The risk of COVID-19 transmission falls as physical distance between people increases. Innovative approaches to contact tracing help keeping a safe distance, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) supports that innovation. The EU bank and KINEXON, a Munich-based global technology leader that develops hardware and software solutions, have signed a €15 million venture debt loan to promote KINEXON’s real-time localisation technology, which enables objects or people to interact in a smarter, more efficient way using the internet of things (IoT). The financing will help KINEXON to expand in Europe, the US and Asia and support the development of new products including enhanced data analytics and artificial intelligence. The transaction is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). EFSI is the financial heart of the Investment Plan for Europe, under which the EIB and the European Commission work together to remove obstacles to investment and make smarter use of financial resources.
KINEXON’s expertise is in sensor network development, edge computing and real-time process automation. In addition, the company focuses on the use of ultra-wide band technology, which offers superior accuracy, reliability, safety and scalability compared to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. KINEXON’s technology provides solutions in production and logistics – for instance in process analysis and optimisation, automation and robotics. In sport, the company enables in-depth performance analytics, injury prevention and next-generation fan engagement. It is also proving useful in the current pandemic: KINEXON’s SafeZone application captures risk encounters live, to the nearest centimetre and on and anonymous basis. A small, wearable sensor warns users if they are below the physical distance recommended to prevent coronavirus infection. If an infection is detected in a group of employees or athletes, SafeZone identifies critical contacts with other team members in accordance with data protection regulations. The solution does not record any movement, position or health data of employees – it simply measures the distance between two sensors and the duration of contact. This technology provides effective protection and ensures business continuity.
“We are entering a period in which the internet of things is as common and as important as electricity or running water,” said Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President in charge of innovation, lending in Germany and EFSI. “Already today, it is making our lives easier in many respects, from improved health to education, transportation, manufacturing or agriculture. At the EIB, we strive to support companies that shape the future. KINEXON is such a company and given how they seized the opportunity to make use of their knowledge and expertise during the COVID-crisis, I am thrilled that we can bolster their creativity and vision with EIB financing.”
“Europe is in pole position to shape the future of IoT. With our real-time operating system, we want to play a leading role in connecting these ‘things’ and making them interact in a fully automated way. Over the past few years, the need for our solution has led to annual triple-digit growth,” said Oliver Trinchera, co-founder and managing director of KINEXON. “With the EIB, we have found a partner that supports us in keeping that momentum up and even accelerating the digitalisation of the worlds of industry and sport. While the pandemic has brought a lot of challenges for economies around the world, it has also shown the need for more resilience and greater digitalisation of manufacturing and supply chains. KINEXON is perfectly placed to address these trends – not least because of our most recent innovation SafeZone, which has become the pioneering digital solution in battling COVID-19.”
KINEXON launched SafeZone just a few weeks after the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany. In the meantime, it has become the leading digital protection in the fight against COVID-19. Renowned companies and organisations are using the application. In the US, the NFL counts amongst the most prominent customers.
- Antonie Kerwien, EIB Press Officer | email@example.com
Compliments of the European Investment Bank – a member of the EACCNY.