A CORNWALL-based company is using recently acquired funds to develop a global tree database to help regional authorities manage their tree populations. 

Cornwall-based Tremap has secured £67,000 in round two of Innovate UK’s design foundations net zero environments study, bringing total project funding to £120,000.

The company is using the funds to develop a global tree database to help regional authorities manage their tree populations and engage communities with the nature around them.

“Our ethos at Tremap is to bring people and trees together by putting physical trees in the digital space,” says Richard Maxwell, Head of Business Development, Tremap.

“We can help people to interact with individual trees by attaching information to them as well as stories and videos to help bring them to life.”

Tremap enables organisations like botanical gardens, arboretums and local councils to maintain an inventory database that can be accessed via Tremap’s app and web portal.

Cornwall’s Eden Project is using the technology to create an interactive visitor guide, helping visitors to identify each plant and learn more about its origins.

The company has even partnered with Thursday dating app to curate nature-themed mingling events in London’s Hyde Park, centred around identifying and digitally labelling trees in groups.

This approach to “citizen science” or “crowd-sourced data” intersects environment, social and governance, allowing the public to engage with all three. The technology can, for instance, be used to help the public protect trees under Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

“We’re currently working on integrating Cornwall Council’s TPO database into our platform so residents can simply zoom in on their area and see which trees are protected.”

Tremap’s funding support from Innovate UK has been complemented by growth support services from Innovate UK EDGE, focused on IP, marketing, funding and business strategy.

“I initially didn’t think that we particularly needed the support, but after a very structured introductory session with our Innovation and Growth Specialist, Angelo Spencer-Smith, we started to uncover some areas for improvement that we’d perhaps glossed over in the past,” says Richard.

“One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about working with Innovate UK EDGE is the variety of specialists they can offer. It was great to work with Marketing and Funding specialists who provided very tangible support with measurable results, but it’s also been brilliant to brainstorm creative concepts with their strategists and identify new ways to monetise our product.

“The support has been instrumental in helping us to secure our most recent grant and reach new customer segments – it’s made a real difference to our growth journey.”

Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support as this Cornwall business sets out to map every tree in the world, helping smartphone users everywhere to protect and engage with the nature around them.