North of Tyne business launches innovative sensory menu

From left to right – Jody Nichols, Sandy Gunn, Aisha Purvis, Claire Robinson, Gillian Kears Fricker

North East entrepreneur Aisha Purvis is using her first-hand experience from working in care homes, and for caring for her daughter who has Rett syndrome to launch her innovative, interactive menu – Numenyu®.

Aisha has founded her company Sensmart is working with a range of specialised partners who are supporting her to take her idea into practice. CPI, the Internet of Caring Things® (IoCT™) which is led from the National Centre for Ageing, in partnership with CPI and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) are collaborating to help Aisha develop and share her innovation.

Numenyu® is the UK’s first multisensory interactive menu which combines visual, tactile, auditory and olfactory (or smell) which can help combat malnutrition and dehydration for people in hospitals or care homes.

CPI specialise in working with innovative companies to develop new or improved products and processes, and help bring those products closer to commercialisation. Through the ERDF PROSPECT programme, CPI helped Aisha develop a number of scents so they accurately represented the aroma of cooked food such as ‘chip shop’ fish and chips, or a chicken roast dinner. CPI are also supporting Aisha on the next phase of her product development through the ERDF Sonnet Programme.

Gillian Kears-Fricker, Business Development Manager, CPI said: “It has been a pleasure working with Aisha whose enthusiasm, and knowledge of her product and target market is infectious. We will continue to support Aisha as her business grows”.

Aisha received support from the IoCT™, who helped her to gain valuable insights and feedback on the development of her product through their network VOICE®. This has helped her to develop the way she markets her product to her target market. The IoCT™ is partly funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and as part of this, they continue to support Sensmart by raising awareness, helping to find sources of finance and other opportunities.

Claire Robinson, Cluster Manager for the IoCT™ said: “The whole team have enjoyed working with Aisha and we are really looking forward to seeing how the product continues to develop and launches to market. We’re really excited to see these products that promote healthy ageing in a care setting”

The AHSN NENC works with innovators looking to work in health which not only improve the health of our population, but also support the local economy. The AHSN NENC also receives funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority, but helps innovators based anywhere in the region. They helped Aisha to develop a robust market assessment, protect her intellectual property and conduct a ‘Real World Evaluation’ to prove Sensmart’s value to health and care settings.

Jody Nichols, Associate Director of Health at the AHSN NENC said: “We have been working closely with Aisha for the last 12 months to test and develop her idea. She is a fantastic example of the home grown, innovative talent we have in our region and we will continue to support her as she grows her business.”

Aisha Purvis from Sensmart said: “It’s been amazing getting all the different types of support from CPI, IoCT™ and the AHSN NENC. Each have different skill sets and expertise that as a start-up, I just don’t have in-house. They have all helped me to take my idea to a point where I am close to launching it. I can’t thank them enough for the expertise and guidance they have provided.”

To find out more about the innovator support offered contact: