Smart Partnerships grant enables Welsh SME to exploit AI technology to grow its business

Simon Wright, Aurora International Consulting - SMART Partnership with USW

Simon Wright, CEO of Aurora International Consulting


Port-Talbot-based Aurora International Consulting has partnered with University of South Wales to access a £46,210 grant from the Welsh Government’s SMART Partnerships Programme.


Working with USW's Professor Andrew Ware, an expert in AI business solutions, the grant will enable Aurora to develop an AI based system for reviewing method statements and risk assessments within the construction industry. 


The aim is that the product will be commercialised and sold to multinationals who can integrate the artificial intelligence business solution into what they do.  The funding will also allow the University to embed a new capability in Aurora to use AI technologies.


“A significant amount of work goes into carrying out risk assessments for each new build or refurbishment,” said Professor Ware.  


“The entire process is lengthy and expensive, and there is a shortage of skilled people who can perform these checks. Using Artificial Intelligence to complete these processes will result in a significant reduction in time, cost and error rates.”   


Simon Wright, founder of Aurora International Consulting, said of the project, which was originally identified by USW Exchange: “Our primary objective has always been the absorption of knowledge from leading exponents of natural language processing.


“Working with Welsh Government and USW on the Smart Partnership has provided us with the depth of technical and academic support which has allowed our R&D to become truly world-class and competitive.


"As we approach the halfway point of the year-long project, the capability and expertise of both Aurora and USW is growing at an exponential rate and remains on track to exceed all planned outcomes.”


Key facts


  • SMART Partnerships offer financial support to innovative collaboration projects that require a range of expertise to help businesses grow, improve productivity and increase competitiveness.
  • The aim of Smart Partnerships is to support collaborative 6-12 month projects, with a clear focus to increase the capacity and capabilities of Welsh businesses to develop R&D activities by linking them with research organisations and an associate, to work on a specific project to develop new products, processes and services in alignment with smart specialisation.
  • Smart Partnership funding is offered to Welsh businesses and Welsh research organisations.   
  • Funding will support 50% of the total eligible project costs. The business partner shall provide the remaining balance of the total eligible projects costs. The funding will be awarded to the research organisation.



USW ExchangeWork with us

Businesses seeking to collaborate with the University of South Wales to access similar schemes are encouraged to reach out to the USW Exchange team in the first instance on uswexchange@southwales.ac.uk or by calling 01443 482266.

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