Dr Sheelagh Brady headshot

Insight Society: Safer business travel with AI and Kowroo

Submitted on Tuesday, 26/09/2023

Thought leaders in their field, Dr Sheelagh Brady and John Roberts have over 50 years’ combined experience in the field of security, conflict and crisis management. Their evacuation from Libya in 2014 solidified the need to address significant deficiencies in the travel risk management market – a need reiterated in over 50 customer discovery meetings with high-tech multinationals. Spinning into Dublin City University saw the co-founders team up with Dr Andrew McCarren, Dr Michael Scriney and a wider team to develop Kowroo and its AI and machine learning capabilities.

Since Jan 2022 the team have worked tirelessly to hone the approach and platform. They have regular conversations with security managers, business travellers, technologists and many others to ensure Kowroo meets a diverse set of needs.

Kowroo brings together a team that combines tech and business insights – a platform that uses the latest AI to dynamically leverage the power of multiple global datasets to produce personalised actionable insights in real time to travellers and support teams, funded through a Commercialisation Fund from Enterprise Ireland.

Kowroo addresses the risks of business travel; such as delays, criminality, terrorism; that can have a huge impact on business. According to an Opinium survey of 500 UK business travellers commissioned by World Travel Protection, a leading global travel assistance organisation, over 80% of business travellers reported they have felt negative emotions while on work trips, negatively impacting their ability to perform their duties. Sixty per cent of business travellers reported that they have been impacted or know a colleague who has suffered from some form of harassment or exclusion when travelling on business, including unwanted attention due to their sexuality (15%) or race (13%).

Kowroo offers a mechanism by which companies can support travellers to reduce these negative experiences by allowing individuals to actively engage with relevant actionable insights to inform them of actions they could take to reduce their anxiety and risk exposure in real time, while feeling immediate support.

 It addresses the business travel risks by navigating users to safety through providing real-time actionable alerts and notifications to their mobile device. Like Google maps, Kowroo uses personal and location-sensitive intelligence to provide security and safety alerts based on their profile and geo-coordinates. This encourages simple behavioural changes that reduce risk exposure and lower feelings of anxiety while travelling, thus increasing employees’ willingness to travel and their on-the-ground experience,  resulting in better business outcomes and happier, more effective employees.

The first iteration of Kowroo is now being demoed to a host of different companies, with the aim of identifying trial partners for Kowroo’s next stage of development. Entering in design partnerships with active users in the live environment will ensure Kowroo’s evolution is driven by needs of travellers and their support teams. Contact Sheelagh at sheelagh.brady@dcu.ie if your organisation wishes to become one of these partners.