RDS Global is helping to keep the Chamber safe

A hand sanitiser station equipped with innovative software is helping to keep staff and visitors safe at the Chamber. Black Box Edge, a cleaning

technology developed by Derby- based IT support firm RDS Global following a £1m investment, is incorporated into dispensers that have been installed in the reception at the Chamber’s head office in Chesterfield. As well as sanitising hands, the

system identifies who has used the cleanser, controls entry into the building and checks people’s temperature. The Chamber installed the

station ahead of its staff’s planned rotated return to work on 17 August after lockdown restrictions were eased. It is the latest outlet to take up

the equipment, following a string of pubs, cafes, hotels and museums, which have given positive feedback in the fight to ensure people are kept safe and businesses can re- open in the wake of coronavirus. Paul Duley, RDS’ software and

products development director, heads up the team which created the Black Box system. He said: “The beauty of this is the wireless technology that we

East Midlands Chamber facilities co-ordinator Adam

Coyne (left) with Paul Duley, RDS Global's software and

products development director

use for reporting its usage and it works on a mobile data network to communicate back to the cloud for reporting. We’re delighted to be able to reduce people’s concerns about staying safe.” The station has been installed on a trial basis, and if successful, it will

be rolled out for use in the Chamber’s other offices across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Adam Coyne, facilities co-

ordinator at the Chamber, said: “It’s really simple to use, and instils confidence in people as they enter

Webinars to offer food for thought

A new programme of support has been announced for food and drink businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire to combat the economic impact of Covid-19. The Chamber-backed Business Gateway Growth Hub

and the Food and Drink Forum have joined forces to whip up “ingredients” for a series of webinars to support the sector after a recent survey of local food and drink businesses identified a number of specific challenges and hardship caused by the pandemic. Growth Hub manager Jon Egley said: “Like

everywhere, businesses in Leicestershire have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and the food and drink sector is no different. I’m very pleased to be working with the Food and Drink Forum, which has a fantastic team of experts who speak the language of this sector and who will share their knowledge to enable businesses to recover and come back fighting.” Leicestershire’s food and drink sector is already

known for its nationally and internationally-recognised brands such as Samworth Brothers, Cofresh Snack Foods, Walkers and Pukka Pies, but it also has a solid base of SMEs such as Harrisons Sauces, Royal Tea, Just Egg and FGS Ingredients. Some businesses in the sector have been able to

adapt quickly to the problems caused by Covid-19 through effective business planning, finding new product areas and securing new customers. But many have been adversely affected, are at risk of closing or have been unable to respond to trading under Covid-19 restrictions.

With business support from the Business Gateway, it

is hoped many of these businesses at risk can turn things around and prepare for the future. To help businesses in the food and drink sector, the

Business Gateway has launched a programme of free, one-hour, sector-specific webinars to be delivered by the Food and Drink Forum. Topics will include supply chain development, product development and adaption, regulatory compliance, selling and routes to market as well as understanding emerging trends. Andrew Collinson, commercial manager at the Food

and Drink Forum, added: “We feel this broad range of topics will give businesses the tools they need to expand their ranges, access new markets and develop new skills.”

The full webinar programme can be viewed at

the premises, so we have implemented this technology to help keep them safe.” Chamber patron RDS has

previously fitted fingerprint and door access systems at Chamber offices, as well as provided touchless key cards to staff.

Manufacturer awarded grant

TQC Ltd, a manufacturer of factory automation and assembly machines, will buy new software and hardware after receiving a £15,389 grant from the D2N2 Growth Hub Business Investment Fund. The Nottingham-based

company will use the funding to invest in developing its existing mechanical and electrical CAD systems. To help migrate its existing

CAD data into the new programme, the award will also allow the firm to commission a service provider to install the new systems and ensure all current and past project data is retained. The investment is aimed at

improving design capabilities, as well as increasing productivity and efficiency. This will enable TQC to have better control of costs and grow its market share.

business networkOctober 2020 27

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