What is at our core? What missions are we focused on? Who leads Focalise and what is our background? How can you join us?

 Our Core

Focalise, at its core, is an AI Solutions Development Lab

We focus our enviable expertise on missions where AI can be used for the good of humanity.

We are mission-driven and, in partnership with industry communities, we identify high-impact, underserved use-cases and jobs-to-be done. Then collectively, we roll up our sleeves and get to work researching and developing transformational solutions.

We have many areas of expertise and deep research and development capabilities. Our current focus involves AI analysis of live video, thermal and other sensory data and the creation of machine learning models that revolutionise what is possible.

Our passions include identifying and developing talent, engaging with industries and building a better future for ourselves, our companies and for society.

 Missions Focused

At Focalise we speak of missions. These are our focus. Where can we make the greatest impact for good? At any on time we are working on both current missions and on future missions.




Focalise is on a mission to continuously develop our capabilities, collaboratively with international Search & Rescue (SAR) communities, and save 1 Million lives.


For over 4-years we have been working with the international Search and Rescue (SAR) community to build AI models that can detect humans, even in the most challenging of conditions. Why? Because, sadly, Search and Rescue is a massive market, growing at over 7% per year because of:


  • Increasing humanitarian disasters as a result of climate change;
  • Increasing insurgency and terrorism;
  • Increasing wars and armed conflicts.


During a number of early trials Focalise, using 4-year old video footage, successfully located victims. Had Focalise solutions been available these lives would have been saved. 





Focalise is in the collaborative research and development phase of a growing number of industry driven missions. For each mission a high-value "impact for good" has been identified.


Current missions under development include:


  • Human safety in construction and engineering sites;
  • Border and critical infrastructure security;
  • Detection of infrastructure maintenance inspection issues;
  • Problematic pattern recognition in multiple-scenarios
  • Optimisation of route-finding across complex terrains.


The research capabilities of Focalise are extensive. Many of our initial industry collaborative projects are funded by research grants. If you have a potential use-case, that could benefit from AI, please get in touch and let's start a conversation. 


Our Leadership Team

With more than 100 years of combined expertise, you are in safe hands.

Our Board of Mentors

Focalise have established a Board of expert mentors to steer our journey.


Stuart Hendry

MBM Commercial


Paul Wilson



Angus MacFadyen



Gillian Rushton



Jo Weston



Innes Taylor


 Background & History

Focalise is born out of a heritage of 5 years of multi-project, collaborative, European research and development.

January 2019

SmartRPAS, 12-month project.

The SmartRPAS 12-month project was co-funded by CENSIS and Thales. This research project, driven with requirements and participation of Police Scotland, was designed to assist with regularly occurring use cases for real-time detection of missing people during Search and Rescue missions in rural areas, leveraging Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) based smart systems and advances in AI. The solution that emerged delivered the following advantages:


  • Unique, AI based, real-time¬†human detection from live video and other data.
  • A smart, adaptive and extensible, prototype based on real aircraft systems.
  • A portable and cost-effective solution capable of being used during search and rescue missions.¬†



November 2019

BBC NEWS Coverage

In November 2019 BBC NEWS profiled the project results on national television. The following is a capture of the news broadcast..


BBC NEWS Coverage of First Capability


This early coverage of the results of the project, by the BBC, was picked up by other national and international media such as BBC Reporting Scotland, BBC Radio, ‚ÄčThe Sun, Telecinco (Spain)‚Äč, 20Minutos (Spain)‚Äč, and VBOX7 (Bulgaria) and also Online Media such as ITPro, PoliceOracle, DIGIT, KBC, Silicon, ukauthority, insider, Myjoyonline, drapersolutions and others. The capabilities of Focalise are now significantly more advanced however, this provided an early demonstration of both market interest and need.


April 2020

Swedish Rescue Drones

In April 202, after an extensive market search, Hans Hedin, Founder of Swedish Rescue Drones, requests to participate in trials and development of the emergent AI models and applications. The 1,600 members of Swedish Rescue Drones, a voluntary organisation, are frequently called upon to assist the Swedish Police in locating missing persons. Note: Swedish Police are Europe's largest users of DJI drones for policing. The results from trials were exceptional. Not only are Swedish Rescue Drones now founding Community members of Focalise, Hans Hedin has also formally joined the Strategic Advisory Board of Focalise.



January 2021

5G-Induce Project

This major, 3-year, multi-million Euro, 5G-INDUCE project, funded by EU Horizon 2020, focused  research and development on the development of AI models for detection  of humans and corrosion in critical infrastructure. The project was completed and validated in December 2023, in Greece with PPC, the largest utility company, and OTE the largest telco/technology company.



July 2021

NG-RPAS Project

The NG-RPAS project extended the capability of human detection for search and rescue missions by upgrading the models to remain highly effective in poor weather. The project also extended capability to include the use of thermal, optical and fusion data. This project was, once again, funded by CENSIS and Thales with continuing participation from Police Scotland. In addition Victoria Police in Australia participated. The innovation lead of Focalise was extended even further.



January 2023 - February 2024

Focalise AI Development


With funding support from Scottish Enterprise two phases of spin-out development were completed. The first, the opportunity qualification phase, provided evidence that Focalise could transform the search and rescue outcomes of many missions, saving more lives, and that the capabilities were truly innovative. The greatest call to action was identifying the location of missing victims from 4 year old video footage and the recognition that, if Focalise had been available, multiple lives could be saved.

Importantly. we also recognised the potential to save lives at scale since search and rescue globally is a $123bn market, growing at over 7% per annum. 


On the 5th February, 2024, the spin-out completed and Focalise entered the market. SARAAS, the Search & Rescue Aerial Association of Scotland, along with Swedish Rescue Drones, joined the Strategic Advisory Board of Focalise.






Focalise is hiring! 


We're looking for people who are passionate technology optimists,

who believe in learning and the impact of community

and who want to create a better future.


Does that sound like you?


If so, come and help us deliver the impossible together!


Join Us