Successful feasibility R&D grant application involving market analysis for commercialising university IP in diagnostic engineering 



The University of Huddersfield's Diagnostic Engineering Research Group (DERG) is the world's largest independent plant maintenance and diagnostics research group. Its primary focus is on machinery fault detection and diagnosis and of plant performance and emissions monitoring.

DERG required inventya's help to bid for 120k of Technology Strategy Board (TSB) feasibility study funding to develop its“smart fastener' technology.

Business objectives

The “Smart Fastener" project is a collaboration between the university and Network Rail. The technology uses routine instrumentation to apply sophisticated signal processing in the identification and anticipation of inherent faults within structures.

The project targets rail infrastructure providers through a partnership with Network Rail. The challenge was to develop a commercially attractive management information system to harness the technology and market it to industry.

Technical Challenges

The acquisition of reliable data on market characteristics alongside feedback on how the technology should be developed is paramount to the successful commercialisation of the technology.

In this instance, the benefit to potential industrial partners would be the ability to collect data wirelessly from fastening components such as the nuts and bolts used in bridge construction. This data would report the clamping forces on those components and help identify and predict bridge conditions, turning a dumb structure into an intelligent one.

A truly marketable solution required the development of a user-focused management information system, which required additional funding.

Inventya Solution and timescales

Inventya produced a successful TSB grant application, enabling a comprehensive proof of market assessment and further R&D in the field.


  • 120k of proof of market and proof of concept funding enabling a comprehensive report on market attractiveness, size and segmentation
  • Progression of the project through testing with industrial partners
  • Independent objective findings enabled project partners to align resources effectively

Next Steps

The project partners anticipate carrying out further customer engagement and analysis to take the technology to market.

We see our relationship with Inventya as a long term partnership, enabling us to bridge the gap between technological innovation and industrial demand.                       


Professor Roger Bromley, Visiting Professor,

The University of Huddersfield