City, University of London has embarked on a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with smart bike sharing company Beryl.

The partnership, led by Senior Lecturer, Dr Andrea Baronchelli (Department of Mathematics), together with Dr Chris Child (Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science) and associate Dr Soumya Dasgupta, is supported by a £287k grant from Innovate UK.

The collaboration will see City scholars gather and analyse data on bike usage within an urban context, leading to more improved outcomes for the design of sustainable cities.

Dr Baronchelli is pleased to be collaborating with Beryl. He said the partnership “will give City academics a wonderful opportunity to investigate smart bike share schemes with a world-leading industrial partner, and, more broadly, advance our understanding of urban mobility through the analysis of an unprecedented wealth of data.”

Beryl co-founder, Phil Ellis, said: “Beryl are very pleased to be working with City, University of London, with funding support from Innovate UK. We have developed leading products and technology and have an experienced bike share operations team.

“Our project will help us build technology solutions that allow us to dynamically predict and improve our operations, getting the right number of bikes to the right places. We are very fortunate to have recruited Dr Soumya Dasgupta to this project, a leading data scientist in the field of urban mobility.”

Beryl was founded as Blaze in 2012 with the vision of becoming world leaders in urban cycling technology. The brand’s first product, the Laserlight, was created to tackle the biggest problem for city cyclists: being caught in the blind spot. After the launch of a series of successful consumer products, the integration of their core laser technology into the bikes of London and New York and the co-designing of the new Santander Cycles for London, in 2018 Blaze renamed to Beryl and launched two dockless bike share schemes in London for corporate clients.

In 2019, Beryl announced their move into the urban bike-sharing sector in its own right announcing their first location as Bournemouth and Poole followed shortly by Hereford, Enfield and City of London.