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Web Science Institute

Z21 Projects | Latest news

Published: 13 October 2020
Z21 Innovation Fund

The Z21 Innovation Fund was founded by the Web Science Institute (WSI) in 2017. Working with theSolent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) a funding programme was set up fund proof of concept projects which had the potential to be accelerated into new businesses and create new jobs in the Solent region.

A number of projects were awarded funding from the projects, followed by acceleration support from Future Worlds and included entrepreneurial mentoring, startup video production and access to the Future Worlds Accelerator Space.

The initiative offered University entrepreneurs access to funding to develop their digital ideas and benefit from a package of support to accelerate the startup towards success.

Find out more below about some of our projects latest activities.



Aura Vision

Startup Aura Vision, has created a global COVID-19 lockdown tracker and has made it available for free. The team at Aura Vision is serving business and community leaders by providing the most comprehensive source of information on how past and current lockdowns are unfolding, updated daily.

The app, ‘offers a covid-secure solution to help stores stay open’, using security cameras and AI to ensure customer safety.

Alumnus Daniel Martinho-Corbishley co-founded Aura Vision while completing his PhD in Computer Vision at the University of Southampton to use deep learning AI to help global brands and retailers improve their in-store experiences through insights gained from existing security cameras.


Having been announced as part of a €14m EU-funded international consortium, called DRAGON, which will design and build a patient-centred system enabling the more rapid and precise diagnosis and prognosis of the virus, they have also been awarded €649,000 for the three-year project alongside almost €249,000 for the University of Southampton.

The company was formed as a University of Southampton spinout having been developed through the combined expertise from the schools of Biological Sciences and Mathematical Sciences by Paul Skipp and James Schofield


Founders, Dylan John Grey and Mike Oakley created BOON to deliver a personalised online shopping experience and in 2019 closed an initial one-year deal with the retailer Ann Summers and authorisation to reference the project in marketing campaigns. The tool has demonstrated outstanding results, including 50% revenue increase from users engaged with the BOON tool.


Created by Joerg Fliege and Venezia Georgieva, Avian is a cooperative multiplayer game with conservation, collaboration, and altruism at its core. Engage in multiple modes of play such as a negotiation puzzler and a fast-paced race as you help your community thrive.


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