Sussex spin-out company launches first product
A Sussex spin-out company has taken its first product to market with the support of the University's Enterprise Development Fund.
The company, InterAnalysis, was created by three economists and a computer programmer to generate the capital that was needed to turn the software they had developed into a commercial product.
Dr Michael Gasiorek, Dr Peter Holmes and Professor Jim Rollo, working with Leszek Gasiorek, have applied more than 100 years of combined expertise to produce TradeSift, an innovative system for the analysis of international trade data and policy.
The team hope that TradeSift will be used across the world by small states and developing countries, which may not have access to top-level economists or the funding to pay them to assess complex trade agreements. It is also suitable for organisations in developed countries that need quick diagnostic analyses as well as more technical work.
InterAnalysis has already had contracts to supply the software and to deliver training on trade policy in Addis Ababa, Arusha (in Tanzania), Geneva and Hanoi.
The biggest client has been the Department for International Development (DFID); others have included the Secretariat of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a philanthropic foundation in Singapore.
The software is currently being trialled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris and by the European Commission.
InterAnalysis has also just been shortlisted as part of a consortium bidding for a €1.4m EU project in Angola.
Future work is expected in other countries including India, Kenya and Indonesia.
InterAnalysis is one of the first of a new generation of Sussex spin-off companies that have benefited from the University's Enterprise Development Fund, which provides support and investment for new commercial ventures that are based on University research and expertise.
The company, which is based at the Sussex Innovation Centre on campus and employs three staff, is run by its founders but is jointly owned with the University.
Mike Herd, who sits on the Enterprise Development Fund panel, said: "I'm really pleased to see this new business launching its first economics-based product.
"It has been a steep learning curve but now the first of many new Sussex spin-offs is on its way."
Dr Gasiorek said: "After more than two years of development, this product launch is quite a landmark for the TradeSift team.
"We would like to thank the many individuals who have helped us, including those at the University of Sussex, DFID and the government's Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
"Commercialising our ideas is very bracing, but also very exciting."