A Warwickshire biometrics technology company is developing new, more accurate fingerprint identification software after receiving grants for research and development (GRD) from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands.
Established in 2005 as a spin-out company from the University of Warwick, Warwick Warp has developed the first phase of a unique software-based fingerprint preprocessor module which substantially improves fingerprint matching accuracy by dealing with the problems associated with low quality fingerprints,
Shortly after its formation, the company received ‘seed’ fund to support its research and development activities from a number of private investors as well as the University of Warwick and Advantage West Midlands.
In addition, in April 2008 the company received further product development funding through a GRD of £139,000 from the Access to Finance scheme run by Advantage West Midlands.
Dr Li Wang, Chief Technology Officer at Warwick Warp, said: “The grants have been vital to the development of our business and the innovation.”
Nick Paul CBE, Chairman of Advantage West Midlands, recently met the team of image analysis experts at Warwick Warp and experienced the innovative fingerprint matching at first hand. Mr Paul said: “Companies like Warwick WARP recognise investment in research and development as essential to their economic growth and we are delighted to support this project.
“Grants for research and development allow Advantage West Midlands to share some of the risks of R&D activity in SME companies, bringing forward innovative products and services which are key to the successful economic future of the region.
“We know that by the nature of R&D activity not all of them will succeed but we aim to make a difference by encouraging commitment to innovation.”
The project, which is based in the Coventry, Solihull and Warwick technology corridor, will create at least three new highly skilled jobs and lever £258,600 of private sector investment.
By providing a more reliable and more accurate fingerprint-based method of confirming an individual’s identity, Warwick Warp’s technology is applicable to both high end large scale identification projects (such as national ID card and biometric passports) and also everyday applications including access control, attendance management and financial transactions.