We support a huge range of technologies at CENSIS – from sensing and hardware development, to cloud computing, IoT and artificial intelligence and pretty much everything in between.
Our diverse group of Tech Summit speakers reflects this broad technical church, and as always we have something to suit all interests – from looking at how quantum sensing is changing the way we see the world, to exploring the latest trends and opportunities in 5G, IoT networks and edge computing.
Along the way we’ll be looking at new imaging techniques, remote connectivity, AI, aviation cyber security and more – even hairdryers that ask you to wait for the right time to dry your hair and apps for sham marriages might get a mention …
Registration for this event has now closed.
We are delighted Dr Heather Reid OBE will Chair of the 6th CENSIS Technology Summit.
Heather Reid is a physicist and meteorologist who spent 15 years as BBC Scotland’s chief weather forecaster and presenter, and was known affectionately to viewers as ‘Heather the Weather’.
Now an education consultant focusing on science engagement, Heather specialises in promoting climate change as a context for interdisciplinary learning. Her work in promoting science to young people and the public has led to several awards including the prestigious Kelvin Medal from the Institute of Physics plus honorary doctorates from the University of the West of Scotland and the University of Glasgow. In 2006, Heather was awarded the OBE in the New Year Honours list for services to physics.
Heather continues to inspire audiences with her passion for science. She holds an honorary lectureship from the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy; is a Trustee and Non-Executive Director of the Glasgow Science Centre, and a member of the Scottish Government’s Science and Engineering Education Advisory Group.
Heather lives in Glasgow with her husband and their daughter. In their free time they are often found at the 7Stanes mountain biking centres testing Newton’s Laws of Motion on various routes!
Kate Forbes MSP is from Dingwall, although she spent part of her upbringing in Glasgow and India. Until she was elected as MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate was employed as an accountant in the banking industry. Prior to that she studied History at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh with a focus on human migration.
As a backbencher, she has served on the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, the Health and Sport Committee and the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee. She also served as Parliamentary Liaison Officer for Finance and the Constitution.
As well as leading a campaign to ban plastic straws, Kate has participated in several cross party groups at Holyrood including Crofting, Gaelic, Human Trafficking, Palliative Care and Rural Policy. A fluent Gaelic speaker, Kate made history earlier this year by becoming the first female MSP to give a plenary speech entirely in Gaelic in the current Scottish Parliament chamber.
On 27 June 2018 she was appointed as Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy.
Paul is an entrepreneurial technologist with a substantial track record for applying innovation across multiple market sectors spanning academia, government, SMEs and international PLCs.
Paul’s early career was with UK MoD, then with QinetiQ where he held a number of leadership roles CEO of QinetiQ Inc. Subsequently, Paul has founded and ran an SME and then was the inaugural Executive Director Innovation and Investment at the UK Defence Solutions Centre. He joined CENSIS in 2019 where he has been pivotal in the development and implementation of digital solutions across the public and private sectors in Scotland.
Paul’s business skills include leadership, substantial international P&L experience, capital raising and realising value from technology.
Paul is a member of the Board at South of Scotland Enterprise, Scotland’s Scotland’s enterprise agency for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. Earlier in 2022 the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) appointed him to its Science Engineering and Technology Board (SETB). The SETB is responsible for identifying and championing new research challenges at the cutting edge of engineering and physical sciences for future investment.
Paul is a co-founder of the Smart Things Accelerator Centre, a dedicated Scottish IoT accelerator for SMEs, scale up and start up companies.
Evan Cummack heads the IoT business unit at Twilio which includes responsibility for product, engineering and go-to-market functions.
Founded in 2008, Twilio is a cloud communications platform that enables companies to build, scale, and operate any communications experience. With over 2000 employees and revenue generation of over $650M in 2018, Twilio’s customers include Netflix, PayPal, Trip Advisor, Airbnb, Morgan Stanley and Marks and Spencer.
Millions of developers have used Twilio to unlock the magic of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has democratised communications channels like voice, text, chat, video, and email by virtualising the world’s communications infrastructure through Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) that are simple enough for any developer to use, yet robust enough to power the world’s most demanding applications. By making communications a part of every software developer’s toolkit, Twilio is enabling innovators across every industry — from emerging leaders to the world’s largest organisations — to reinvent how companies engage with their customers.
A New Zealander whose grandparents originally came from Glasgow, Evan moved to the US in 2011. At that time, Silicon Valley was the epicentre of cloud computing and Evan knew he wanted to be a part of that opportunity. He got a job at Twilio just three weeks after landing in San Francisco, and has since gone on to develop multiple new products and consulted with many of Twilio’s largest customers on global communications solutions. His hobbies include tennis, rugby and almost anything that consumes petrol …
Evan’s presentation – The real Internet of Things: massive economic transformation, in the hands of developers
To most of us “Internet of Things” describes the new generation of connected consumer devices entering our homes – smart speakers, thermostats and light switches. The smart home platform war is in full swing, and the tech titans of Silicon Valley are vying for our dollars and our attention. But the real IoT opportunity is the huge ‘whitespace’ for innovation that exists outside the home. An opportunity so large and so diverse that no tech titan can own it – we are at the genesis of a new computing platform that rivals the opportunity created by the PC, the Web or Mobile.
In this talk, Evan Cummack will articulate the untapped opportunity being enabled by new cellular IoT technologies. He’ll describe how the IoT opportunity is not about hardware or devices — it’s about software and the new found ability for software to solve human problems by reaching into the physical world. You’ll hear about software entrepreneurs that are solving real world problems — with solutions delivered as a service — through the use of IoT technology.
Based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Jan Jongboom is the CTO and co-founder of Edge Impulse, which enables developers to create the next generation of intelligent device solutions with embedded Machine Learning.
Jan has shipped devices, worked on the latest network tech, climbed upon buildings to install gateways and there’s a monument in San Francisco with his name on it. Prior to founding Edge Impulse he was a principal engineer at Arm.
Edge Impulse wants to make machines smarter, by enabling developers to create the next generation of intelligent device solutions through embedded Machine Learning.
Jan’s presentation: Teaching your sensors new tricks with machine learning
When we think about machine learning we think of data centers full of servers, crunching numbers. But what if we can run machine learning models directly on our smart devices? No longer do we send raw data streams over the internet, reducing latency, power consumption, and privacy concerns. It also allows us to detect much more complex events that rule based systems cannot easily detect.
In this talk we’ll look at all the parts that are required to successfully apply machine learning on embedded systems. From data requirements to the latest developments in scaling down machine learning models. We’ll also look at how signal processing and ML complement each other, and how this will influence the sensor of tomorrow. The future of Machine Learning is tiny.
As a seasoned professional with over 40 years of hands on management, technology and operational experience, Peter has been involved in established companies at an operational level, the creation and deployment of new technologies, products and management systems, plus the transformation of corporations, and the starting of many new businesses. This has involved board level responsibility in companies spanning £Bns to £Ms and an individual budget up to £100M with a management loading in excess of 1000 people.
Peter’s BT career saw a progression from a linesman to R&D engineer before becaming Head of Research and then CTO. With a 1000 strong team engaged in studies spanning optical fiber, fixed and mobile networks, Peter reported direct to the main board and was responsible for developments that would support future IP, eCommerce, eRetail, eLogistics and many other new businesses. Peter’s PhD was pivotal in BT deciding to go all-digital and all-optical in the 1970’s, and he played a key role in a downsizing of BT from 242,000 to 110,000 people in the early 1990s.
As a consultant and university professor, Peter has also been employed in the defence, logistics, travel, retail, energy, healthcare, transport, pharma, and consulting sectors as an advisor, board member, and manager with responsibilities for strategy and operations with budget responsibilities up to £1bn. As an investor and entrepreneur Peter has also engaged in the founding of new companies, investment and the management of growth leading to market success.
He was appointed as the UK’s first Prof for the Public Understanding of Science & Technology @ Bristol in 1998. A graduate of Nottingham Trent and Essex Universities, Peter has received notable recognition with the Queen’s Award for Innovation & Export in 1990 and Honorary Doctorates from Essex, Robert Gordon, Stafford, Nottingham Trent and Brunel Universities. He was awarded an OBE in 1999 for contributions to international communications.
Professor Chris Speed is Chair of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh where he collaborates with a wide variety of partners to explore how design provides methods to adapt, and create products and services within a networked society. His research looks at the Network Society, Digital Art and Technology, and The Internet of Things.
Chris especially favours transgressive design interventions, to help identify and promote the values we care about most, including coffee machines that order their own ethical supplies, hairdryers that ask you to wait for the right time to dry your hair, and apps for sham marriages. At present he is working on funded projects that engage with the flow of food across cities, an internet of cars, turning printers into clocks and a persistent argument that chickens are actually robots.
Prof Speed is a co-organiser and compère for the Edinburgh www.ThisHappened.org events and is co-editor of the journal Ubiquity. He is co-Director of the Design Informatics Research Centre, home to researchers working across the fields of interaction design, temporal design, anthropology, software engineering and digital architecture.
Chris has a track record in directing large complex grants with industry partners; he has been involved in 25 research grants since 2009 totalling over £21m. He leads the EPSRC funded OxChain Project, and is part of the EPSRC PACTMAN Project and the PETRAS IoT UK Hub.
Chris’s presentation – Co-creating value in the digital economy
Understanding value within digital economies is now a challenge for any organisation as the representation of value is no longer restricted to money, but to the values that a product or a service means to the consumer according to the data that is exchanged. In this sense, people are not only using money to buy things that they value, they are using data to co-create value alongside social, political and environmental values. Designing the flow of data can better support organisations’ ability to anticipate how the values that are associated with products and services can be better articulated.
Chris’s talk will be supported by design case studies from funded projects that have produced prototype products, services and workshop methods that enable research partners to anticipate how data can be used to co-create value.
Daniel is a commercial pilot and a non-executive director of a leading aerospace company.
He is also associated with the National Cyber Security Centre’s Industry 100 programme, an initiative to promote collaboration between public and private sector industries and the government’s lead technical authority on cyber security.
Daniel’s presentation: Cyber security and the aviation industry
As Director of the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Sensors and Metrology, Kai Bongs drives the translation of gravity sensors and ultra-precise clocks into technology and applications in climate, communications, energy, transport and urban development. He also leads the Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre at the University of Birmingham. His work has been presented at major international conferences and in high-impact research publications.
Professor Bongs obtained his PhD from the University of Hannover in 1999, followed by a postdoctoral stay at Yale University in the USA where he initiated a programme to develop a mobile gravity gradient sensor and an electron guide. In 2002, Kai led the atom optics division in the group of Professor Sengstock at Hamburg University.
Kai is Editor-in-Chief for the European Physical Journal – Quantum Technologies and UK representative on the Quantum Community Network of the European Quantum Flagship initiative. He won a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Fellow and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
To discover more about Kai’s work, he’s quoted in this BBC article on how quantum sensing is changing the way we see the world or watch this short video.
Allan Cannon is the co-founder and CEO of UK-based spacetech scale-up Krucial (formerly R3-IoT), and has a passion for creating technology that solves real problems.
Setting the commercial direction across the business, Allan leads a highly skilled team of technical, engineering, operations, and sales professionals. He also led the company’s recent $4.3m seed round, securing UK and North American investors, has more than doubled headcount in the last 12 months, and is now focused on global expansion in 2022.
Allan is highly experienced in delivering complex multi-million defence and aerospace projects and spent more than 10 years’ in the defence and aerospace industry across advanced technology, R&D, design and operations.
Allan is a keen advocate for the next generation of entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, and leaders, and currently sits on the board of CodeClan, a digital bootcamp accelerator.
Growing and scaling an IoT business
On the day, Allan will be a guest on our morning panel session on growing and scaling an IoT business, chaired by Poonam Malik. In preparing for this, CENSIS was pleased to work with team at the Innovation World Cup to bring together four senior figures from IoT businesses – two from Scotland and two from mainland Europe – to discuss the challenges, opportunities, learnings and rewards each has faced in establishing and scaling up their company.
An expert systems integrator with a history of delivering complex technical programmes, building and managing teams of highly skilled engineers, Kevin co-founded R3-IoT to enable businesses worldwide reap the huge potential presented by the Internet of Things regardless of location on earth.
Former Head of Spacecraft Platforms at Clyde Space Ltd., he led the design and of multiple nano-satellite platforms and has worked on a number of satellite projects to date many of which are functioning in orbit today.
R3-IoT is an end to end sensor-to-cloud solutions company differentiated by its patent pending smart gateway. The company provides enterprises with the ability to move sensor data back to the cloud via satellite in a seamless and optimised way. With 90% of the planet not serviced by communications infrastructure their system allows companies with rural and remote operations to gain insight and improve efficiency. The company leverages state of the art satellite technology combined with the latest in LPWAN technology to provide a cost-effective communication backhaul for its customers – the collected data is presented to customers on the R3-IoT platform.
The company is working across several market verticals including rural healthcare, environmental monitoring, asset management with an initial focus on industrial aquaculture having secured one of the largest salmon producers in the world as a pilot customer.
Kevin’s presentation: CENSIS/R3-IoT case study
R3-IoT is working with CENSIS to develop an IoT gateway that transfers data from rural sensor networks to the cloud, via satellite. The technology is aimed at businesses that could benefit from access to real-time data from isolated operations.
A recent report from North Sky Research said the value of the ‘IoT via satellite’ market would grow from $1.6 billion (£1.26 billion) to $4 billion (£3.16 billion) by 2028. R3-IoT aims to capitalise on the ongoing commercial space race between the likes of SpaceX, Amazon, and OneWeb which is expected boost the competitiveness of space-based communication services.
Co-founders Allan Cannon and Kevin Quillien tell the story of the company, the project with CENSIS and their plans for the future.
Lauren Gemmell is Senior Manager of Software Development in the Amazon Development Centre, Edinburgh.
Lauren started as a graduate software engineer, but is now responsible for running a team of over 15 managers and engineers working at the Edinburgh Development Centre.
Lauren’s work was recognised in 2017 when she was one of the winners of the inaugural TechWomen50 Awards, acknowledging remarkable women in the technology sector. Over 500 individuals were submitted for the awards and over 15,000 public votes were received for the 100 shortlisted nominees. The final 50 winners were judged by a panel of 20 independent industry experts.
Lauren also plays a key role in supporting the progression of women in technology both at Amazon and externally through various community initiatives. As well as mentoring female colleagues at Amazon, she leads the Amazon’s Women in Engineering Group (AWE) at the Edinburgh Development Centre, an internal group which supports female engineers through mentoring, networking and identifying new opportunities in the business.
Lauren also lead the Amazon Early Insights Scheme, a community outreach programme in Scotland designed to encourage more young girls to take up STEM subjects.
Barry is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IET with over 25 years of industrial experience within the defence & security and wind energy sectors.
During his 22 years with Thales, Barry has worked as an algorithms engineer, project manager and discipline manager. He is is currently the Technology & Innovation lead for Thales Optronics and a specialist in stabilisation and control, and image processing. Barry is responsible for open innovation and engaging with SMEs and universities.
Inspector Nicholas Whyte has been a serving police officer for 24 years and has undertaken a number of roles. Initially posted to East Kilbride, Nicholas then moved to Operational Support Division where he worked in the force Support Unit and as a firearms officer. He also undertook other roles including as a licenced search officer, public order and as a full time observer in the police helicopter.
Nicholas also spent time in the force planning department before being promoted to sergeant in the Air Support Unit. He also worked on the Police Scotland National Air Support Project which was a key element in the creation of the single police service in Scotland and he was also involved in the retender for the helicopter service provision for Police Scotland. Nicholas also advises the national Emergency Service Network project on matters relating to air support.
Nicholas has been involved in air support for 15 years and is now an Inspector with responsibility for the Police Scotland Air Support Unit, including the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System operations as well as the Dive & Marine Unit based in Greenock. He is the Unit Executive Officer for the Air Support Unit which requires close liaison with the service provider and the industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority. He is also the Accountable Manager for RPAS operations and is the lead for the introduction and operational development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems to Police Scotland.
Stuart has been a serving police officer for 20 years and has undertaken a number of roles. Initially posted to Greenock, Stuart then moved to Operational Support Division where he worked in the force Support Unit. During this time he was trained in a number of roles including as a licenced search officer, firearms, public order and as an observer in the police helicopter. He then spent a number of years as a public order instructor and advisor working on a number of national and international events including the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, G8 Conferences in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, the NATO conference in Wales and a period of time in London after the 2011 disorder. Stuart has also advised on and taken part in a number of local events including protests, marches and the apprehension of violent offenders.
He has also undertaken multi-national public order training with the Gendarmerie in southern France and spent time in Malawi training other instructors in the lead up to the 2014 elections.
Stuart is now part of the team responsible for the introduction and operational development of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems to Police Scotland.
Prof Qi Wang is a co-founder of the Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Visual Communications and Networks (AVCN) at the University of the West of Scotland. His primary research interests include 5G and beyond networks, artificial intelligence, and video communications.
He has been a lead researcher in various nationally or internationally sponsored research projects. He is Technical Co-Manager for EU Horizon 2020 projects SELFNET and SliceNet , and Principal Investigator for a number of EPSRC projects. Prof Wang has contributed to two projects funded by CENSIS and Thales UK including one on low-pixel object detection and recognition that won a Scottish Knowledge Exchange Award in 2018.
Qi Wang has published more than 150 papers, including Best Papers awards at: IEEE Consumer Electronic Society’s flagship conference ICCE 2014, IEEE ICCE 2012, SOFTNETWORKING 2017, and SIGMAP 2014.
Before joining UWS, Qi Wang worked at the University of Strathclyde and the State Grid Corporation of China. He holds a PhD in Mobile Networking from the University of Plymouth.