£1.75m investment for Previsico flood forecasting and warning system

Date posted: September 23, 2021
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A flooded road with a food warning sign

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Foresight Williams Technology will invest £1.75m into Leicestershire-based Previsico Limited, developers of an accurate flood forecasting and warning system, it has been announced.

The will enable the Loughborough University spin-out to further develop the Previsico platform, allowing it to be used in more cities, and support the creation of over 50 new jobs in Loughborough.

Flooding is currently one of the most damaging natural hazards and, with a more volatile climate and increased urbanisation, global flood losses are expected to increase tenfold to $1 trillion by 2050, according to the World Resources Institute.

As climate change makes severe weather occurrences more common, there is an increasing need for accurate predictions of flooding events.

Previsico’s technology is currently the only one able to forecast and provide hyperlocal alerts for surface water flood events which potentially affects nearly 26 million properties in the UK alone.

Aviva estimates that 20% of properties in the UK are in areas at risk of surface water flooding.

It can also warn customers up to 48 hours prior to a potential flooding event, allowing time to prepare, minimise and prevent significant flood damage.

Currently, sensors are only found on rivers to warn homeowners of impending floods.

Previsico’s technology was developed by Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dapeng Yu, Professor of River Dynamics at Loughborough University and a leading expert on hydrology.

It combines data with proprietary algorithms to create automated alerts, highlighting areas at imminent risk of flooding.

The recent flash floods in London resulted in the closure of eight tube stations, a DLR station, numerous roads and damage to hundreds of homes.

The majority of the affected areas were not covered by current environmental agency warnings.

FloodMap Live currently covers the UK, but has also been applied in places like Houston, New York and Tokyo.

Moving into new territories, particularly the USA and South East Asia, is an important part of Previsico’s plans to scale.

Flood alerts are a subset of the global incident and emergency management market, which was estimated to be $92bn per annum in 2020 and is forecast to grow to $123bn per annum by 2025.

Ken Cooper, Managing Director at the British Business Bank commented:

The MEIF is here to help businesses, like Previsico, to develop innovative new products and create jobs. We look forward to seeing Previsico progress on its growth journey, rolling out its technology to new areas and building its team.

Other businesses in the Midlands with growth potential should also be considering the options available through the MEIF.

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

For the latest from our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.
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