CENSIS has received a five-year funding package worth more than £9 million to develop Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in cutting-edge, emerging technology.
The £9.25 million investment will be provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and will be supplemented by an additional £3 million in third-party income.
The fifth annual gathering will be held at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and is set to attract more than 400 delegates from across industry and academia.
Attendees will also hear from Hugo Fiennes, the CEO of Electric Imp and a leading member of the teams that designed the first four generations of the Apple iPhone as well as the NEST thermostat; forensics expert, Professor Niamh Nic Daeid will also speak at the event.
McKee commented: “Creativity and innovation are vital if we are to realise Scotland’s potential and capitalise on technological advancements, enabling our move to a low-carbon economy and improving the economic and social well-being of all.”
“This investment will allow CENSIS and Scotland’s thriving technologies sector to continue to grow,” McKee added. The Minister also underlined the importance of innovation centres such as CENSIS, which form a key component in Scotland’s innovation infrastructure.
“Through university-business collaborations, they have already solved some of industry’s challenges, whilst harnessing new opportunities,” he said.
During its first five-year phase, CENSIS has brokered more than 130 projects between industry and academia, which amount to a combined total of £17.3 million across a range of sectors – including manufacturing, health, life sciences and subsea projects.
Among the highlight’s of this phase has been CENSIS’s £6 million ‘Mirage’ project; a collaborative R&D initiative which brought together five organisations working on the materials and processes used in manufacturing specialist electronic and photonic components.
The innovation centre also played a significant role in creating the £6 million Scottish Government-backed IoT Scotland project, which aims to develop the most advanced network of its kind in the UK.
CENSIS Chief Executive Ian Reid the funding will allow the organisation to “build on the foundations set in place over the past five years” and enable CENSIS to move forward with a renewed sector focus in a number of areas.
He added: “We’ll also be concentrating our efforts on projects where we can make both an economic and social impact, such as healthcare and independent living, the environment and precision agriculture.”
Reid suggested that the Technology Summit is a means by which to measure the success both of CENSIS’ projects and the ecosystem at large.
“In many ways, the Technology Summit is emblematic of CENSIS’s growth over the past five years,” he said. “In its first year, there were 90 delegates and no exhibitors and now we’re able to attract top speakers from around the world.”
“There is much more to be done and we will continue that journey over the next five years. Our thanks go to the Scottish Government and its economic development agencies for helping us to take that vision forward.”