By Kristy Dorsey

Edinburgh AI specialist Brainnwave is gearing up for extensive expansion following the launch of a £6 million joint venture with Canadian engineering group Hatch.

The Scottish firm, which currently employs 18 people, expects to grow its headcount by 100 within the next two years on the back of the partnership to create climate intelligence software for the metals, mining, energy and infrastructure sector. The agreement will give Brainnwave access to Hatch’s global customer base.

The co-venture is being financed by Hatch and will initially focus on creating solutions to address climate change and urbanisation. Using digital solutions and visualisation platforms developed by the partners, organisations will be able to plan, measure and track their climate strategies across multiple assets while complying with regional regulations.

Founded in 2015 by Steve Coates and Graham Jones, Brainnwave’s augmented business intelligence solution is already used by organisations such as William Grant & Sons, Aggreko, and Metropolitan Thames Valley. Its software combines data exploration and visualisation to enable the sourcing and aggregation of unlimited data, combined with machine learning algorithms and AI.

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“This partnership made sense because both organisations are like-minded in their entrepreneurial approach, willingness to do things differently and challenge the status quo, and propensity to develop game-changing solutions,” said Mr Coates, chief executive of Brainnwave.

“This co-venture was the ideal opportunity to combine Brainnwave’s unique tech stack and expertise with the deep industry relationships and sector expertise of Hatch to build things together, tackling some of today’s most important issues."

Hatch has 9,000 employees working in more than 150 countries with clients such as Rio Tinto, Crossrail, General Fusion and Sun Cable. The co-venture will enhance the group’s digital services offering.

“We know our clients are facing tremendous challenges and need solutions now, not years from now,” said Alim Somani, managing director of Hatch’s digital practice. “Our partnership with Brainnwave helps us develop practical, innovative solutions for our clients’ challenges and accelerates our ability to deliver them quickly so that our clients can begin to reap the benefits.”

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The partners say the new platform will also play an integral role in helping governments globally to plan for a more sustainable future in the face of population growth, economic disparity, and climate change by giving authorities the ability to dig deeper into their data to build economic development plans.

The Series A investment by Hatch follows three seed rounding funds in which Brainnwave raised a total of £3.2m from a mix of angel investors, family offices and the University of Edinburgh. Mr Coates and Mr Jones, the company’s chief technology officer, remain its largest shareholders.

Brainnwave’s technology can be employed in a range of arenas and has previously been used in a UNICEF project to direct aid to Somali refugees in Kenya. However, its main market to date has been the oil and gas sector.