Rebecca Broad – Exeter Tech Which May Have Flown Under Your Radar
It’s tempting to go straight to the big players when thinking about Exeter tech. The Met Office, Crowdcube, EDF Energy, Lightfoot, Exeter Science Park – all great organisations using technology to inform, educate, and empower people. I’m going to use this space, though, to shout out some Exeter-based organisations I’ve only learned about in the past 6 months or so. Each uses tech to better our world.
SWGfL might read as swuggerful in my brain, but it stands for South West Grid for Learning – a charity empowering the safe use of technology. Based in Exeter’s Pynes Hill, it has serious clout. SWGfL advises Governments and international social media organisations. But it’s not all top-level stuff – they also run a range of everyday touchpoints, from internet connectivity for schools to digital literacy resources. Their Revenge Porn Helpline, the UK’s only support service for adult victims of intimate image abuse, recently hit an incredible milestone: 40,000 images and videos shared without consent have been removed from the internet. If you’re a parent, teacher, or policy leader, get on over to their website to make the most of their free tools and resources: swgfl.org.uk.
For a short while I thought Binit just made slightly more attractive bins than your standard council-issued containers: it turns out they do much, much more. With an eye on the circular economy, Binit collects business waste on a zero-to-landfill model (waste is transported to a plant if it can’t be recycled). Binit use the data they collect to inform smart choices around recycling and waste disposal – plus their app will help everyone to reduce what they’re throwing away. It allows users (like Specsavers Exeter) to record bin fullness, order materials like bin bags, request a collection and more. Get a free quote for your business by entering your postcode into their website: binituk.com.
Co Bikes is the one out of these three I reckon you’re most likely to have heard about, given they recently re-launched. Don’t let the fact my face pops up in their media put you off, these e-bikes are seriously cool. Not only do they have an incredibly cute basket on the front, the electric assistance will have you whizzing around the city – yep, even up Cardiac Hill at the University’s Streatham campus. A 20 minute ride (which, let’s face it, could probably get you across town twice on a quiet day) will cost you £1. One quid! Plus the easy, smart process – app access, QR code scan, remote bike unlocking – will have you feeling like some kind of sustainable, air-pollution-fighting superheroine. Or… maybe that’s just me. Anyway, start by downloading the nextbike app and selecting Exeter.
I was trying to figure out why I’m interested in these organisations in particular, and I think it may have something to do with those core values I wrote about in last month’s column. Perhaps one of the reasons I love this city so much is that it reflects what’s important to me in so many ways.
Which Exeter organisations do you see changing the tech landscape? Tweet me at @RebeccaComms or email firstname.lastname@example.org – perhaps we could catch up over a cuppa at Grow’s Coffee House on South St, Exeter!
Written by Rebecca Broad
Photo by Gareth Williams Photography