UK Biometrics in talks with defense giant BAE

Published 14 May 2009

UK Biometrics is in talks with global defense contracting giant BAE about using UK Biometrics systems to safeguard BAE ultra-security-sensitive production sites

Global defense group BAE could be set to enlist the help of a Newcastle-based technology business to safeguard its production sites, which demand ultra-high levels of security. UK Biometrics, which specializes in security systems activated by fingerprints, has entered talks with BAE which, if successful, could present it with an array of lucrative opportunities. The firm caught the attention of BAE at a recent investment conference and is now in talks with representatives of the multinational’s Investment in Innovation arm — a vehicle which looks to bring new defense and security technologies to market.

WSI reports that, meanwhile, following its recent pitch for investment at last month’s CONNECT investment conference in Sedgefield in County Durham, the firm also says its products are now being circled by five major investment houses. It has also stepped up talks with international foods and care products manufacturer Unilever with a view to a possible deal.

As well as fingerprint-recognition products, UK Biometrics has developed face-recognition technology and says it is currently experiencing strong demand for its CCTV systems which can be accessed via remote devices. Managing director Matt James said: “We have got five different investment houses watching us very closely or ready to make a move. BAE is very keen on looking at our fingerprint solutions moving forward and we have engaged in early talks with them and it’s looking very promising. Cleveland Police have also said they want to work with us and they’ve made some very positive statements.”

James added: “Since the conference we have had a large amount of investors making contact with us. With the market the way it is, people are looking to invest in a business which is not at the end of its lifecycle. They look at security and biometrics as a young, new industry and they like the idea that there are very few businesses doing what we are doing.”

UK Biometrics claims to have developed the world’s first fingerprint club membership system, installed the first fingerprint access system to a children’s nursery and was the first company to introduce biometric locks for a major housebuilder — Persimmon Homes.