When the eight co-founders launched Epimorphics in November 2009 they had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. All of the team had spent most of the 10 previous years nurturing the nascent Semantic Web technology and thought it was very important to develop, but we didn’t know much about business.
To start with the eight crammed into two small rooms, sublet from a construction company, in Thornbury, a small market town a dozen miles north of Bristol. As they sought to establish Epimorphics, for almost a year at the beginning, they paid themselves as little salaries as possible. Nor accept external funding – we still haven’t to this day, which is a source of pride – and spent our collective personal money on laptops, and signed up to cloud servers.
We were confident that our work developing Semantic Web and Linked Data technology would pay off in the long run. As a company we’ve grown over these thirteen years, building on the foundation of those early days and the ethos that all the employees believe.
Our employees are the foundation stones of Epimorphics. All of our shareholders are employees or retired employees and everyone has the opportunity to become a shareholder – something that is really important to us. In the beginning we reasoned that if we funded the company ourselves then we would have control over Epimorphics’ destiny. As a result of snubbing venture capital and therefore external influence we have been able to pick and choose socially responsible projects – like FSA food alerts, and EA bathing waters, among many other examples. We don’t want to lose that flexibility. Many of the team have taken up the option and joined the shareholders.
We aim to be a sustainable, thriving company that successfully balances the needs of our clients, our team, our shareholders, and the wider community. We are proud to have worked towards detailed assessment of our Carbon Footprint, and have had that audited.
We believe, passionately, in the power of data to help organisations make a positive difference to the world. Everything that we do is focused on helping organisations make the most of their data through the better use of design and technology.
Over the last thirteen years we have spent a great deal of time and effort building the foundations and standards that we rely on, and ensuring the underlying tools and software work well. Simply put, linked data technology enables disparate systems running across the web to communicate with one another, and allows users to draw together different datasets and present all that information. We’ve been able to prove that again and again – with all the organisations we’ve worked with.
Our first contract was with the Government’s Technology Strategy Board – now called Innovate UK – and we worked with the National Archives and the Cabinet Office early on, this expanded out to work on the growing open data work across government.
We’ve worked with lots of organisations over the thirteen years, with a mixture of consultancy, technology development, data modelling and a significant amount of service support. There are numerous public sector data services that we build and are really proud of.
Examples include the:
- Bathing Water data service for the Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales,
- UK House Price Index and Price Paid Data services for HM Land Registry,
- massive hydrology data explorer service for the Environment Agency
- food alerts and recalls service for the Food Standards Agency
- work on the Linked Data Reference Data Registry for BRGM and the Food Standards Agency
- Regulated Products Registers and internal Unified View of Food Establishments for the Food Standards Agency
and so many more. Have a look at our projects page.
As we look forward to this new year, we are focusing on building our product base and our consultancy business.
We’ve been focusing on some of the technology we use, making this more reusable by others and are looking forward to sharing more in the near future about our new Agora data catalog product.
I joined Epimorphics in 2016 after 17 years working with data and leading data standards and open data initiatives in Government. Earlier this year I took over as Managing Director at Epimorphics as we grow the team for the years ahead.
This year we’ve 5 new faces in the team and are looking forward to some of our work over the last few months going live.
We always welcome conversations and interesting projects – if you want to find out more about any of our projects or work that we do then drop any of us a line.