Tech Firm Lands £250k Grant To Develop Home Schooling Software

In September 2020 CoreBlue Was Awarded £50,000 From Innovate UK To Further Develop The Tutorhero Machine Learning Tool

Tech Firm Lands £250k Grant To Develop Home Schooling Software
By William Telford

A Plymouth tech company has been given a £250,000 grant to develop software that allows teachers to deliver classes remotely. With schools closed during the third national lockdown, custom software firm CoreBlu has now received substantial backing from Innovate UK, the country’s innovation agency. This will be used to aid the development of cutting-edge EdTech software CreatED, a tool that allows educators to easily use existing teaching assets such as PowerPoints and worksheets to deliver lessons remotely either live or as pre-recorded video.

Teachers are currently faced with the complex challenge of delivering an entire syllabus remotely and have to duplicate or adapt teaching assets and aids for use in both a classroom and virtual setting, wasting time and resource. The new software removes the need for teachers to create two types of teaching assets depending on whether it’s a virtual or physical classroom, saving valuable time. The technology has been developed in direct response to the disruption caused to education by the Covid-19 pandemic and is designed to aid teachers in their day-to-day role and make remote education more accessible and productive. Lewis Boyles-White, managing director of CoreBlue, said: “Teachers are really busy, so our aim is to make tools which make their day-to-day jobs easy and more efficient.

“While a host of applications have been developed that create online classrooms and learning environments, there has been little work done to make the lives of teachers easier and help them create new content. “CreateED aims to address that important yet underserved area through its use of proprietary software that allows educators to utilise existing teaching assets and teach in a live and collaborative experience seamlessly. “CreatED will remove the duplication teachers previously faced in developing assets for use in class and online and reduce the technical barrier to entry,” he added. “The wide range of device support it provides also means that it will be more accessible than much of the existing software, with teachers able to work from their existing devices rather than invest in new hardware.

CoreBlue was CoreBlue was awarded £50,000 from Innovate UK to further develop the TutorHero machine learning tool and has already seen its products deployed in 32 countries and by some of the world’s biggest companies, such as Amazon. Based at Langage Business Park on the edge of Plymouth, the company is also working with high-flying tech firms such as property investment platform Propio and Move Mee, described as being “to the car rental industry what Uber is to taxis”. The firm, which employs 11 people, undertakes work under its own CoreBlue name, but also on a white label basis, making a product but with someone else selling it, with other agencies in the UK and internationally. Among the ground-breaking tech it is working on is an app which allows a user to unlock a car from a mobile phone.

Revenue has doubled every year since inception and in 2020 CoreBlue’s turnover will exceed £1million for the first time, with the business now targeting £1.4million in earnings. In September 2020 CoreBlue was awarded £50,000 from Innovate UK to further develop the TutorHero machine learning tool, designed to help students catch up on studies lost during lockdown. Mr Boyes-White said: “This is the second time we have worked with Innovate UK on the development of EdTech to improve the teaching experience in the era of Covid-19. “This latest set of funding will help cement our aim of placing the South West as a hub for EdTech, helping us to work in partnership with schools to create the best experience for students.”

Aaron Meredith, head teacher of Ernesettle Community School, which has been working with CoreBlue to trial its product, said: “I’m immensely proud of our team for their continued efforts to deliver a top-class education for our pupils in such a challenging environment. “At the same time, I want to embrace technologies that can help lift the planning burden on teachers allowing them to concentrate on providing the best education possible. “I am delighted that we can partner with CoreBlue in the trialling of innovative software that allows teachers to concentrate on teaching, not on designing PowerPoints.

“Ultimately every teacher has their pupils’ best interests at heart. A platform that can assist them delivering engaging and challenging lessons through this period of turmoil has the potential to save the education of children at a critical point in their learning pathway.” Innovate UK executive chair Dr Ian Campbell said: “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy. “CoreBlue, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

This news was originally published at Business Live