Working in a highly technical field, pushing the boundaries of the possible and developing solutions that have just haven’t been accomplished before, Vision Link Ltd were awarded ‘The ExxonMobil Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2018’.
“I almost fell off my chair!” explained Patrick Fletcher-Jones, Managing Director of Vision Link. “It felt tremendous to receive this recognition and the award sits proudly on our office wall next to the main entrance for everyone to see!”
Vision Link have developed a cost effective, new way of alerting the authorities and, when necessary, members of the public, to local flood conditions. The system enables the Environment Agency and County Councils to deploy automatic flood warning services in local communities that would have been cost prohibitively expensive in the past. “There have been countless times our technology has saved local communities from flooding. There was one incident where our camera technology prevented a village in Wales from flooding on Christmas Eve and all this went on without the community even realising how close they came to have a very soggy Christmas”.
An additional benefit of the technology is efficiency savings the Environment Agency are achieving. In one year alone they saved over 48 thousand miles in unnecessary travel, with a reduction of over £100,000 in direct costs, equating to a saving of over 42 tons of CO2 emissions. This year, with the deployment of even more Vision Link equipment, they are on target to double those figures. “We have some very happy customers and we’re delighted to be contributing to cost efficiencies with environmental benefits,” said Patrick.
From the age of 10, Patrick has been exploring technology. “At school, I built a robot, which was demonstrated at Southampton University”. A military defence contractor saw the robot and advanced software alongside and offered him an apprenticeship at the age of 15.
After software contracting all over the world, Vision Link was created from a need Patrick had for a solution of his own. After altruistically putting it on the internet for free for anyone to use, he received a phone call from a County Council wanting to use it, quickly followed by the Environment Agency. Vision Link is now widely considered the market leader in this technology and regularly set the industry standards through continuous innovation, devoting a substantial proportion of profit into the development of new products and services.
“Becoming a ‘Business Entrepreneur’ is a tough journey and consumes many hours – you have to be single minded, have loads of passion and a total belief in what you are doing, even when others around you can’t see your vision,” explained Patrick, “but the reward is the difference we make to people’s lives – often without them even knowing it”.