Alert Technology Ltd

Alert Technology Ltd commenced trading in January 2017 following the receipt of private equity investment in December 2016 when it was officially ‘spun out’ from The Select Group of Companies Ltd.

Alert’s team are passionately committed to providing safe air for the working environment. As a business, our mission is to lead innovation in asbestos detection technology helping to reduce the risk of prolonged exposure and its related diseases.

Following years of academic and commercial research and product development, the first ALERT model (ALERT PRO1000) is now commercially available through our distribution network around the UK, Europe, Australia, Afria, Asia and North America.

Designed to provide a ‘first line of defence’ ALERT is a supplementary safety technology which provides an extra layer of protection. Not intended as a replacement to traditional concentration-based air monitoring – ALERT provides valuable real-time warnings and very important time and date-stamped data reporting short-term sporadic releases of fibres during the monitoring period. This data (not available via traditional time-based concentration methods) enables proactive, activity-based risk management for the first time ever.

Real-time proactive health & safety monitoring has been adopted across most other sectors of occupational and environmental safety – but until ALERT the asbestos sector has lacked this real-time capability.

Portable and easy to use, the ALERT has been designed to provide an early warning when asbestos-containing materials have been actively disturbed releasing fibres into the air. This life-saving equipment will allow the appropriate corrective safety precautions to be undertaken without delay with the intention of reducing risk of prolonged exposure and providing a vital first line of defence for people both working and living in environments containing asbestos.

A second IoT-connected model (ALERT PRO2000) is planned which will include wireless communication and GPS connected to a cloud-based data platform. Additional future models have already been identified for further development and the scope for industry-specific models is broad.

The idea for ALERT was born at Select reflecting a real-world problem faced by the trades who are Select’s core customer base. The Select Group founded by Alan Archer in 1988 to supply the construction merchant sector with innovative, unique products continues to support and provide valuable contacts and connections with Alert as well as sharing a number of Company Directors but as ALERT was so unique, technical and focused entirely on airborne asbestos the decision was made to spin Alert out of Select.

“Coming from a construction industry background and having lost friends and former colleagues to asbestos-related diseases it is our aim, and my personal ambition, to help improve safe living and working environments by reducing the risk of unnecessary asbestos exposure with ALERT and ultimately help to save lives.” – Alan Archer, Founder & Exec Chairman, Alert Technology Ltd

1997 - The Early Asbestos Detection Research
Research into light scattering of airborne particles pioneered by University of Hertfordshire in the late-1990's showed that when a particle is illuminated with a beam of light, it will scatter the light in a pattern dependent on the particle's size, shape, and structure. This scatter structure 'fingerprint' can be used to identify the particle shape, allowing fibres to be detected in the presence of other non-fibrous particles. However, to discriminate between harmful asbestos fibres and other non-asbestos fibres required another step. The UH researchers developed this step by exploiting the unique magnetic properties of asbestos which cause it to be rotated in a magnetic field. They were able to measure this rotation in laboratory tests - the first step to a real-time warning device product. Despite this success, the cost of implementing the technology and overcoming the remaining technical challenges was, at that time, too high to make it commercially viable. So it sat on a shelf.
2008 - From Concept to Creation
In 2008, Select Group initiated the project with the aim of creating a cost-effective, portable real-time airborne asbestos alert that would help save lives globally. They led the creation of a consortium of partners representing trade associations, end-user SME's and research organisations and, in 2009, the ALERT Project Consortium's bid was submitted to the European Commission under the FP7 "Research for SME's" call. The bid was ranked 9th out of 3,500 entries and was awarded €1.8 million for the 3-year research project.
2012 - Alert an Asbestos Detector That Could Save Lives
In an interview, Alan Archer, MD of Select Group stated: 'Our challenge was to work with the University of Hertfordshire to turn their research into a practical and affordable instrument capable of alerting people (tradesmen initially) to the potential presence of this lethal airborne carcinogen.'
2013 - The UH, continues to lead the on-going R&D for the ALERT project
The University of Hertfordshire, inventors of the asbestos detection technology, continues to lead the on-going R&D for the ALERT project, which is now run by the ALERT Consortium and funded under FP7 as a Research for SMEs 'Proof of Principal' project. In 2013 the ALERT FP7 project came to a successful conclusion. Now Select and selected partners including the University of Hertfordshire are developing the working prototypres into pre-production units for further robust field testing before commencing manufacture. R&D continues on industry-specific ALERT devices and refinements to the range.
2017 - Raise Equity Investment
Alert Technology Ltd, a South Devon based business, celebrated the successful first close in their first ever investment round of c.£700,000 at the end of 2016 and successfully topped up the investment round to £1 on
2018 - Receive one of first Innovation Loan from Innovate UK
Alert were one of the first companies to be awarded one of the brand new innovation loans from Innovate UK. The new programme from the UK’s Innovation agency was aimed at providing new low-interest financial support specifically designed to help scale up some of the country’s most innovative companies. ATL were one of just 13 pioneering small businesses to benefit from a total of £8m loaned out in this first round of Innovate UK’s recently launched £50m pilot programme.
2019 - Update Electronics & Firmware ALERT PRO 1000
With the innovation loan funds from Innovate UK, Alert engaged with long term academic partners at the University of Hertfordshire and industry partners at Trolex Ltd to totally redesign and update ALERT’s electronics and supporting firmware and software based on learnings from our field trials in readiness for production and product launch.
2019 - Contamination Expo Asbestos Product Winners
Asbestos ALERT PRO 1000 soft launched at the annual Contamination Expo 2019 held at NEC Birmingham. We were thrilled when the PRO 1000, an industry-changing device, received the recognition it deserves by winning the show’s Asbestos Award as chosen by industry experts. Companies travelled from as far as Australia, America, Japan and the EU to visit Alert, generating many hot leads from companies keen to become early adopters of our Asbestos ALERT warning device.
2020 - Receive Innovate Continuity Grant
Alert became one of a number of successful recipients of Innovate UK's Continuity Grants. Offered to provide vital support to early-stage tech companies like Alert, impacted by COVID-19 related delays but not eligible for the CBILS scheme. Big thanks to Innovate UK for their continued support helping innovative companies like us to keep on creating life-saving products for the global market place!
2020 - Expand Team – New NED Ashley Unitt
We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ashley Unitt to our team, cloud technology pioneer, joins Alert as an investor, NED and part-time CTO. Ashley co-founded and grew Software as a Service market leader, NewVoiceMedia, across two decades in the telecommunications sector that sold in 2018 for $350m. Ashley’s vast technical and commercial experience will provide strategic guidance to both the Board and our operations team ensuring the successful and timely development and implementation of our new SaaS business channel. Ashley is already integral part of our technical team and heavily involved in future planning.
2020 - Expand Team – New Software Developer Tony Bolton
We are absolutely delighted to welcome Tony Bolton to our team, to help build the new data platform for the PRO 2000 under his guidance. Tony brings 30 years’ experience in the IT sector and a unique mix of technical and interpersonal skills to the role. As both an employee and a business owner, he has managed projects ranging from leading-edge security architecture through to high-performance software development, web interface development, production of training materials and security consultancy and we are lucky to have him join our team.
2020 - Launch of PureAir R150 Professional Air Purifier
As part of Alert’s ongoing commitment to safe air and safe working environments, we are thrilled to add the PureAir R150 to our range of safe air devices. Alan Archer, CEO of Alert Technology Ltd says, “As the UK reaches ~50,000 COVID-19 attributed deaths, and approaches the winter flu season, for businesses trying to safely encourage the return of their employees and customers it has never been more important to provide a clean and safe environment to live, work, and breathe. There is no better way to demonstrate commitment to the health and safety in the current COVID world in which we live, than the strategic deployment around commercial premises of air cleaning purifiers like the Alert PureAir R150 unit.
2021 - Dave Berkeley – Joins team as Snr Firmware Developer
Dave brings over 30 years’ experience developing software for real-time embedded systems. He has worked as a developer in a diverse range of companies and industries, from large corporations to small start-ups (Cisco, Motorola, Rotork, Invensys, JDSU, Alert Me, Teradyne, Foss, Bio-Rad, Soundtracs). With his background in electronics design and experience in a wide range of technologies, he brings a unique skill set to the team. Dave will undertake the hands-on development of the firmware required to drive the new PRO 2000 to be released in 2022.
2021 - Alan Archer, Founder and CEO of Alert becomes Executive Chairman
Alan, Alert’s founder and the driving force behind its development and commercialization, made the decision to step down from the day to day role as MD and CEO, moving to the position of Exec Chairman. Whilst Alan remains very much involved in the business strategically and financially, Loretta King, COO, Director and co-founders of Alert has taken on the position of Acting Managing Director responsible for the daily management and direction of the business.
2021 - Loretta King – Steps into Managing Director Role
Loretta has worked alongside Alan on the Alert project since 2010 and is as invested in its success both emotionally and professionally as Alan. The Father and daughter team over the past decade have successfully raised the necessary funding and investment to develop Alert from proto-type to a commercially ready unit. Since taking on the position of Acting MD in April following her successful bid for Innovate UK funding, Loretta’ focus has been to grow Alert’s in-house technical skills, see the first ALERT model launched in 2021 with the next-gen model to follow in 2022. Developing an experienced and passionate Commercial Team is her next key objective to support the launch of Alert and its global market development.
2021 - Funding Success - Innovate UK Continuity Loan - Strand 2
Following a bid submission to Innovate UK at the beginning of 2021 to the ‘Innovation continuity loans: Strand 2’, a funding scheme for companies with a new project that follows on from a project with an Innovate UK award completed within the last 36 months, Alert were thrilled to have been approved. Innovate look to support highly innovative late stage projects with a clear route to commercialisation and economic impact with a project that must develop new products, processes or services significantly ahead of anything similar in the field. The funding received will enable Alert to expand its in-house technical skill set and develop the next model in our range of real-time airborne asbestos warning devices – the ALERT Connected (PRO 2000) to be launched in 2022.
2021 - Colin Brenton – Strengthens team as new Electronics Engineer
An experienced schematic and PCB layout electronics engineer, Colin also brings strong practical hands on bring-up and debug skills. The first to join Alert following receipt of their recent IUK funding, Colin wanted a new challenge and liked the idea of being involved in new life-saving technology. Colin has a good level of experience with the OrCad / Allegro and Altium Designer tools and is enjoying his hands on, practical roll at Alert which enables him to use this knowledge in the design of innovative new products.
2021 - Ash Jones – Begins his career as Alert’s new Graduate Software Engineer
A recent graduate of UWE, Ash wanted a role that would further hone and build upon the skills learnt in his Information Technology degree in which is achieved a First Class. A highly motivated person, Ash is always learning and keeping himself updated with new advancements in Information Technology. He has fit very well into the Alert team. As a diligent worker with a good eye for detail and a calm, focused manner he is a great problem solver and quick learner. We are delighted to be at the start of Ash’s professional journey and look forward to supporting his professional development.
2021 - Dan Rushton – Introducing Alert’s ace new UK & EU Sales Manager
With 10 years’ experience working for market leading UKAS accredited asbestos consultancies, including for SOCOTEC, Environmental Essentials, and Thames Laboratories, Dan has provided asbestos management solutions, advice and guidance to clients of all shapes and sizes; and at varying stages of compliance. Assisting clients manage the risk of accidental asbestos exposure, Dan has assisted clients ranging from HS2 to the Royal Albert Hall, the City of London Corporation to PHE, and Network Rail to Skanska; developing a core understanding of the individual, and group concerns, limitations, and risks faced by duty holders, employees and stakeholders. We’re very excited to have him as part of our team.

The Team

Alert has key partnerships already in place encompassing technology, engineering, product development, financing, sales and distribution; all underpinned by the experience and network of The Select Group.

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