Home » University of Birmingham spinout raises £1.5m to map underground using gravity

University of Birmingham spinout raises £1.5m to map underground using gravity

by Liam Turner
An underground cavern with purple and blue lights reflecting off the walls and ceilings

University of Birmingham spinout Delta g has raised £1.5m for the development of its quantum sensors initiative, which has been dubbed “Google Maps for the underground”.

Delta g’s quantum gravity gradiometry sensors can map out the Earth’s subsurface and unknown places.

It does this by detecting changes in gravitational fields through dropping clouds of atoms to determine the density of objects.

Professor Michael Holynski, Dr Andrew Lamb, Jonathan Winch, and Pete Stirling founded the spinout, with Stirling acting as CEO.

Stirling said: “The UK would massively benefit from delivering major infrastructure projects on time and on budget, and through increased productivity by reducing the time it takes to bring such projects to the point of benefitting people.

“A big part of this is the difficulty found in mapping the complex unseen environments and hidden critical infrastructure that resides under the ground.

“Considerable budgets are allocated to ensure that unexpected obstacles can be overcome; on HS2 alone, the contingency for unforeseen ground conditions is £248m.”

Also commenting on the new funding, Michael Holynski – professor of Quantum Sensing at the University of Birmingham, and one of the founders of Delta g – said: “It’s exciting to see this investment in quantum sensing, which will be used to strive for new tools that aim to bring benefits to applications across civil engineering.

“It will build upon a decade of research at the University of Birmingham, undertaken as part of the UK Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Timing, working closely with industry and academia across the community.”

Science Creates Ventures led the £1.5m pre-seed for Delta g, with funding also coming from Quantum Exponential Group, Newable Ventures, Bristol Private Equity Club, Hitesh Thakrar, Howard Covington, and more.

In addition to the pre-seed funding, Innovate UK has awarded Delta g a c.£500,00 grant.

The startup says it will use the capital to fund trials of its technology.

Image: sdecoret/Shutterstock

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