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12 September, 2018 - 10:58 By Tony Quested

Simprints scales globally from expanded Cambridge platform

Growing worldwide demand for its biometric fingerprint technology has prompted a major scale-up at a new Cambridge HQ for university spinout Simprints.

The exciting young business has moved to the in-demand Bradfield Centre at Cambridge Science Park, having outgrown its city base.

Director Julia Kraus shared the latest upspin in fortunes with Business Weekly. She said: “We now have 10 projects in nine different countries, almost 50,000 beneficiaries and high-impact projects added constantly to the pipeline. 

“We were selected as one of the 15 most promising innovations to save the lives of mothers and children in developing countries, an award which will support our transition to scale. 

“With this $2 million grant, we will work with our partners BRAC over the next three years to increase our reach to 4.48 million mothers and children across Bangladesh. And we continue to innovate, taking on ambitious R & D projects that push the current frontier of technology for development.
“To keep up this momentum, we must maintain a balance of learning and reflecting on the past, while keeping a keen eye on the future. We are always working to ensure our technology is accessible and adaptable to the increasingly diverse projects we’re taking on. 

“In software, we redesigned our mobile app’s user interface with the support of SMART Design to make sure that our app remains intuitive to frontline workers.

“Secondly, we implemented verification, a new identification workflow, to provide partners with the means to confirm a known beneficiary and to ensure resources are being distributed fairly. 

“We moved to Bradfield because at 25 full time employees, we were simply too big for the T4D Hub (known affectionately as The Castle) to hold. We will be up to 30 people by the end of this year. The amazing facilities and support we received from Bradfield made it an easy transition. 

“We love that there are many other amazing companies here, creating an atmosphere of innovation and creativity. We even appreciate the glass walls, as our company is known for its openness and transparency.” 

A non-profit technology company,  Simprints has been championed by Cambridge technology great Arm: It builds biometric fingerprint technology for use by governments, NGOs, and nonprofits for people in the developing world who lack proof of legal identity.

The company promotes a portable biometric system designed for front line workers. The technology uses Bluetooth to connect to an Android mobile device that is interoperable with existing mHealth systems such as CommCare, ODK, or DHIS2. Simprints emerged in May 2012 out of a hackathon organised by the Centre for Global Equality and sponsored by Arm. 

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