Aston University and Zenzero Solutions Limited are entering into a two-and-a-half-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership involving a research project to help make Zenzero’s software systems more intelligent.

Founded in 2004, Zenzero is an innovative IT solutions company offering IT services and support to businesses of all sizes and sectors.

The company, based in Warwick, currently has two strands of its business offering: managed IT services and support; and bespoke software development. This latter has huge potential for growth – and the KTP between Aston and Zenzero will be helping to strengthen this area.

Zenzero’s existing product, Metal, is a sophisticated stock management and cutting planning software tool for high-value steels, such as steel used for creating tools. The software already has unique features to record the history of individual stock items as they are being cut and returned to stock, but Zenzero would like to develop this product even further to create greater automation. This would create a software product that could minimise scrap when cutting, create less waste as well as reducing operational costs.

This KTP project will be looking to introduce elements of artificial intelligence to the product, drawing on Aston’s expertise in computational intelligence and machine learning.

Zenzero will be working with Aston to develop a deeper understanding of mathematical modelling, the development of algorithms, machine learning technology for data mining, and the development of predictive tools that can identify patterns in orders. This knowledge will create an intelligent software tool that will open wider commercial opportunities for the company.

Dr Peter Lewis of Aston: “This KTP answers a highly complex, dynamic real-world problem, which will incorporate the application of many emerging techniques in this area. This further strengthens Aston’s reputation as a leader in this field, and will impact our Computer Science students as our syllabus will be informed by the project findings.”

Anne Tasker, Managing Director at Zenzero: “We are delighted to be part of this KTP with Aston University. We have the opportunity to really showcase the value that the commercial and academic domains can bring when they work together, drawing on expertise from both sides. The development of this one of a kind product has the potential to bring significant benefits to the manufacturing industry. It’s a very exciting project!”

For more information on how Aston could help your business to grow, please email or find out more about the Aston Lab for Intelligent Collectives Engineering.