South Korea might be considered something of a global centre for the electronics industry, but for one entrepreneur Liverpool’s Sensor City proved an even stronger lure.

By day, Atul Singh Minhas works at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Translational Medicine, but by night he is working hard to make his innovation, the Smart Socket, a reality.

The Smart Socket is a general-purpose energy saving and monitoring device, suitable for use in both households and large organisations, like universities. Atul and his wife, Poonam, hit upon the idea while they were living in South Korea, where Atul was employed with the industry giant, Samsung Electronics. They became fascinated with the idea of ‘the Internet of Things’ and were intrigued by its applications. They realised that if they were to successfully develop and launch the Smart Socket they needed to find a facility that gave them not just business and technical support, but also a vast pool of students and potential collaborators. That facility is Sensor City.

Atul admits:
“It was a difficult decision to leave one of the most tech savvy countries in world, as South Korea has all the platforms necessary to quickly prototype any business idea. However, we found that Liverpool was reshaping itself into a smart city and had secured funding for the Sensor City project. It was a perfect environment for us to emulate our Korean experiences. One of the main reasons we chose Liverpool was because of the opportunities Sensor City provides.”

A meeting at the International Festival of Business with Matthew Evans from the Sensor City team persuaded Atul and Poonam that they had made the right decision, and they are now on the look out for students interested in working with them to develop the Smart Socket and their own skillsets.

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