Case study


A Manchester University a spin-out company to develop analogue-to-digital technology


Dr Tom McNamara is a PhD graduate from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, having studied biochemistry and materials science. Tom was an enterprising scientist looking to move from academic to entrepreneur, and attended an Innovation programme we ran in conjunction with the University.  Emerging from this, Tom developed a prototype solution that measured analogue dials remotely. Our first successful test included a tin of beans!

  • Sector: IoT
  • Founder: Dr Tom McNamara

Working alongside from day one, he set up a spin-out company to develop the analogue-to-digital technology which could be used in scientific, medical, industrial and agricultural environments. It was a great collaboration with Tom’s scientific approach supported by our tech skills.

The first product developed was a solution to digitise virtually any analogue dial and so enable workers to remotely monitor equipment that is fixed in their workplace – and be alerted by text if there is an emergency reading. This saved them time and cost – and also picked up measurements not previously tracked.

Current test applications are as diverse as monitoring equipment in a state-of-the-art science institute to a high-tech milking parlour, to manufacturing plants and data collection for water testing in rivers in collaboration with major utility companies. We have supported Tom with additional investment funding and hands-on, hands-in support, including recruitment of his first team.

To find out more visit FreeUp’s website:

What we delivered

  • Stage 1

    We evaluated the technical problem, impartially determined the best technical stack and architecture using the latest cutting edge technologies and techniques, and offered an early indication of resource requirements. We also helped explore the art of the possible using design sprint methodologies

  • Stage 2’s development team built an MVP platform under the guidance of FreeUp to develop a platform and adjust the requirements as client opportunities arose, creating an MVP that was ready to be used on real-life pilots.

  • Stage 3

    Following a successful build, the team then continued to support the platform from both a business and technical perspectives to ensure pilots ran smoothly and help to onboard the first members of the FreeUp team

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