Computer Science News

Polecat honoured for software collaboration with UCL

Software and services company Polecat has been awarded the UCL Knowledge Transfer Business of the Year Award 2014 at the university’s annual awards for enterprise.


The company has been presented with the award for its work with UCL scientists to develop MeaningMine, a flagship product which enables senior decision makers to gain insight from unstructured and seemingly unrelated data in the public domain like news, blogs, social media and forum posts.


Using a combination of advanced search, text analytics and learning-based algorithms to analyse statistical and linguistic trends in this data, MeaningMine is able to provide insight into emerging trends and dominant themes to provide executives with real-time business intelligence.


The aim of the service is to protect the reputations – as well as the revenues – of organisations by identifying threats and opportunities to them. It is already used by a range of corporate and government clients, including the NHS, the Technology Strategy Board, Johnson & Johnson and Royal Dutch Shell.


Polecat worked with researchers from the UCL Department of Computer Science, under the guidance of Professor Anthony Finkelstein, to collaborate to design and build the software and design the user interface.


The research and development was conducted as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a UK-wide programme which aims to enable businesses to improve their competitiveness through utilising the skills, knowledge and technology held within the UK’s knowledge base, in this case between Polecat and UCL through a KTP Associate.


The award has been announced as part of the seventh annual UCL Awards for Enterprise, which celebrate the sector-leading partnerships between UCL and the business community, new business ideas of student and graduate entrepreneurs and showcase the entrepreneurial activities of staff.

James Lawn, CEO of Polecat, who was closely involved in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership with UCL, said:


“We’re honoured to receive this award from UCL in recognition of how productive the partnership between us both has been for Polecat.


“Working with UCL has been enormously productive for us as a company and instrumental in the commercial development of our flagship software product, MeaningMine.


“Collaboration has enabled us to bring to market a sector-leading product to market which is shaping the way that our digital world is analysed and understood – and the input of the team at UCL has been invaluable to achieving that.”


Timothy Barnes, Director of Enterprise Operations at UCL, added:


“Collaboration with Polecat and UCL is a perfect example of the benefits of universities and businesses working together – providing real-world benefits through bringing the knowledge we have to bear on real challenges for business.


“UCL has a long track record of successfully working with a range of businesses and supporting their commercial operations and research and development – and we’re looking forward to many more years of fruitful collaboration with Polecat and continuing to ensure their business develops profitably.”

Posted 11 Jun 14 10:06