SmytecSmytec has created the first non-contact, non-destructive, forensic evidence retrieval technique, for searching, locating, identifying and recovering various forensic evidence types from hundreds of different surfaces: fingermarks, touch DNA, bodily fluids, and fingermarks from post-blast bomb fragments.
Our flagship technology is called BlindSite®. BlindSite is a handheld, portable and easy to use forensic technology, offering a unique and patent-pending (UK and PCT) non-contact-non-destructive (NCND) scene search and evidence recovery technique, for both civilian police & forensic markets, and security and defence markets.
Fingermarks can be recovered from various porous and non-porous surfaces, without the need for any prior chemical or physical enhancement techniques (such as fingerprint powders). These include various metals, plastics, glass, mobile phone screens, electronic items, adhesives tapes, furniture, painted walls, doors, crockery, papers, and a variety of other common surfaces. This speeds up scene processing, improves evidence quality, removes human error, and leaves no trace – making BlindSite perfectly suited for covert and clandestine operations, a unique capability, particularly for military applications.
Additionally, BlindSite hosts its own Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), for immediate comparison against a fingerprint database and an immediate match at the scene of a potential suspect.
Smytec CEO, Dr Alex Smyth, embarked on the ICURe Midlands award in June 2019. Over the subsequent 3 months he travelled extensively conducting focused market validation activities. During this period he attended Tradeshows in USA (IABTI and IAI) and India (International Police Expo); visited potential customers in the UK (EMSOU, Leicestershire Police, Forensic Science Regulator, Home Office, MoD), USA (FBI, ATF, Police Departments, Sheriff’s Departments, Forensic Crime Laboratories, Bomb Squads, Department of Defence), Canada (RCMP, Canadian Armed Forces, Police Departments, Forensic Laboratories), and Australia (Australian Federal Police, Australian Defence Force, State and Local Police Departments, Forensic Laboratories). Dr Smyth held meetings with prospective suppliers in Germany and USA, and prospective distributors in USA, Australia and Middle East regions. Given the highly regulated market, he also met with academic institutes in USA, Australia and Canada, for potential validation studies in primary market regions for technology accreditation within the police and forensic markets, to ensure acceptance and compliance for use in court.
Following these 100+ meetings, discussions and conversations, the market validation activities were presented to a panel of business experts, who strongly advised the creation of a company to be established, to exploit the technology and take advantage of a clearly defined opportunity in the target markets.
Began ICURe Midlands Cohort
Smytec starts trading, first income generated
Innovate UK ICURe follow on funding £295,706 21-month duration
UK Patent Application
Innovate UK ICURe follow on funding grant finishes
BlindSite MVP product launched sales to UK, Australia and Middle East customers
What companies had to say about the ICURe programme?
Innovate UK effectively provided the seed capital to mitigate risks and overcome financial constraints, typically associated with start up enterprises, leading to rapid growth of the company and a multi-million pound valuation within 2 years of trading. This would not have been possible without the initial market validation opportunities provided by the ICURe programme. There is no denying that without this, the company would not have been created and the technology would most likely be reduced to simply academic publications”
Dr Alex Smyth
Smytec’s vision is to be a market leader in both civilian and military evidence recovery technologies, aiming to monopolize this segment of the international market. We aim to reduce the reliance on old fashioned, messy, physical & chemical forensic evidence techniques and evolve the landscape to utilizing cutting edge, non-contact-non-destructive methods as the most widely adopted process. This has immeasurable benefits for society – leading to higher quality evidence, greater volume of evidence, reduced processing times, reduced human error, and ultimately a fairer justice system.
Through the adoption of BlindSite as the primary search and recovery technique for fingermark evidence alone, there is an estimated cost-saving benefit to the England and Wales policing budgets of over £100 million per year. Extending this across the criminal justice system as a whole, with increased guilty pleas due to higher quality evidence combined with increased productivity, extends these savings by hundred of millions more.
We currently have our flagship BlindSite technology on the market which is a broad technology with multiple applications. We are further developing the technology to create a range of different versions and models available, increasing our product range: including a miniaturized covert unit, a ruggedized military unit, specialized units for single evidence-types recovery (i.e. specifically designed for recovering fingermarks from post-blast bomb debris), and further extension for remote deployability via drones and EOD robots at hazardous, complex or serious crime scenes.