Radii Devices ready for commercial operation thanks to the Southampton Research Group.
Josh Steer is about to spin-off his start up Radii Devices from the University of Southampton’s Future Worlds incubator. Once settled into his new offices, he and his team will put the finishing touches to his software and get ready to take it to market – and he says he couldn’t have got this far without the help of the Southampton Research Software Group (SRSG).
Radii Devices creates software that allows clinicians to predict how well prosthetic and orthotic devices will fit their patients’ residual limbs, ensuring as good a fit as possible. It is based on code that Steer developed during his PhD, and that he has turned into a commercially viable product with the help of the SRSG.
Steer won funding after his PhD from the Royal Academy of Engineering’ Enterprise Fellowship and the EPSRC Impact Acceleration fund that allowed him to hire a full time SRSG research software engineer.
“That was a really effective arrangement, where I could have a software engineer sitting beside me but also bringing input from the SRSG,” Steer says.
The past six months have been spent turning the code into a deployable product.
“It took a lot of meetings, looking at system architecture, at the tools that could be used, and at what processes need to be in place to turn this research code into a commercial product. But working with the SRSG, because they come from a research background, they can speak in pure software development language but then they also understand where you’re coming from as a researcher. Having that bridge between the disciplines was invaluable,” Steer says.
[SRSG] come from a research background, they can speak in pure software development language but then they also understand where you’re coming from as a researcher. Having that bridge between the disciplines was invaluable.Joshua Steer, Founder – Radii Devices
Steer is now negotiating the final agreements for spinning out from the university and sorting out funding and IP agreements.
“Hopefully in a couple of months we’ll be operating fully as a company, working full time to develop the product and start the early technical pilot studies that we need,” he says.
He will keep in contact with the SRSG, and in fact, “the RSE who has been working with me is coming to our new office in Bristol to join us!”
Steer stresses that the support he has received from SRSG goes back a long way, and that its help has been vital from the beginning. His first contact with the group was during his PhD when he realised that he was developing a lot of code, “but it was likely to end up as a silo – people wouldn’t be able to use it. or do anything collaboratively with it. So they helped me to establish best practice around the code even back at PhD level,” he says.
The RSG’s role in training researchers is vital, Steer says.