, so that the business can better understand the needs of mineralogists and engineers working in the field.

Plans for the future

ProSpectral are continuing to refine the design of their hardware, and the software that powers it, as they look to accelerate toward a market launch. The business is keen to explore future product development and grant funding opportunities with DDC collaborators, both in mineral imaging as well as further afield, for materials analysis in a range of industries

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