River Canal Rescue

J Forman explains that, by partnering with the university, they have been able to develop business idea into a successful product.

Company Overview

River Canal Rescue is a membership-based organisation that offers 24/7 support in breakdown assistance and recovery across the UK inland waterways.

Before SDIPs, WaterNav was just an idea and not a finished product, so Staffordshire University has reached out to help deliver River Canal Rescue’s new iOS mobile app with the support of their placement student, Brandon Briggs.

Funded Business Support

River Canal Rescue accessed the 'Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships' (SDIPs) programme.

River Canal Rescue found that SDIPs has helped connect them to the right people to develop an idea into a successful business. Brandon Briggs, a Lead Software Developer, started working with River Canal Rescue on a 6-month placement. Briggs programmed and designed WaterNav into a working iOS app with the help of a Staffordshire University mentor throughout the project, making it possible to release the app in a much quicker timeframe.

Project Outcome

SDIPs developed the WaterNav app as a customer platform. The support and mentoring from SDIPs have given River Canal Rescue the opportunity to achieve greater revenue to help fund new projects.

The on-hand support from Staffordshire University meant that Briggs had an academic mentor ready to troubleshoot any problems, meaning that the product was released in a much shorter timeframe.

Thanks to the SDIPs programme, you can now find their WaterNav app, available on iOS in the App Store. WaterNav makes use of smartphone GPS to show up-to-date points-of-interests, such as pubs, shops, moorings, and more, as well as displaying waterway information such as bridges, locks, and turning points. This app has made it easier than ever for boaters, ramblers, cyclists, or anyone else to enjoy the waterways.

Staffordshire Digital Innovation Partnerships (SDIPs) is a collaborative project between Staffordshire University and Staffordshire County Council; funded by Staffordshire University, Staffordshire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.

We’ve already got big benefit. From an operational point of view, RCR’s [River Canal Rescue’s] benefitted instantaneously with elements that we hadn’t thought of, and we’ve only been able to do because we’ve had Brandon in and support from SDIPs. That is aside from the business benefits because WaterNav could become a big thing; it could turn over a big chunk of cash, which could then fund other projects.

J Forman, Operations Director, River Canal Rescue

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