Skytek invests in R&D technology for insurtech sector
The Dublin-based software solutions provider, Skytek, is investing heavily in an ambitious research and development (R&D) project to create a unique platform that helps insurers assess loss exposure and monitor risk aggregation.
Called the Red Earth platform, the Skytek programme which also received support from Invest NI, specialises in earth observations and go-location solutions for the aerospace, defence, insurance and space sectors.
Space technology for insurance risk aggregation
Skytek was founded by its CEO, Dr Sarah Bourke in 1999, who was recently awarded the EU Prize for Women Innovators for her work in technology and space research. Skytek’s technology has also been instrumental in the development of SpaceX’s manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The company has now thrown its weight behind the new Red Earth platform, which will provide invaluable information to the insurance sector for risk and loss assessment as well as aggregations.
Speaking about Spacetek’s latest venture, Rita Malosti, head of space activities at Skytek, told the Irish Times, “We have an excellent reputation within the international space sector. Our core technology has been onboard the International Space Station for over 15 years.
She continued, “Our REACT system provides real-time information and earth observation imagery to support risk exposure and loss calculation management.
“It was used by multinational professional services firm AON and other leading partners during the recent Suez Canal incident and the Beirut port disaster, both significant events for the marine insurance sector.
“In the era of 24-hour reporting, for insurance companies, the ability to instantly know exactly what vessels were in the area at the time and their condition post-event is crucial in enabling accurate loss reporting to the stock markets.”
Malosti continued: “To capitalise on the growing demand for EO technology, the new platform is designed to allow insurance companies to easily and quickly obtain earth observation imagery before and after an event.”
Crisis weather patterns and insurance
Crisis weather events happen on an annual basis in the USA and cost both customers and insurers vast sums of money due to their unpredictable behaviours.
As a result, the American hurricane season represents a key threat for the global insurance sector. The launch of Real Earth will be a supportive technology to insurance companies during the hurricane season.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI's director of innovation, research and development, explained, “Skytek is one of Ireland's leading space technology companies. It has recognised the importance of continual investment in R&D to develop new technology and this new Real Earth solution for the insurance industry is an exciting move.
“The R&D skills the Belfast team has gained from the Real Earth project will be readily transferrable into significant space sector projects. The space sector will be one of our key growth areas moving forward post-pandemic as Northern Ireland expands as a globally recognised region for space sector innovation.”
Skytek expansion plans
Northern Ireland has a strong reputation for providing high-level technical services, said Dr Bourke. “When we visited Northern Ireland in 2019, I was very impressed with the local technology sector, including the growing Insurtech and SpaceTech clusters.”
She added. “We are actively recruiting in Northern Ireland and will employ 20 senior programmers and data analysts in the next 12 months.”
SLK Software: Optimising performance in the digital economy
Established in 2000 in Bengaluru, India, SLK Software recognises that fast-paced digital transformation is creating an unprecedentedly fertile period of opportunity for global businesses.
As such, with a firm belief in the power of simplification and automation to yield new and exciting experiences, the company has been challenging the status quo for over 20 years through an approach that is:
- Relationship oriented
- Strategically focused on a desired outcome
- Reliant on automation tech
Believing in purposeful automation
SLK’s specialisation in automation tech is full spectrum: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and more, are all part of its core competencies.
Citing 90% productivity improvements, 30% business growth through better customer experiences, and up to 20x faster go-to-market capabilities, the reasons for its focus are clear.
The company currently serves the banking, financial services, insurance, retirement services, M&A, manufacturing, and supply chain sectors. Solutions offered include:
- Intelligent Business Transformation
- Agile IT Automation
Accelerating workflow processes
The latter is a tool specifically calibrated to enable business users an easy method for capturing document processes. This can occur across any application, with these individual tasks then seamlessly combined for both improved compliance and governance.
Carol Castelloni, VP of Transformation at CNA Insurance, highlighted this as providing critical support in helping the company meet its business objectives:
“SLK’s Avo Discover tool accelerates how we can document workflow processes, measure impacts on enhancements, and identifies future automation opportunities.” Liberated from having to focus on these process-driven aspects of business, CNA Insurance has been able to refocus its attention on creative problem-solving instead.
Ultimately, this is the most important benefit that SLK brings: it optimises the back end so that clients can channel their energy towards what matters the most, customers.
Read more about SLK Software and CNA Insurance in the June 2021 edition of FinTech Magazine.
Pictured: SLK Software team (source)