The United Kingdom Science Park Association magazine | Issue 4 | Spring 2018
BREAKTHROUGH | The United Kingdom Science Park Association magazine | Issue 4 | Spring 2018
26. SPOTLIGHT ON ROBOTS 28. THE APPLICATION OF BLOCKCHAIN 33. PROFESSOR NOEL SHARKEY ON SOCIAL BIAS IN AI
Driving force The impact of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) across industry
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Research & Innovation New Biology, New Targets Homerton College, Cambridge 17th - 18th April 2018
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Discovery Technologies 2018
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Drug Discovery 2018
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Pharmaceutical Flow Cytometry & Imaging 2018 GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage 14th â€“ 15th November 2018
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Remixing of the possibles
UKSPA Chairman Dr David Hardman MBE looks at the impact of robotics and autonomous systems and a growing legacy of data across industry…
rom all the coverage, it is apparent that adoption of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS) innovations across industry can be variously represented as huge opportunities for all, or societal Armageddon. Even taking the middle ground, as digital technologies become ever more intuitive, the way we live, work and play will be vastly different within the next couple of decades. For innovations to take hold there needs to be the coming together of ideas, technology, opportunity and acceptance. As Steven Johnson said, it is about a ‘remixing of the possibles’. Today’s opportunity derives from the three billion people online, an estimated 17 billion connected devices and sensors, driving ever increasing access to enormous amounts of data. This, mixed with the decreasing cost of data storage, increasing computing power and the ability to connect to remote processing,
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all linked to algorithmic innovation, opens into a new world of artificial intelligence and the potential for true machine learning. Intuitive machine interfaces are around the corner; they will happen, and at such a pace that they will influence current and next generations, not just future generations with time to adapt.
I N N O VAT I O N I S S E R E N D I P I T Y
As managers of innovation ecologies, we need to continue to provide infrastructures that drive the creation and adoption of innovative new products and services; stirring the ‘mix’ and accepting, as Tim Berners-Lee said, ‘Innovation is serendipity, so you don’t know what people will make’. But we also have to catalyse thought leadership and promote societal acceptance of this next generation of products and services. Our university partners and higher education stakeholders can play into this
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through their Public Understanding of Science, STEM Ambassadors and open lecture programmes and we should link our tenant businesses into this debate. Oscar Salazar suggested, ‘We are all responsible. We are adding technology to a society without thinking about the consequences. I think government, industry and society need to work more together, because it is going to get crazier and crazier’. We are not passive real-estate managers. We aim to catalyse innovation to grow our local economies. The content of this issue should stimulate local informed debate on and in our centres, parks, and campuses to ensure effective adoption to the benefit of all in our local economies. ■
All comments and feedback should be forwarded to the UKSPA team: firstname.lastname@example.org
Breakthrough is published on behalf of UKSPA by Open Box Media & Communications, Regent Court, 68 Caroline Street, Jewellery Quarter, B’ham B3 1UG. T: 0121 200 7820. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the consent of UKSPA.
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10 SWANSEA CONFERENCE News from UKSPA’s latest Members’ event 14 UKSPA IN LINCOLN Looking forward to UKSPA’s upcoming Members’ event 15 UPCOMING EVENTS A list of recommended upcoming events for your diaries
EMBRACING CHANGE An introductory message and future vision from Jim Duvall, UKSPA’s new Executive Director
BLOCKCHAIN A primer on the application of blockchain to thwart counterfeiters and protect the pharma supply chain and patient outcomes
A JOINT VENTURE Understanding Sci-Tech Daresbury’s success as a private-public joint-venture (JV) partnership between Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Halton Borough Council
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23 SOFTWARE WINS How IT asset management can save you money 26 SPOTLIGHT ON ROBOTS Transforming business tasks with robotics and automation 30 IP FOR AI Is it possible to patent protect an autonomous system and, if so, would the benefits outweigh the costs?
52 NEW MEMBERS An introduction to new UKSPA Members and Business Affiliates 54 MEMBER NEWS A collection of updates from UKSPA Members 58 TECH-DRIVEN LABS Mario Bott, head of Fraunhofer IPA’s new innovation center for laboratory automation looks at the holistic nerve centres of an interconnected company
Welcome to Breakthrough, your UK Science Park Association magazine
UKRI LAUNCH An interview with Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive Designate, following the launch of the new UK Research & Innovation
36 AUTOMATION VS AUTONOMY An infographic defining levels of machine independence from man 42 ROBOTICS FOR HEALTH Looking at the market leaders in enabled technologies for healthcare
33 RESPONSIBLE RAS Professor Noel Sharkey discusses social bias in AI
20 YOUR SAY Experts speak their mind on Brexit, the Industrial Strategy and the Knowledge Exchange Framework
19 WESTMINSTER FORUM Experts discuss the future of UK science and innovation with government
DRIVING FORCE Actioning the integration of autonomous vehicles and introducing The Midlands Connected Autonomous Vehicle (MCAV) collaboration
45 CYBER-PHYSICAL LABS Industry 4.0, the Smart Lab concept and digital twinning
A DAY IN THE LIFE OFâ€¦ Miranda Knaggs, Business Manager for Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, walks us through a typical day in the office
64 START UPS NEED YOU How you can sign up to the Workfinder Pledge 66 TECHNOLOGY-LED DISRUPTION National Grid innovation lead powers up UNIP round table series
61 AI SKILLS GAP The Artificial Intelligence talent arms race
69 MANAGING FLEXIBLE SPACE Leases, licences and the growth of space on demand
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UKSPA VISION & MISSION
Jim Duvall, UKSPA Executive Director, hits the ground running and invests UKSPA resource into the fourth industrial revolution
he first quarter of 2018 has seen significant change at UKSPA. In January we said farewell to Paul Wright who decided to stand down as UKSPA CEO, after 16 years in post. We wish Paul the very best in his retirement. Following my own appointment as Executive Director, I have met up with our members across the UK, from Plymouth, Bristol and Exeter to Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow. Our Affiliate network of business members also provide increasing opportunities to deliver added value to the work of UKSPA and discussions are continuing with a number of our business members about partnerships in key areas of activity. Please do contact the UKSPA office if you would like details of current and future sponsorship and partnership opportunities.
Our members will continue to be at the heart of everything we do. As an association, our key message to members is rooted in the ongoing need for collaboration between member organisations, across sectors and beyond national and international borders. Communication, intelligence and data flow are set to be the foundation of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy. Local Industry Strategy models must link national priority programmes with sector deals and regional planning. To accomplish this within a rapidly evolving digital economy, we must focus on driving growth and stimulating innovation. We must communicate and cooperate towards upskilling our current talent pool and boosting collaborative strengths in education, communications, financial and business services to enable
those specialists that drive the core of our individual science or technology research programmes to do their jobs. Discussions are underway with other national organisations that share UKSPA’s ambitions to support and promote the science and innovation sector through joint working projects that deliver value to our members. We will also gather evidence to support our advocacy of the sector. To succeed in this, we shall ask for your full cooperation in the near future. Our next gathering takes place at Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, 7-8 June. Alongside sessions sharing good practice, there will be two panel sessions covering key sector issues and an open discussion on investment trends. ■
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The world according to UKSPA and its Members
UKSPA Swansea Conference A summary of events from the latest UKSPA member meeting
n 25-26 January, UKSPA members and supporters got together in partnership with Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science (ILS) at the stunning Waterfront Museum in the beautiful, coastal city of Swansea (Dinas a Sir Abertawe). This conference was once again a successful mix of presentations and discussion, exhibitors, informal networking, and a fun evening dinner. The event was held in the rather gorgeous surroundings of the museum, amid an exciting mix of ancient and beautiful aeroplanes, trams and railway carriages and more modern transport such as the Sinclair C5. Conference highlights included both the launch of the BUCANIER project and the inaugural meeting of the new UKSPA Welsh Group.
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A W E LC O M E T O WA L E S
UKSPA Chairman, David Hardman, opened the first session and introduced UKSPA’s new executive team; Executive Director, Jim Duvall, Communications Manager, Sarah Lawton, and Member Administrator, Louise Tilbrook. Professor Steve Conlan welcomed participants on behalf of Swansea Medical School and our hosts, the ILS. Keynote speakers, Robert Hoyle, Chief Scientific Officer from the Welsh Government, Councillor Rob Stewart from Swansea City Council, and Professor Marc Clement from Swansea University, delivered an introduction to the Welsh innovation landscape and Swansea’s City Deal investment programme. Encompassing 11 projects around Economic Acceleration, Life Science and Wellbeing, and Smart Manufacturing
underpinned by an enhanced digital infrastructure, Swansea’s City Deal (www.swanseabaycitydeal.wales/) aims to develop the Swansea Bay City and South West Wales region.
As an integral part of this conference, UKSPA and ILS were honoured to host Professor Marc Clement (Swansea University) as he launched the Building Clusters and Networks in Innovation Enterprise and Research (BUCANIER) project. BUCANIER is being led by Pembrokeshire County Council in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council, Swansea University, Wexford County Council, Institute of Technology Carlow, and Ireland seafood development agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM).
CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDED BOTH THE L AUNCH OF THE BUCANIER PROJECT AND THE INAUGUR AL MEE TING O F T HE NE W U K S PA W E L S H GR O U P and to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative solutions for better health and wellbeing.
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Day two heard Dr Jon Wood (Innovate UK), Rhian Hayward (AIEC), Dr Richard Thompson (Development Bank of Wales), Professor Steve Conlan (Swansea Medical School), and Huw Watkins (Bic Innovations) provide updates on the current issues surrounding finance and innovation through collaboration throughout Wales. Hydro Industries speaker, Wayne Preece, provided a fascinating insight into the challenges faced by some global communities due to water contamination. He outlined the impact of Welsh innovations that help clean these vital water supplies while recuperating valuable mineral and metal resources through filtration of waste water.
PA RT N E R S H I P A N D O P P O RT U N I T Y LIVING LABS AND LIFE SCIENCES
Living Labs (LLs) are defined as usercentred, open innovation ecosystems based on systematic user co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings. Hamish Graham (Healthcare Innovation Manager – Pfizer UK) and Joe Duran (Director, Analytics and Performance Computing - Fujitsu) presented the Swansea Bay City Region collaboration to develop, trial and deploy health innovations through an LL project. Steve Conibear, Business Growth Manager, then updated participants on the repurposing of the Life Sciences Hub to develop opportunities for creating value from NHS-industry engagement across the Welsh life sciences ecosystem
Paul Tostevin (Savills World Research) gave interesting insights into the available data and analysis of developing tech cities across the globe. Savills’ online interactive map of the globe enables users to compare broadband speed, technology talent pool and rent for cities across the world. Chris Musson (Liverpool Science Park) continued the tech city theme by outlining how Liverpool Science Park developed as a successful inner-city innovation centre. Part of the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter, the science park adopted ways of working that enabled the site to leverage opportunities such as collaboration with local, knowledge based companies and funding opportunities.
I N C U B AT I N G G E N E R AT I O N Z
Kate Beresford (Enterprise Educators UK), Jonathan Powell (Lancaster University), and Linsey Cole (London
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South Bank University) collaborated in a joint session outlining the contribution of UK universities to the development of our next generation of innovators. On day two, Justin John (Cardiff Medicentre) and Caroline Gray (Optic Technology Centre) also discussed issues, trends and initiatives in the UK incubation and innovation sector.
PA R K D E V E LO P M E N T
Ieuan Wyn Jones (M-Sparc) and Sally Basker (Exeter Science Park) presented useful and interesting innovation centre case studies, outlining the development of Menai Science Park and Exeter Science Park respectively. Talks such as these are the backbone of the UKSPA knowledgesharing community and are always greatly appreciated by participants eager to compare notes and gain insight into challenges and best practice.
D ATA M AT T E R S
The third parallel session on day two heard Dr Matthew Roach and Bob Laramee (The Computational Foundry) and Dr Richard Fry (The Farr Institute) sharing insights into the ever-growing digital ecosystem and the delivery of high-quality research using Big Data to advance heath sector outcomes.
Many thanks to all of our speakers, participants, and (of course) sponsors: Sharp Ahead, Willmott Dixon, Jisc, Menai Science Park, Wright Hassall, Haseltine Lake, NookPod, Hydro Industries, and the newly launched BUCANIER project with their sponsors from the European Regional Development Fund. ■
Presentations can be found on the UKSPA website: www.ukspa.org.uk/ ukspa-conference-swansea-jan-2018
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Looking forward to Lincoln The next UKSPA conference is being held at the University of Lincoln on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 June and will be hosted by Lincoln Science and Innovation Park. OUR HOSTS
Opened in 2014, Lincoln Science and Innovation Park is the joint venture formed by the University of Lincoln and the Lincolnshire Co-op to help regenerate 30-acres of brownfield land on the edge of Lincoln’s historic city centre. “Together with our partners, we have developed a collaborative community of science and technology businesses and university researchers in an innovative and flexible science park environment.” Tom Blount, Science Park Director.
Conference sessions planned will include: • Challenges and opportunities for the science park, innovation and incubation sector: Panel Session
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Lincoln Science and Innovation Park
• Science parks as economic developers • Place and innovation – city/urban trends • Commercial property investment trends: Panel Session • Place and innovation – rural challenges and barriers to collaboration • Company growth – funding and support • Ageing R&D space – refurbishment and rebuilding • Incubation – impact and investment The Lincoln Science and Innovation Park campus sits adjacent to the University of
Lincoln and is just 10-minutes’ walk from Lincoln’s Transport Hub and High Street. Sessions will take place on the University Campus which is well served by public transport and close to several hotels. ■
The full conference programme and booking information can be found on the UKSPA website: www.ukspa.org.uk Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact: email@example.com
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The UK’s authoritative publication promoting the creation and growth of technology based companies
The inaugural meeting will focus on the application of Mass Spectrometry & Organ on a Chip technologies Dates of the event: 23 May 2018 Organiser: ELRIG Venue: Alderley Park City: Macclesfield Country: United Kingdom URL: www.elrig.org
U K S PA L I N C O L N
The next member meeting co-hosted by the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (LSIP) Dates of the event: 7-8 June 2018 Organiser: UKSPA Venue: Lincoln Science and Innovation Park City: Lincoln Country: United Kingdom URL: ukspa.org.uk/events
DRUG DISCOVERY 2018
Cutting-edge advances in the application of laboratory technology to understand disease biology and to identify novel chemical and biological candidate drugs Dates of the event: 9-10 October 2018 Organiser: ELRIG Venue: Excel Arena City: London Country: United Kingdom URL: www.elrig.org
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Read online now: UKSPA.ORG.UK/ BREAKTHROUGH
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The UK’s only trade exhibition dedicated to the laboratory industry Dates of the event: 31 October -1 November 2018 Organiser: Easyfairs Venue: National Exhibition Centre City: Birmingham Country: United Kingdom URL: www.easyfairs.com/lab-innovations-2018
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UKRI vision “I want to make it easier for us to work together to lead the way globally on interdisciplinary research”
K Research and Innovation (UKRI) was a proposal of Part 3 of the Higher Education and Research Bill, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament, and UK Research and Innovation will be created in April 2018. UKRI will bring together the research councils, Innovate UK and a new body, Research England. According to the organisation’s official narrative, it intends to be an outstanding organisation that ensures the UK maintains its world leading position in research and innovation. “We will build on the successful elements from the current funding system: dual funding (block grants and research councils), funding based on peer review, Innovate UK’s business focus, our world-class institutes, and industrial research and development… …We will do this by creating the best environment for research and innovation to flourish… …We want to foster a collaborative environment for universities, researchers and businesses which is able to attract funding from new sources.” (Extract from UKRI’s official narrative, www.ukri.org/files/ukri-narrative/) The narrative also outlines the following perspective on the UK’s innovation landscape.
Professor Sir Mark Walport CHIEF EXECUTIVE DESIGNATE, UK RESEARCH & INNOVATION Sir Mark Walport is the Chief Executive Designate of the newly formed UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which is responsible for the public funding of research and innovation. He was Government Chief Scientific Adviser ( GCSA ) and Head of the Government Office for Science from April 2013 to September 2017
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T H E W O R L D I S C H A N G I N G F A S T, A N D T H E U K N E E D S A R E S E A R C H A N D I N N O VAT I O N S Y S T E M T H AT I S F I T F O R T H E F U T U R E
T E A R I N G D O W N WA L L S
The world is changing fast, and the UK needs a research and innovation system that is fit for the future. Such a system must be able to respond to demographic, economic and environmental change on a global scale. Economic growth depends increasingly on new knowledge, and the UK must translate excellent research into better business outcomes more effectively. Commercialising new ideas will ensure that we maximise the economic benefit we gain from our world class research. Data-driven innovation is transforming all sectors of the economy. Deep insight from the arts, humanities and social sciences is needed to reap the benefits of this extraordinary technological development for the whole of society. Individual components of the UK research and innovation system have great strengths. Now we intend to build a new system which is more than the sum of its parts. This system will reward audacity, ambition and agility, and encourage imagination and innovation. It will ensure that good ideas are supported that might once have been blocked by artificial organisational divides. The new structure we are creating will deliver a much deeper understanding of the research and innovation landscape, including its sustainability and the strengths and weaknesses of the system. This knowledge will allow us to invest wisely to maximise value.
I M P L E M E N TAT I O N
There are two phases in the near-term development of UK Research and Innovation. The first of these is the transition phase, which involves the creation of a fully-functioning organisation by 1 April 2018. This stage is complete. The second is transformation, to ensure that we can deliver our ambitions. Transformation has already started with the creation of the Shadow Executive Team, and the excellent progress which is now being made towards new ways of working together including the delivery of the Industrial Strategy and Global Challenges funds. In addition, we have several more immediate priorities. It is important that the UK maintains its reputation as a world-leading research and innovation nation with a role in tackling global challenges. We are working with our colleagues in government to develop an international strategy. And we are working to develop advice on how to allocate the additional £4.7bn from the 2016 Autumn Statement, to ensure that research and innovation remain at the heart of the government’s Industrial Strategy.
Speaking in Westminster to a broad audience of research and innovation stakeholders, Professor Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive Designate of UK Research & Innovation commented: “We are building on component parts of the funding landscape which, individually, are very strong, but there
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is considerable untapped potential for the whole to be much more than the sum of the parts. We need to stimulate and reward audacity, ambition and agility, where imagination and innovation are actively encouraged, and important proposals do not fall foul of artificial divides.” Sir Mark explained that the success of UK Research and Innovation will ultimately be measured through the impact it delivers: through pushing the frontiers of human knowledge, delivering economic impact and creating better jobs and by supporting society to become stronger, healthier and more resilient.
PA RT N E R O R G A N I S AT I O N S
In a letter to partner organisations, he said; “Together in UKRI we will deliver a system that is more agile, flexible and able to respond strategically to future challenges, delivering national capability that drives new discoveries and growth. I want to make it easier for us to work together to lead the way globally on interdisciplinary research, and enable us to act with a single voice for the research and innovation community. We should work together to develop efficient and effective corporate services to support you, whilst ensuring these services are flexible enough to respond to our different communities.” ■
For further information, please contact Matt Goode: firstname.lastname@example.org
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A historical timeline of robotics
420 BC Archytas of Tarentum invents a flying, steam-propelled bird made of wood 270 BC An ancient Greek engineer named Ctesibus made organs and water clocks with movable figures 3RD CENTURY BC Yai Shi invents a mechanised, human-shaped figure - an early example of automata 100 AD Automated devices like pipe organs and fire engines appear in records 1206 AD Al-Jarazi invents humanoid automata, including a programmable automaton musical band 1495 Leonardo da Vinci designed what may be the first humanoid robot though it cannot be confirmed if the design was ever produced 1738 Jacques de Vaucanson invents a mechanical duck that can eat, flap its wings, and poop 1898 Tesla invents the first radio-controlled vessel 1921 The term “robot” was first used in a play called “R.U.R.” or “Rossum’s Universal Robots” by the Czech writer Karel Capek 1495
1930s Elektro, a humanoid robot appears at the World’s Fair
1941 Science fiction writer Isaac Asimov first used the word “robotics” to describe the technology of robots and predicted the rise of a powerful robot industry 1942 Asimov wrote “Runaround”, a story about robots which contained the “Three Laws of Robotics” 1948 William Grey Walter developed what are considered the first electronic autonomous robots called machina speculatrix | “Cybernetics”, an influence on artificial intelligence research was published by Norbert Wiener 1954 Norman Heroux, George Devol and Joe Engelberger designed and marketed the first programmable robot arm - called Unimate - and sold it to General Motors in 1960 1956 George Devol and Joseph Engelberger formed the world’s first robot company
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1959 Computer-assisted manufacturing was demonstrated at the Servomechanisms Lab at MIT 1963 The first artificial robotic arm to be controlled by a computer was designed. The Rancho Arm was designed as a tool for the handicapped and its six joints gave it the flexibility of a human arm 1965 DENDRAL was the first expert system or program designed to execute the accumulated knowledge of subject experts 1966 Shakey, produced by SRI International, was introduced as the first mobile robot controlled by artificial intelligence 1968 The octopus-like Tentacle Arm was developed by Marvin Minsky 1969 The Stanford Arm was the first electrically powered, computer-controlled robot arm 1974 A robotic arm (the Silver Arm) that performed small-parts assembly using feedback from touch and pressure sensors was designed | The first microprocessorcontrolled industrial robot, ASEA IRB 6, is invented 2002 Automated vacuum cleaner, Roomba, is launched and sells over 12 million units over 10 years
2005 The first nanobot is built in Shenyang, China | The Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), created HUBO, and claims it is the smartest mobile robot in the world | Cornell University created self-replicating robots 2009 Robot TOPIO plays ping pong at the Tokyo International Robot Exhibition 2011 Watson supercomputer bests former Jeopardy champions to win $1 million prize 2012 Google’s self-driving car successfully completes 300,000 miles of road tests
of UK business R&D is carried out by just 400 companies
News from Westminster Examining the future of UK science and innovation - Brexit, the Industrial Strategy and the Knowledge Exchange Framework
n 30 January, the Westminster Forum hosted a meeting to discuss the future of UK science and innovation and the grand challenges facing UKRI, in relation to Brexit, immigration policies, skills needs, what and where will our R&D investment come from and the protection of the prospect of wider collaboration. The session was chaired by Liz Saville Roberts MP, Shadow Plaid Cymru Spokesperson, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Kevin Baughan, Deputy Chief Executive, Innovate UK outlined the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and transition to UKRI. He talked of UKRI’s initial focus on what we share as common purpose rather than the nine underlying councils that are coming together, because we need to find new and exciting strategic ways to work together.
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S O C I E TA L T R E N D S
“The mission of Innovate UK stays largely unchanged inside this broader context,” said Baughan. “We are there to accelerate UK economic growth through funding and connecting business led innovation…[ ]… The core of what we do fits very well with knowledge, economy
and society. Societal trends often provide us with a very clear view of where the markets are going, we don’t have a special crystal ball in Innovate UK, but what we can do is be more candid and more direct about the big societal trends that will change markets and therefore require industry to react and respond if they are to continue leading.”
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 C O N S O RT I A
Alan Carlton, Managing Director and Vice-President, Europe, InterDigital looked at emerging technology, attracting international investment and strategies to ensure international competitiveness. From the perspective of companies like InterDigital, the impact of Brexit is already very, very real, in particular for those involved in programmes like Horizon 2020. While it is pleasing to see the positive commitments that the Government has made in terms of supporting Horizon 2020, many feel this commitment may not be strong enough to secure continued participation by UK companies. Horizon 2020 is moving into this final phase of 5G and the simple matter is the UK is not being invited to participate in the party.
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From a consortia risk management perspective, the only way to protect against the risk of having a UK partner in a project is to replace them. Even more worryingly, ‘beyond 5G’ plans are being shaped right now and it’s happening without the UK. A reluctant solution for many companies is to accelerate our growth plans outside of the UK. To protect investments in Europe many are opening up European-based offices. The absence of a real long-term commitment is economically damaging to the UK now, not just in some post-Brexit future.
Alice Frost, Head of Knowledge Exchange Policy, HEFCE, outlined the role of Research England within UKRI, which will be similar to the HEFCE contribution, and offer a different role and perspective than Innovate UK and the research councils, while working with them. There will be a joint approach to running the Research Excellence Framework and the HE_BCI survey and the Research England team will develop policy and interventions in close communication and discussion with universities. ■
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Academic and industry experts deliver comment on the UK’s current strategic reality*
“What you take pride in as developers, as innovators, as researchers will affect the lives of individuals, families and communities, for better and for worse. When we talk about productivity and growth, let us set our measures of success wisely.” Liz Saville Roberts MP, Shadow Plaid Cymru Spokesperson, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
“To attract the workforce and motivate scientists as well as keep the support of the public there is a need for a compelling vision. What quality assurance system does science have now and is it fit for purpose in a post-Brexit world?” Belinda Phipps, Chief Executive, Science Council
“When I speak to people overseas, heritage and reputation are two of the reasons they want to work with the UK.” Holly White, Consultant, Rouse
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“Ultimately, it’s important that the UK has both an economic environment which is attractive to business and also a cultural environment which is attractive to business.” Dr Sarah Main, Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE)
HAVE YOUR SAY Tweet your opinions @UKSPA
“One company said to me, ‘what we look for in the UK is that you do the R and we’ll do the D’. If we can no longer maintain a research base which does high quality research we will lose the attractiveness of the UK.” Dr Sarah Main, Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE)
“It doesn’t always require money to make things happen, sometimes it just requires bringing the people together.” Kevin Baughan, Deputy Chief Executive, Innovate UK
“We’re not the only country who has a strategy to drive economic growth through science and innovation, so I think it’s really important for us to engage internationally and look for complementarities and strengths across countries in order to build on our existing expertise. Thinking about China in particular, the OECD estimates that by 2020 China will be the world’s largest spender on science and innovation having overtaken the US.” Holly White, Consultant, Rouse
“Skills is a huge focus of UKRI and when we launch we will definitely be saying quite a lot to do with skills development in the future.” Dr Gemma Bridge, Senior Strategy Advisor, Shadow UK Research and Innovation
* Unless otherwise stated, quotations are based on the transcript from the 30 January 2018 Westminster Forum, ‘The future of UK science and innovation - Brexit, the Industrial Strategy and the Knowledge Exchange Framework’ and may not have been approved by the speakers
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Find your software wins IT Asset Management can bring instant savings
S Joseph Powell DIRECTOR AND TECHNOLOGY CONSULTANT, ITAMEYES SOLUTIONS
Joe has over a decade’s worth of experience working with leading multinational corporations and large-scale public-sector organisations, helping them through their technical ITAM journey
o, what is IT Asset Management (ITAM)? Aside from all the definitions and the ISO standards, it boils down to something quite simple: having effective processes, people and toolsets to manage IT related assets from the point of thinking about purchasing all the way through to after you have disposed of them. Now, when I say IT assets, that can mean the obvious laptop or server but nowadays it has become more than the obvious. It’s now your company provided phones, personal phones or tablets, 3rd party suppliers’ devices, printers, switches and on and on.
C O N T R O L L I N G A P P L I C AT I O N S
One thing nearly all these devices rely on is software. Software to simply function
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(i.e. the operating system) and then software to make them productive (the applications used by your users). And this is where the real issues arise for organisations – controlling these applications. Here is what usually happens: User A needs an application urgently, they ask IT, IT installs the application, User A is happy. But did IT have the rights to install that application, the rights to the licence from the vendor? Did they buy a licence? “Oh, wait that’s Procurement’s job” you’ll hear IT say.
‘I NEED IT NOW’
This all too familiar pattern, while commonplace in small start-ups, carries on as organisations grow. It’s done to make the end-user happy. Who wants to wait for things to be
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approved or even bought? The common argument: “It’s stopping me doing my job, so I need it now.” So, what does this get you? Noncompliance. Non-compliance with the software vendor. And, yes, while they may not look to audit a small five-person organisation as the effort often outweighs the gain, you risk being a target. And who in IT wants to explain to the CFO the unbudgeted spend of thousands they must pay in 30 days? So, how does ITAM help you? How does having the people, processes and toolsets help you from having to have that CFO conversation? It starts with looking at what IT assets you have now: what are they, where are they and what applications do they have on them? You add in to this brewing crock pot the licences you have purchased by asking the people that buy them. All this information then gets stirred together in an ITAM software toolset. This cooks it up and you end up with your finished product, your Effective Licence Position (ELP). This is your, ‘are we good or are we in trouble?’ line in the sand. It gives you your baseline to focus on, to determine where you need more licences or if you have too many, to know you don’t need to buy more in the future till the surplus has run out. So, you can see in the example of having surplus licences you have just avoided spending more on that application, whereas before if someone asked for it, you probably bought a new licence. Win number 1 = Cost Avoidance.
Re-harvesting is the next trick. It’s not moving licences from one asset to another, it’s re-harvesting. Looking at what you have installed and working out if it’s even used. If it isn’t on one asset but another user wants it, and you can: Reharvest it. Make effective use of the
Make effective use of the software you do have to stop waste
software you do have to stop waste. Win number 2 = Optimisation. This second win is becoming more apparent as people move from traditional licensing models of one licence per application per computer, to cloud based SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings like Microsoft Office 365. These consumptionbased services provide you with the application you know and love but rather than an upfront payment, it’s monthly.
THERE ARE SO MANY OFFERINGS IN O 3 6 5 Y O U N E E D T O TA I L O R W H AT Y O U SUBSCRIBE TO. DO YOU NEED THE OFFICE S UIT E OF PRODUC TS OR JUS T E M A IL? 2 4 | U K S PA B R E A K T H R O U G H | S P R I N G 2 0 18
So how can the optimisation mentioned previously help you there? You’ve got 50 users in your company, so you buy 50 subscriptions to O365, right? Nearly. There are so many offerings in O365 alone you need to tailor what you subscribe to, to what your users need. Do all of them need the Office suite of products or just email? Understanding the usage of applications means you can save on these monthly bills by only getting the users what they need when they need it. Optimisation upfront helps lower spend down the line.
C - L E V E L B U Y- I N
While all this seems to be focused on the technology, the tools used are only as good as the people and process behind them. Effective ITAM programs must have that C-Level buy-in from the start, driving
KNFlab_Teaser_UK_(LABOR&MORE)_Mar_14 06/03/2014 11:21 Page 1
the changes required within an organisation to make sure everyone knows why they are implementing ITAM. If you don’t have buy-in, you are more than likely doomed from the start. One notable, and almost inescapable factor I have not mentioned, GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation). No silver bullet exists to help you here but if you don’t know where your IT assets are or what applications are on them how will you be able to assure your customers, your employees, your suppliers, that you are complying with the regulation? ■
In 2014 and 2015, Joe was awarded Snow Software’s UK Technical Champion of the Year and has since gone on to setup ITAM Solutions: www.itameyes.com
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Spotlight on robots Transforming business tasks with robotics and automation
R Dr Tom Parsons CO-FOUNDER, SPOTLIGHT DATA
Tom has a background in research, aerospace and pharmaceuticals and specialises in applying machine learning research to industry
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obotics and automation has the potential to transform our lives and the way we work. As society evolves, we’re starting to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) appearing more and more in our daily lives. Everything from self-driving cars and automated takeaway delivery, to being able to ask Amazon’s Alexa to turn on a house light is rapidly changing the way we live. AI is being used to diagnose cancers (www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42357257), to help answer customer queries using chatbots for banking, and for new manufacturing applications. Yet, what does it take to make AI work? AI needs data. Not just any type of data, but structured data that can be processed, analysed and then used to
build models and algorithms to carry out a job. As a human we are bombarded by data every second: our environment, our senses, our interactions, our knowledge and our experience are all used to allow us to take an action or make a decision. This data is unstructured, it’s messy, but as humans, we are very good at making sense of it and then using it. This is one of the big challenges for AI and an area that’s starting to receive more interest as AI is applied to manufacturing and productivity.
MODELLING HUMAN DECISIONS As part of our work, my company is involved in a number of projects that is applying AI and machine learning techniques to industry. The key is to understand the problem you are trying to
of Americans believe their jobs will be unaffected by robots
solve and the data that you as a human, need to complete a task. AI is not going to replace all humans (yet), but instead it’s being used to make processes faster and more efficient. Processes that require humans to make decisions can be modelled and then data science can be used to improve and speed up these processes. One of our recent projects was a challenge set by a large aerospace company. Building an aircraft requires a huge number of skilled engineers and each of them is faced with a data challenge. Their training and experience provides them with the ability to work on an aircraft, but they must also read and process documentation for each task they carry out. This information is typically held in PDF documents and contains information about the parts they need, the tools required and the steps in the process. The difficulty, is that one document is linked to multiple other documents which contain important information that the engineer must read and understand. What appears to be a simple task of reading one document, suddenly expands as a human must extract information from multiple
documents that may be held in different systems and written by different authors. All this takes time and can be so complex, that it may require experienced engineers to carry out and oversee the task. Our challenge was to use machine learning to extract information and data from these PDFs and then link this together. To allow engineers to find information faster and more efficiently before.
E X T R A C T I N G D ATA F R O M P D F S
PDFs are ubiquitous across business, they print reliably and are used to store information that should no longer be edited. However, they’re not designed to store structured data. An author could use bullet points, tables, graphs, images, headings, footnotes, links or simple free text to say what they need – there’s no set way. As a human, we’re good at reading documents and finding what we need, but computers struggle. For this challenge, the first step was to identify that the important data was held in tables and schematic diagrams. This knowledge can be used to build machine learning code to extract the data and then structure it.
AI IS NOT GOING TO REPL ACE ALL HUMANS ( YE T ), BUT INSTE AD IT’S BEING USED TO MAKE PROCESSES FA S T E R A ND M O RE E F F ICIE N T
For example, the machine can be trained to look for PDFs with schematic diagrams in and then Optical Character Recognition used to extract the text from that image. This text could mention a part number that can then be stored and then linked to other documents that contain information about the part, mimicking the way a human would manually find information.
S T R U C T U R E D D ATA S T O R A G E
The second step is to store this data in a structured way and then combine this with data extracted from tables, other images and free text to allow a human to query the data. In this project the goal is to help engineers find information quickly, not to replace them – the AI is used to understand the information only, not to make decisions or take actions. However, once you have structured data then you can then use that to take actions, for example a robot could make sure all the parts and tools are ready before a human starts a job or take on simpler tasks that don’t need a human’s ability. Since the 1920s, there’s been talk of how AI and robotics will replace humans and many of this can be negative. Yet, we’re now at an interesting time, where computers are ubiquitous in our lives and can really help us with problems and tasks that are tricky – thereby making our lives easier and allowing us to be more productive and advance as a society. ■
For further information visit: www.spotlightdata.co.uk
As a human, we’re good at reading documents and finding what we need from multiple documents, but computers struggle
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One of the most famous cryptographic machines was the one invented by Alan Turing to decrypt German message encryption during World War 2
Understanding blockchain A pharmaceutical supply chain case study
T Ashley Kemball-Cook HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, QADRE
Ashley Kemball-Cook is Head of Business Development for Qadre, a blockchain product development company with products in a number of sectors including: supply chain management, anti-counterfeiting, and identity
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ry to imagine if your life depended on medication but, without you realising, the medicine you’re actually receiving is only chalk or worse, poison. All around the world, real medicines are swapped with fake medicines as they are transported to the customer. Interpol estimates1 that around one million people die due to counterfeit pharmaceuticals each year. Blockchain technology can bring transparency, accountability and trust to the pharmaceutical supply chain, ensuring vital, life-saving medicine reaches the people that need it most.
W H AT I S B LO C K C H A I N ?
The technologies underpinning blockchain have existed for many years and are, in some sense, simple. The combination of four pre-existing technologies creates a new, transformational technology – blockchain. Blockchain technology holds the potential to save lives, transform many industries, and ultimately create significant value for both society and business around the globe.
These pre-existing technologies are: Databases: provide the ability to store, organise and query data. Cryptographic Systems: ensure that once stored, data can’t be modified. Primitive cryptography was used by the Egyptians, using only their sharp minds. The cryptography used in most blockchains is so complex it requires advanced computers with high computing power to process. Public Key Systems: provide individuals or items a digital identity that can be input onto the blockchain. Public key systems are split into two parts, public keys and private keys. For example: on twitter, I can be identified by my Twitter handle (which represents my public key in this example) but I can only control my twitter account if I have my password (private key). On a blockchain, a user or item can be identified through their public key, but the corresponding private key is needed to access or control the account.
The size of the entire cryptocurrency market by the end of 2017, according to CoinMarketCap
Peer-to-Peer Networks: These distribute the tasks, workload and storage across multiple different computers (or nodes) instead of one singular computer. This system is more secure because it does not have one single point of failure. By themselves these technologies are useful, but together they are transformational. Blockchain technology can be used to solve real world problems, such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals which currently create enormous problems globally, with both humanitarian and financial consequences. Blockchain technology offers a simple solution.
Currently, as a pharmaceutical medicine travels from the manufacturer to the customer it can pass through as many as five different transport companies, and hundreds of individuals. It is difficult to track an item as it passes through this complex supply chain presenting a significant risk that counterfeiters can find opportunity to replace genuine pharmaceuticals with fake pharmaceuticals. The genuine pharmaceuticals are sold on the black market while the counterfeit pharmaceuticals travel to the legitimate healthcare providers, who remain unaware that the products they are selling are fake and potentially ineffective or lethal. The counterfeit products are thus unknowingly sold to the unsuspecting public. While it is difficult to estimate precisely, Pfizer estimate that between 100,000 and 1 million people die annually due to counterfeit drugs2. Furthermore, a professional services firm
Unique identity assigned to every unit - combined with an anti-counterfeiting hardware product
Peer-to-Peer Network vs. a centralised network. In the latter, if the server is attacked, all the computer are compromised
BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY CAN BRING T R A N S P A R E N C Y, A C C O U N TA B I L I T Y AND TRUST TO THE PHARMACEUTICAL S U P P LY C H A I N estimated that approximately 450,000 of preventable deaths were caused by fake Malaria medicine3. Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry aim to fulfil their duty to improve the health of their customers, so are responding to this matter. However, the problem remains vast.
T H E S O LU T I O N
One proprietary solution (Qadre) uses the security, accountability, and immutability that a blockchain provides by enabling us and our customers to track each medicine packet as it travels from the manufacturer to the customer. This gives us real-time data on the safety of pharmaceutical drugs.
Product is transferred ownership changes hands through a smart-device and the new information is logged on the blockchain database, making the new party accountable
Product is transferred ownership changes hands once again; the historic information is logged and kept, whilst adding new information - this makes the next person in the chain accountable
Annual press conference of the German Customs Administration, April 2016; Interpol, “The dangers of counterfeit medical products” Pfizer, https://www.pfizer.com/products/patient-safety/counterfeit-drugs 3 PwC, ‘Strategy&’, ‘Fighting Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals’, p.10, 2017
HOW IT WORKS
The blockchain system works by using NFC (Near Field Communication Technology, the same technology that exists within contactless cards), to give a physical item a tamper proof digital identity. The item can then be tracked, in real time, as it passes through the supply chain, ensuring that no-one tampers with it or swaps it for a counterfeit. Using Public Key systems, blockchain technology ensures that each individual has a digital identity that is nontransferable and non-replicable. When an individual has custody of an item or is responsible for an item, this digital identity is logged on the blockchain as being responsible for the item. They will be held accountable if the item is tampered with. The effect of this is three-fold: those handling the item are less likely to tamper it and more likely to take proper care in looking after it, and pharmaceutical companies receive data illustrating any risks in their supply chains, an area that is currently opaque. In this way, blockchain technology enables pharmaceutical companies to ensure that every medicine is used as it was intended – to save lives. ■
Ashley Kemball-Cook is Head of Business Development for Qadre, a blockchain product development company focussing on the application of blockchain technology in a number of sectors: www.qad.re
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IP for autonomous systems Is it possible to patent protect an autonomous system and, if so, would the benefits outweigh the costs?
P Stuart Clarkson UK AND EUROPEAN PATENT ATTORNEY, HASELTINE LAKE
Stuart has advised clients ranging from SMEs to multinational corporations, across a wide range of technologies across mechanical engineering and physics
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erhaps a more pertinent question is â€“ should I get involved with patents at all? After all, intellectual property is perceived as an expensive endeavour and although the cost is easy for all to see, the benefit is often hidden. Robots capable of performing tasks without human intervention have been a constant objective for research and development in many industries. Autonomous cars, for example, were a thought experiment long before they were a reality. Various challenges can face a department tasked with a goal of creating a robot capable of autonomy. Consider the development of humanoid robots in which difficulties have been faced in ensuring that the robots are balanced when climbing stairs and sitting down due to their changing centre-ofgravity when performing these actions.
If a companyâ€™s R&D team overcame such a challenge, but their solution was not subsequently protected, then broadly speaking a competitor could buy the product, examine the solution, and implement the solution in its own products. Hindsight would then suggest that the benefit of filing the patent would have far outweighed the cost. A patent is a commercial tool that gives the owner the right to stop a third party who is acting within the scope and jurisdiction of the patent from using the
more social robot patent applications are raised each year according to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)
patented invention. If our example company above had filed a patent application to their solution, and if a patent office granted a patent on that application, then any third party who commercialised the solution could face litigation from that company if they did not immediately stop their infringing activities. Any patent attorney would recommend a discussion before concluding whether to patent or not to patent. Some patent firms also offer a low cost preliminary search and evaluation on an invention to see if any documents can be found that would affect its chances of becoming a patent. Based on such a search the choice to continue with a patent application is far better informed. So, can you always get a patent? A patent begins its life as an application filed at a patent office. The patent office will examine whether the invention is new and not obvious, and if is determined to be both then the office will issue a patent. There are many aspects to a robot or autonomous system, and sometimes it is the details that could result in patent protection. These include any mechanical elements such as linkages, armatures, sensors etc. If these elements themselves are new, or if they are conventional but put to a new use or used in a new way, then this may be an indication that they constitute patentable (i.e. new and not obvious) subject matter. Any control systems for operating the robot may also be protectable. Some patent offices (the European Patent Office and the UK Intellectual Property Office being two examples) exclude computer programs “as such” from patentability. However in practice this exclusion should not deter potential applicants, as patents are frequently obtained for control algorithms and software, although these kind of non-tangible inventions test the limits of what constitutes an invention. In Europe for example the patent office will look at the “technical effect” produced by any element that is considered new. The presence of such a “technical effect” is considered evidence that the invention is not obvious. In the UK, by slight contrast, the office will look to how a problem
A N Y P AT E N T AT T O R N E Y W O U L D RECOMMEND A DISCUSSION BEFORE C O N C L U D I N G W H E T H E R T O P AT E N T O R N O T T O P AT E N T is overcome, whether a computer is made more efficient or effective, or if the computer is made to operate in a new way. For example, a new algorithm for a robot that made a computer processor control the robot more efficiently, or make the robot perform a specific task, or process data more efficiently should, in principle, overcome the exclusion and be considered worthy of patent protection. A single concept or product for one company therefore has the potential to result in a large number of patent rights, with potential for covering anything from the physical components themselves to any non-tangible code
that causes a robotic element to behave in a certain way. Once you own a patent you own a “beware of the dog” sign, and that dog has teeth. Such a sign does not stop any trespasser from entering your property, but it will make them think twice before doing so. This deterrent to potential competitors therefore strengthens your commercial position and widens the market in your favour. ■
Stuart Clarkson works for major European intellectual property firm, Haseltine Lake: www.haseltinelake.com
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Responsible RAS Emeritus Professor Noel Sharkey discusses the importance of regulating robotics to manage discrimination caused by machine bias
iscussions around what is referred to as AI is spreading like wildfire across businesses. A recent survey showed that, while only 5% of major businesses use it, something like 85% are discussing the potential of computational and digital systems capable of carrying out actions without human intervention. How will automated decision-making affect business? Automated decision-making (ADM) systems are increasingly being used to assist resource hungry tasks. For instance, a company called Hiring You provides large companies such as Unilever with artificial intelligence software capable of interviewing candidates via their mobile phones. The candidateâ€™s response to questions is recorded and 25,000 data points around tone of voice and expression are collected, assessed and scored against similarities with current employees who are already successful within the company. This information is used to decide whether to recruit the
Noel Sharkey EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND ROBOTICS, THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
Noel Sharkey is Emeritus Professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Sheffield and has appeared on the BBC Two television series Robot Wars and Techno Games, and co-hosted Bright Sparks for BBC Northern Ireland. He is co-founder and co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics and chairs the International Committee for Robot Arms Control
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10 rules of robotics
Responsible robotics starts before the robot has been constructed. Ethical decision making begins in the R&D phase, continues with consumer education, and relies on a foundation of sound law and policy. Responsible robotics practices should develop: 1. considered research practices 2. diverse representation of views 3. sustainable development 4. preemptive impact assessment 5. informed consumers 6. industry transparency 7. effective regulation 8. proactive policy 9. technological facilitation 10. careful social implementation
T H E W AY F O R W A R D I S T O R A I S E AWA R E NE S S A ND E N S U R E W E D O N O T R E LY O N T E C H N O L O G I E S T O O S O O N candidate or not. However, while algorithms can help remove the natural human bias of talent selection agents, by teaching the software to compare against currently successful employees the system is judging new candidates using historical filters already ingrained into the social culture of the company. This can result in machine bias, a matter which gives me great concern. Both Google and Microsoft admit that current algorithms demonstrate sometimes enormous bias in some targeted searches; an issue they are trying hard to understand and find solutions for but have not yet found the answers to. Google’s own video; ‘Machine Learning and Human Bias’, illustrates how, even with good intentions, it is currently impossible to separate human bias from the technology we create, perpetuating social discrimination through algorithms. This shortfall in ADMs is becoming a big problem and is already causing a lot of injustice with new systems being used before they have been properly tested.
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Police forces, for example, are using software such as Gang Matrix to assess individuals and place them on gang lists without their knowledge, despite there being no real evidence beyond algorithmic associations. In the US, risk assessment software known as COMPAS is being used to forecast which criminals are most likely to reoffend and courtroom judges are using this information to make decisions about the future of defendants. When tested, it was found that when COMPAS was wrong it tended to assign overly high risk to blacks and too low risk to whites. Why did you set up the Foundation for Responsible Robotics? Technology should work for everyone. The way forward is to raise awareness of this matter and ensure we do not rely on technologies too soon. In 2004 the concept of robotic ethics began to be recognised in academic journals. While there is some good work being carried out, we decided concrete action was necessary and set up the Foundation for
Responsible Robotics to begin working on a push for accountability and real policy. The FRR is dedicated to pushing for equality in the field of robotics, as well as STEM fields as a whole – from education to the professional level. I’ve been talking with the parliamentary group on AI and while corporate representatives are seeking solutions, I believe we should be looking at regulating the use of ADM software. The RAS sector should be regulated, and new products should require certification to ensure they have been appropriately tested against discriminatory outcomes. So, how should responsible businesses move forward? I encourage businesses developing AI and robotics to build diversity into development teams and limit the results of their algorithms to an advisory capacity, with a human operator making critical decisions using information provided. New systems must be programmed for diversity and tested thoroughly. Results should be sampled at random and assessed for signs of discrimination or bias and the entire development process must be transparent. ■
For further information, please visit: www.responsiblerobotics.org
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Road to automation An autonomous vehicle is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input.
2 1 O
PARTIAL AUTOMATION ASSISTED
DRIVER ONLY Driver is continuously exercising longitudinal and lateral control
Driver is continuously exercising longitudinal or lateral control Lateral or longitudinal control is accomplished by the system
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Driver has to monitor the system at all times System has longitudinal and lateral control in a specific use case
5 4 3 FULL AUTOMATION HIGH AUTOMATION CONDITIONAL AUTOMATION Driver does not have to monitor the system at all times; but must always be in a position to resume control
Driver is not required during defined use case System can cope with all situations automatically in a defined use case
System has longitudinal and lateral control in a specific use case System recognises performance limits and asks driver to resume control within a sufficient time margin
No driver required System can cope with all situations automatically during the entire journey
Driving force Monique Seth LEAD PARTNER FOR MCAV, CONIGITAL
Monique Seth is a partner at Conigital and co-founded the business in 2015. He has helped to initiate the MCAV network to encourage the growth of the autonomous vehicle industry in the UK
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Actioning the integration of autonomous vehicles; where are we now?
hroughout the world, companies are investing billions in the race to get the first fully autonomous, self-driving vehicle on the road. The rewards are potentially huge - KPMG estimate that, in the UK alone, selfdriving vehicles have the potential to add ÂŁ51 billion per year to the economy by 2030, create 320,000 new jobs and prevent 25,000 accidents saving 2,500 lives per year. Many experts also believe that self-driving vehicles have the
potential to reduce congestion, reduce accidents and improve air quality. Business Insider recently ranked the companies most likely to get self-driving cars on the road first. This list included international, household names such as Ford, General Motors, Renault, Nissan, Tesla, Uber, Daimler and Volkswagen. Reading this list, you might think that all the innovation in self-driving cars is happening overseas, but there are plenty of projects happening here in the UK.
plug-in vehicles are now used across the UK
GOVERNMENT S U P P O RT
The UK Government is an active supporter of the industry. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond pledged in the November 2017 budget, that there would be self-driving vehicles on the road in 2021. An importance intervention in making this pledge a reality, is the ‘Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill’, which will introduce major changes to motor insurance provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988, to include strict liability on motor insurers where automated vehicles drive themselves. This bill is of great importance, as it creates the framework for vehicle manufactures to bring innovation to the UK market and encourages industry and Government to mutually support the advancement of UK transport infrastructure. The Government has also set up the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV). This group works with industry to ensure the UK is at the forefront of development within transport technology. As part of the Industrial Strategy, CCAV is investing in skills, research and infrastructure to guarantee the UK remains competitive in this sector, ensuring the advancement of automotive engineering and the continuation to work together and solve transport challenges. Iain Forbes, the Head of CCAV “noted that CCAV are investing £100 million, to be matched by industry match-funding, in testing upgrades to ensure we’ve got the ecosystem to enable this technology to be developed here in the UK.”
The GATEway project, Driverless Pod
The GATEway project of Greenwich comprises Fusion Processing (autonomous mapping and trajectory planning), Westfield Sports cars (design and testing) and Heathrow Enterprises (vehicle software engineering). The aim of the project is to take prototype pods that currently run on fixed tracks and make them fully autonomous. In operation for the past 18 months, the project includes trials allowing passengers to experience the pods. Prof Nick Reed of TRL states that: “Each company brings a great deal of experience to the project which will prove valuable in helping us to understand how the public and industry will adapt to the use of automated vehicles in the UK Smart Mobility Living Lab test environment in Greenwich”.
UK Autodrive has been running for over two years and is due to complete in October 2018. It includes vehicles from RDM, Ford JLR and Tata. The first trials took place at the HORIBA MIRA Proving Ground in October 2016. During this year, autonomous and connected cars and pods will become a regular sight in Milton Keynes and Coventry. Autonomous Project Motorcycle Synergy will the BMW C1 showcase three GTM vehicles platooning between Stockport train station and Manchester airport along a brand new road called the A6SEMMS. The vehicles will demonstrate a concierge service (GEMMA), connected services such as social media access and on-line check-ins for flights, e-commerce activities including purchasing from duty free and higher fuel efficiency between vehicles. The £4.7m project will also develop tailored cyber security, wireless communications and enhanced levels of autonomy for the CAV industry.
Some of the projects and companies funded through CCAV include:
UK Central Testbed sees roads in Coventry and Birmingham form a testbed for developing the next generation of connected and autonomous (CAV) vehicles, thanks to a new programme of investment being led by WMG at the University of Warwick. The pioneering venture, undertaken by a consortium of research and industry partners, will make UK roads ready for CAVs by developing wireless networks that will analyse how vehicles behave in real urban environments incorporating the public.
The MOVE_UK programme, a government and industry collaboration, helps build expertise within self-driving technology and is supporting a clean growth agenda. Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said, “Low carbon and self-driving vehicles are the future and the UK is determined to be one of the leaders in this technological revolution.”
M A N Y E X P E R T S B E L I E V E T H AT S E L F D R I V I N G V E H I C L E S H AV E T H E P O T E N T I A L TO REDUCE CONGESTION, REDUCE ACCIDENTS AND IMPROVE AIR QUALIT Y
G O V E R N M E N T L E D I N I T I AT I V E S
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INNOVATION Conigital POD prototype which encompasses the usability of AI and the Siri equivalent; ’Gemma’ app
Conigital have a design of a POD prototype based upon the current Heathrow pod, which encompasses the usability of AI and the Siri equivalent; ’Gemma’ app. The AI is equipped with environmental technology to detect your presence, location, destination and lifestyle activities either by touch or voice and uses these to determine your preference. These are evolutionary changes that will impact accessibility for all including the visually impaired and elderly community. These solutions will be trialed through the Capri, Insight and Synergy projects.
providers, vehicle manufacturers and infrastructure providers. MCAV aims to be a forum for networking, knowledge sharing and promoting the opportunities of driverless vehicles. This initiative has been highly successful and Conigital is looking forward to welcoming the Mayors of the West Midlands and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to their dinner and seminar at Innovation Birmingham’s iCentrum building on 8th March.
LINKING THE MIDLANDS
We live in exciting times where the lines between science fiction and science fact have become blurred, and we are keen to build on the investment Midland businesses have received from Innovate UK to help continue on developing our regional economy and investments in people and skills. Mayor of Birmingham, Andy Street, has made it clear that cluster events like MCAV, are vital for the advancement of the West Midlands. In a recent interview, the Mayor expressed excitement for the MCAV event and explained how he sees
I N D U S T RY L E D I N I T I AT I V E S
As well as government led initiatives, there are also industry led initiatives to promote driverless vehicles. Conigital has set up The Midlands Connected Autonomous Vehicle (MCAV), for example. MCAV has been set up to support and introduce existing and new businesses entering the CAV market. This includes organisations such as local and national government; insurance
autonomous vehicles bringing a huge benefit to the safety of our cities. “This [MCAV] is critical to the West Midlands’ economic future, and we stand absolutely ready to seize the opportunity here to make sure that young people across Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country, can think about jobs in this sector for years to come.” The MCAV cluster event sees Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, in attendance. James Palmer aims to connect the Midlands’ links with cluster events like MCAV. The Mayor has envisioned a connected Cambridge with a word class transport system that links towns and science parks together. In an interview with Cambridge Wireless, James Palmer said; “I think it [MCAV] is an exciting opportunity - it’s a way that we’re linking together for future growth and prosperity of the whole area.” ■
For further information on MCAV visit: www.mcav.org.uk
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Victor Wouk, ‘Godfather of the Hybrid’, built the first full-powered, fullsize hybrid vehicle for the 1970 Federal Clean Car Incentive Program
William Morrison built the first successful US electric automobile but by 1920 the discovery of Texas crude oil saw petrol engines swamp the market
American Thomas Davenport, inventor of the DC electric motor, is credited with building the first practical electric vehicle - a small locomotive
The history of the electric vehicle In Japan, Toyota unveils the Prius, the world’s first commercially massproduced and marketed hybrid car, selling 18,000 units in year one
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Robotics for health Market leaders in enabled technologies for healthcare
Photo: Business Wire
The Medineering Positioning Arm is a robotic arm from Medineering for use in medical facilities. Connecting robot, control unit and power source, and featuring a Mechatronic interface for
KARL STORZ OR1® operating
rooms provide centralised control of systems and equipment
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attachment of compact robots, it is the base for an easy to use plug-and-play robotic system. The Medineering Positioning Arm has seven joints, so it can be driven in every position. This position can be remembered by the arm. Since the handling of the Positioning Arm is that easy and convenient, it can also be used as a holding and positioning tool for non-motorized instruments.
INTEGRATED OPERATING ROOMS
KARL STORZ OR1® integrated operating rooms combine digital technologies that provide intuitive centralized control of systems and equipment within the room. Innovative digital control systems are used to seamlessly integrate an array of key OR devices and environmental components. The company also provides cutting-edge network capabilities to aid communication, such as video streaming, documentation and archiving, as well video on demand for educational
© Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
osted by the Hamlyn Centre at Imperial College London, the Surgical Robot Challenge 2018 promises to be a compelling contest between some of the leading surgical robotics groups from around the world. With the support of Intuitive Surgical, KUKA and Applied Dexterity, among others, this competition aims to showcase innovative new ideas in surgical robotics across a range of surgical robot platforms. Medical robotics can deliver surgical precision, robotic assistance and provide access to medical help in remote areas. Just some of the leading products already available in this market are showcased below.
The da Vinci® Surgical System enables surgeons to perform through a few small incisions
purposes. Every OR1 room offers exceptional ergonomics and a userfriendly design to optimize the workflow.
R O B O T I C S U R G E RY
The da Vinci® Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical enables surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few small incisions. The da Vinci System consists of several key components, including: an ergonomically designed console where the surgeon sits while operating, a patient-side cart where the patient is positioned during surgery, interactive robotic arms, a 3D HD vision system, and proprietary instruments that offer dexterity and range of motion far greater than the human hand. da Vinci is powered by robotic technology that allows the surgeon’s hand movements to be scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of the instruments working inside the patient’s body. Motion technology replicates the experience of open surgery by preserving natural eyehand-instrument alignment and intuitive instrument control.
Telemedicine, or the use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical
MEDICAL ROBOTICS CAN DELIVER SURGICAL PRECISION, ROBOTIC A S S I S TA N C E A N D P R O V I D E A C C E S S T O MEDICAL HELP IN REMOTE ARE AS
healthcare from a distance, is playing an increasingly important role in medicine. As the number of surgeons per population continues to decline, the rate and volume of surgical education has to increase. KARL STORZ has introduced a product to the UK market that transforms the way clinicians communicate and share vital medical information before and during surgery. VISITOR1® is an internet-based telementoring and telepresence device that makes it easy for surgeons to connect remotely to the point of care. By creating a two-way, interactive, audiovisual experience, it enables full involvement with clinical processes and access to patient data and medical imaging. It makes it possible for one clinician, or an entire team of clinicians, to be in two places at once, participating in the consultation or even surgery.
combines advanced software, robotic technology, and instrumentation to enable surgeons to step into an OR with a detail-rich, complete surgical plan that can then be executed using trajectory guidance. It connects directly to the patient’s bony anatomy when in use to provide a stable and precise environment and improve patient care and outcomes.
The Mazor X™ robotic guidance system from Medtronix is a custom designed robotic arm solution indicated for precise positioning of surgical instruments or spinal implants during general spine surgery. It may be used in either open or minimally invasive or percutaneous procedures. The system
The Mazor X™ is a custom-designed robotic arm solution for precision positioning in spine surgery Photo: marketwire.com
K I N E M AT I C S
KUKA.NavigationSolution enables simple, intuitive and graph-based autonomous navigation of mobile platforms – with no risk of collision and without the need for artificial markings. The software acquires all the data from the safety laser scanners and wheel sensors and uses them to create a
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corresponding map of the surroundings by means of the SLAM method (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping). The system responds to changes in the environment – which occur frequently in a flexible logistics system. The use of virtual tracks makes it possible to move the platform exclusively along defined routes. The platform contains all the components for the autonomous navigation of a vehicle, integrated on a modular basis, including active path detection and software for simultaneously commanding and controlling multiple vehicles in swarms. Additional features, such as object recognition and tracking and relative positioning, enable coordinated planning.
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HUM AN-M ACHINE INTERFACE
In your personal life, you already enjoy the benefits of multi-touch technology and Natural User Interface Software (NUI-Software) on smartphones or tablets. Atracsys PopupExperience is a Multi-User Multi-Touch application optimized for interactions on any Multi-Touch screen. Designed to be extremely reactive and robust even on 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) displays, the software allows flexible organization of multimedia elements in a nondisruptive interactive experience. You can choose among a growing list of templates/modules, such as the support of PDF files, images and videos, data collection through quizzes or surveys, website consultations as well as engaging games that will let your audience play with your brand. A popup is an independent window, within a Multi-Touch application, displaying any type of content.
Xron, is a cost-effective robotic surgery simulator from BBZ Medical Technologies that runs on common hardware platforms. Developed following the guidelines of different training centres and surgeons in Europe and USA, the system exploits Bullet Physics Library to provide a realistic robotic experience. Xron provides different kinds of task: from basic skills, related to the dexterous use of the robot, to advanced tasks, related to the handling of needle or the respect of delicate tissues. At the end of each task, the trainee receives a comprehensive evaluation of the execution. Different levels of difficulty ensure that the trainee is lead through a complete training curriculum. The system enables surgeons to train for robotic surgeries using systems such as da Vinci in the comfort of their own homes.
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Medineering’s Positioning Arm is designed to assist surgeons in complex anatomical areas
© 2017 Medineering GmbH
ROBOTICS IS GAINING MOMENTUM WITH R E C E N T A D VA N C E S I N S E N S I N G , M O T O R C O N T R O L , C O M P U TAT I O N A L P O W E R A N D C O M M U N I C AT I O N S T E C H N O L O G I E S
With recent advances in sensing, motor control, computational power and communications technologies, as well as significant investment from both governments and private investors, the field of robotics is gaining momentum. Whether developing a surgical robot to augment a surgeon’s abilities, an autonomous vehicle that needs to be aware of its surroundings, or an oil and gas robot for use in harsh environments, the cross-industry insights and core science and technology skills offered by consultant firms such as Sagentia, can be crucial to help develop robotic devices and systems. Commercial partners gain the benefit of multi-disciplinary teams and technical capabilities in sensing, optics and visualisation, kinematics, modeling and algorithms, control systems, industrial design and humanmachine interfaces for robotics-based technology and product developments.
DISRUPTIVE A P P L I C AT I O N S
Cambridge Consultants has a reputation for creating drug delivery devices that disrupt markets and revolutionise healthcare. These range from respiratory products, such as metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), dry powder inhalers (DPIs) and nebulisers, to parenteral delivery devices including pens, autoinjectors, patch pumps and large volume injectors. The company has also pioneered high functionality, user-centred electromechanical devices combining drug delivery with wireless connectivity and eHealth service solutions to enable patient engagement and adherence. ■
Further information about the Surgical Robotics Challenge 2018 can be found via the Hamlyn Symposium of Medical Robotis page: www.hamlyn.doc.ic.ac.uk/hsmr/
© Festo AG & Co. KG
was spent across global markets on the IoT in 2016
The cyber-physical lab Industry 4.0, the Smart Lab concept and digital twinning
Paul Kendall INDUSTRY SECTOR MANAGER, FESTO LIFETECH
Paul leads a strategic team focused on the life sciences market for Festo and is responsible for market strategy and business development within GB
he Smart Lab, and whether it is a real thing or not, is something which is currently a topic of great debate. This article looks at what’s really driving our opportunity to change and the digitalisation trend that lies at the centre of Industry 4.0. Most of the things we touch are affected by digitalisation and that’s really expressed in many different ways and has a great many different components to it. From Big Data through to mobile computing and the Internet of Things where we have connected devices at the unit task level, cloud computing and the semantic web, augmented and virtual reality. Artificial intelligence (AI), is also hugely important in the lab automation and science industries.
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COMPONENTS FOR USABILITY
The user interface and technological usability is progressing all the time and really starting to show its benefits. These components push out to the business-toconsumer environment as we see it every day on our smart phones. We are also seeing these benefits and opportunities in the business-to-business environment, enabling interaction with suppliers, inventory management and all sorts of things. It’s the combined set of these components that drives the collective term that is ‘Industry 4.0’. While this a very well-established term throughout Europe, many still argue over its value and need further evidence to support it. Can you touch it? What does it mean? What are the opportunities and benefits? These are ongoing questions and debates that have yet to be concluded.
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Mechanisation, Water Power, Steam Power
Mass Production, Assembly Line, Electricity
Computer and Automation
Cyber Physical Systems
S O, W H AT I S I N D U S T RY 4 . 0 ?
Industry 4.0 is the latest iteration of an industrial revolution. The current use of the term is itself driven by digitalisation. Back at the end of the 18th century, Industry 1.0 as it’s now referred to under this banner, was water, steam and power. We then went into mass production and the electrical age where that electrical energy really transformed what you could do from an industrial perspective. In the early ‘70s that transferred into electronics, IT, PLC’s, and IPC’s. All sorts of different connective technologies and mechanical technologies that took the electrical age to that next level. Today, Industry 4.0 is really looking at the cyber physical systems (CPS - integrations of computation, networking, and physical processes. Embedded computers and networks monitor and control the physical processes, with feedback loops where physical processes affect computations and vice versa.) There is one thing that does make 4.0 stand out from the others, and that’s the fact that this is the first Industrial Revolution that you can’t necessarily see. It’s almost in the air around us, but it is hugely impactful. It is the combination of the cyber physical systems together with digitalisation that really starts to put all those components together. When we put these components together we can start to consider it as more than the sum of its parts. If we have a product - at solution level, device level, or any other level that has inbuilt intelligence and capability that is then enabled for communication and can network, then can we effectively claim this to sit under the Industry 4.0 banner? There’s now quite a lot of evidence to suggest that this idea is gaining some traction.
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High-tech companies are investing in a lot of research activities aligned to industry 4.0. Intelligent components at the unit task level and sensors that are directly connected to the web. Human machine cooperation and virtual commissioning; where you don’t have to necessarily be there to interact and set different settings in machines, are all making progress.
THE CYBER-PHYSICAL MODEL
Festo’s cyber-physical Factory (CP Factory), for example, is a learning tool that enables us to look at the key features of industry 4.0 within a factory model, see how they manifest themselves, work with them, learn from them, see how we can get the best out of the new technologies that exist. From a laboratory perspective, this factory model is not dissimilar in structure to a working lab with silo platforms and components that are all creating activity for parts of the workflow. Components within industry 4.0 can add value to a lab that doesn’t physically change its form but adds a digital layer that sits above what’s already physically there; its digital twin. You can connect all the equipment virtually and could deliver information to it via a cyber-physical system. Such a solution would deliver whole system data that can be automatically collected and analyzed, and holistic simulations to boost accuracy, throughput and overall efficiency. You could look at what a lab is doing in real time, from wherever you are in the world at any point in time, even though none of the equipment inside the laboratories are connected to each other.
The laboratory of the future will combine modularity, adaptivity, miniaturisation and a wealth of information technology
IND U S T RY 4 .0 IS T HE F IR S T IND U S T R I A L RE VOLUTION T H AT Y O U C A N ’ T NE C E S S A R ILY S E E This concept really challenges us to consider what is connected. In the past if you were to think about a connected lab or connected workflow, we would think about it in a physical form. There would be workstations that would be connected by transport systems or conveyors, but now with the components of industry 4.0, the same connectivity can be had with siloed physical equipment. That’s a big shift in the ability to manage a lab and in what a lab can provide the user and the company that is funding it.
I think the laboratory industry recognizes the fact that automation is unlikely to diminish the workforce or take jobs away from people. Robots are only going to reduce the mundane activities of lab technicians. Typically, very highly-qualified and skilled people that have been employed for their know-
IOP BUSINESS AWARDS 2018 Innovative physics. Winning solutions.
© Festo AG & Co. KG
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
how, their brain power, their intellect, their knowledge and their creativity, will have time freed up to carry out more intellectual activities, such as research, analysis, and creation of methods or protocols. Robots, in isolation, don’t make scientific decisions. That would be the job of the artificial intelligence which would be a layer that sits over the top. Ironically, one of the greatest challenges in realising the full potential of the smart lab is investing in people. The smart lab will introduce new working practices, skills and aptitudes that previously were not relevant. A barrier to progress is likely to be the under investment in people. It can be hard for people to see this as a revolutionary approach when these technologies are already in our daily lives. The technologies themselves aren’t revolutionary in isolation. It’s the application and the culmination of combining these technologies that really provides the opportunities beyond what we see today. It’s important that these technologies get embraced by all, to avoid a monopoly and so that they can all link to each other in a way that is truly interactive and as beneficial as possible to the labs of the future. ■
The IOP Business Awards are the only awards in the UK and Ireland recognising companies that have built success on the innovative application of physics. • The Business Innovation Award recognises
and celebrates small, medium and large companies that have excelled in innovation, delivering significant economic and/or societal impact through the application of physics.
• The Business Start-Up Award recognises
and celebrates young companies with a great business idea founded on a physics invention, with a great business growth potential and/or the potential of significant societal impact.
Enter now at
www.iop.org/activity/business Closing date for applications Friday 18 May 2018
For further information, please visit: www.festo.co.uk
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The Rotronic Universal Monitoring System – RMS
Monitoring environmental conditions in any industry requires a fully integrated monitoring system. The modular Rotronic Monitoring System – RMS is the perfect solution. It provides installation flexibility and full data availability, anywhere, and on a variety of devices. Rotronic can meet your requirements, incorporating multiple sensors for all parameters on a secure network. We can service the entire system. www.rotronic.co.uk/rms ROTRONIC Instruments (UK) Ltd, Crompton Fields, Crompton Way, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9EE T: 01293 571000, F: 01293 571008, E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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LTE-SCIENTIFIC.CO.UK SCIENTIFIC | MEDICAL | SERVICE
Sharing your success, best practice, and lessons learned
John Downes, group MD of Langtree, stands with Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram
A joint venture
Sci-Tech Daresbury: an exemplar private-public joint-venture campus
hen Prime Minister Theresa May chose to hold her first regional cabinet meeting at Sci-Tech Daresbury last year, using the session as a launch-pad for the Industrial Strategy, all eyes were placed firmly on the Liverpool city region-based campus. As a National Science and Innovation Campus, Sci-Tech Daresbury proved the perfect backdrop, but it’s no stranger to the spotlight. Since its establishment in 2006, the campus has developed an excellent reputation and was recognised as the science campus making the most significant contribution
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John Leake BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, SCI-TECH DARESBURY
John is responsible for attracting and supporting companies on site
to innovation in the UK at the 2017 UKSPA member awards. So, what is its winning formula? Much of Sci-Tech Daresbury’s success is grounded in the privatepublic joint-venture (JV) company that was created in 2010 to spearhead its longer-term development. The private-public JV, which comprises property development company Langtree, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and Halton Borough Council, has been such an effective growth catalyst that the campus is now estimated to be worth £163m to the national economy.
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The Innovations Technology Access Centre (I-TAC) provides high-specification laboratory space
From the outset of the JV process, Sci-Tech Daresbury’s public sector partners were clear in wanting a private sector partner which not only shared their enthusiasm for the delivery of science and innovation development, but also had the commercial acumen, resource, management and development expertise to deliver an expanded campus in the long term. As a non-departmental public body funded by the UK government through the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, STFC focused on identifying a partner that would work with it to enhance Sci-Tech Daresbury for the benefit of the national and regional economies.
THE IDEAL CHOICE
Warrington-headquartered Langtree, with a first-class reputation in regeneration and JV partnerships, was the ideal choice. With dayto-day responsibility for Sci-Tech Daresbury property, asset and facilities management, along with development, investment and marketing, Langtree’s expertise has delivered significant value to its partner organisations. The company was also instrumental in helping to secure Enterprise Zone status for the campus, granted in 2012. In subsequent years, the JV has delivered on its plans for growth, new
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T HE J O IN T V E N T U R E HAS DELIVERED ON ITS PL ANS FOR GROW TH, NE W BUILDINGS AND WORLD-CL ASS FACIL I T IE S buildings and world-class facilities – nurturing a life-long home for successful businesses. A wealth of highly innovative companies have located on campus, now numbering 132, bringing expertise in areas ranging from medical devices, diagnostics and data analytics to control technologies, instrumentation, renewables and advanced materials. John Downes, group MD of Langtree and board member of Sci-Tech Daresbury JV, said: “The collaborative efforts of the partners have had a significant impact on the growth and success of Sci-Tech Daresbury and reflect our long-standing and continuing confidence in the campus. “Our achievable ambition here is to create a campus where large scale
science investments, innovation and entrepreneurship converge to deliver business growth and high-quality jobs.” The JV partners are equally committed to ensuring Sci-Tech Daresbury’s ecosystem is underpinned by collaboration, co-development and business support. The campus is deliberately designed and operated to catalyse opportunities between SME businesses, corporates, academic institutions and public sector bodies. For many, this mutually beneficial culture is the key reason to be based at Sci-Tech Daresbury.
I N T E R N AT I O N A L R E P U TAT I O N
Another big draw are the facilities on offer, underpinned by world leading research capabilities, skills and experience on an international scale. The campus has gained a reputation internationally for leading-edge research and development facilities at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory and for high performance computing, data analytics and cognitive technologies at the Hartree Centre. STFC provides a range of facilities to Sci-Tech Daresbury businesses including rapid prototyping facilities, labs, analytical equipment, and computing and visualisation facilities. It also supports innovation through incubation programmes with CERN, the UK Space Agency and ESA. In all, 50 per cent of campus companies work with STFC.
A comprehensive bespoke business support is also offered to tackle issues companies face around access to markets, skills, technical equipment and money, funding and debt investment. Tellingly business failure rate at Sci-Tech Daresbury is less than 5% and companies’ sales growth has been an average of 30% per annum over the past 5 years. The last two years have seen Sci-Tech Daresbury’s facilities expand further with the opening of Techspace One and Two offering both grade A office accommodation and high specification laboratory space. Further, in February this year, planning approval was granted for the construction of three new buildings, constituting 42,000 sq ft of grade A space. Sci-Tech Daresbury is a shining example of what public-private sector JVs can achieve for science and innovation in the UK, when a clear mission is pursued. Together, those behind Sci-Tech Daresbury’s success have focused on five key objectives, namely: driving excellence in science and technology, supporting business growth through innovation, developing a world-class science campus, attracting and developing the very best talent and powering productivity through partnerships. It’s a strategy that has paid off in spades.
A ROBUST APPROACH IS KEY
Key to this has been a robust approach to the JV. From the start it was recognised that there had to be good understanding and clear agreement of the strengths of the existing partners and what would be required from any new private sector
The Hartree Centre is home to the UK’s most powerful supercomputer, Blue Joule
JV partner. It was important that each could define what success looked like and that each was committed to providing sufficient time for the JV to bed in and succeed - probably at least five years and ideally closer to ten. Setting up a practical and workable governance and management structure for the JV is critical. This needs to provide balance to evaluating and agreeing the medium to long-term strategic vision with the practical short-term management and delivery of operations. Further, all partners need to have an equal voice and contribute to the success of the partnership while objectives cannot be focused only on financial performance and occupancy metrics, but also cover the wider desired impact, for example collaboration and innovation success and growth of companies on site. Finally, the public-private JV will evolve and it will need to adapt and change with the growth and success of the JV, therefore
disagreement is not necessarily a bad thing - there may be different ways of achieving the same outcome. This approach has resulted in Sci-Tech Daresbury being regarded as a significant city region asset. Steve Rotheram, the Liverpool City Region mayor, said: “Collaboration unlocks growth and Sci-Tech Daresbury is an exemplar campus, helping to drive our region’s growth and to underline our reputation for science and technology innovation and excellence.” His words are backed up by facts. A report last year revealed that the campus’s economic value to the UK is set to rise to £660m by 2040. Dr Tim Beswick, STFC’s executive director of business and innovation, said: “As the campus continues to expand, it’s evident that it’s creating real economic and societal impacts, both on a regional and national scale. Sci-Tech Daresbury is now a central hub for collaboration and investment in this rapidly growing sector, attracting major international companies to base their operations in the North West of England.” The future is set to see Sci-Tech Daresbury continuing to help the UK gain international influence by developing the next generation of scientists. It’s therefore little wonder that former Science Minister, Jo Johnson described its contribution as: “an excellent example of why we’ve put science and innovation at the heart of our Industrial Strategy to boost the competitiveness of the UK economy.” ■
For further information, visit: www.sci-techdaresbury.com
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Agritech campus Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus for agritech and bioscience New UKSPA member; Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus, will provide world leading facilities and expertise for the agri-tech industry and bioscience sector. Set between the Cambrian Mountains and the Irish Sea, this £40.5m campus will be a progressive environment to encourage business and academic collaboration to flourish. Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus will offer a range of high quality facilities to support innovation, enabling commercial enterprises to grow, prosper and drive economic growth in the food and drink, bioprocessing and biotechnology sectors throughout Wales and beyond. An innovation campus for existing and new companies, investors and entrepreneurs transitioning real-world science into the market place. Bridging technological expertise from Aberystwyth University with enterprising companies to
AIEC is set to drive economic growth in Wales and beyond
deliver groundbreaking products and services. To drive economic growth in Wales and beyond through the creation of high value jobs and thriving knowledgebased companies. Planned facilities include: Analytical Science – for the analysis of nutrient absorption and discovery and validation of biomarkers of food functionality; Bioprocessing and Biorefining – a pilot scale facility for extracting, analysing and optimising chemicals from biomass and waste stream materials with integral industrial biotechnology and food grade environment; Future Food – a food grade environment for molecular testing, validation and improvement of existing and novel materials as foods including nutritional content, shelf life and consumer preferences; Campus Hub – a welcoming social space for both formal and informal events, to help spark chance
discussions, encourage creative thinking and problem solving, in a collaborative community with café facilities and flexible office and lab spaces for likeminded innovators. The Aberystwyth Innovation and Enterprise Campus Office Building contains 17 rentable offices varying in size from 8m2 to 23m2. Fully serviced offices hold between one and four persons and every office is light and bright with open views. These highly finished professional spaces are for entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and thrive. The Office Building has ample parking, highspeed internet and meeting rooms of its own. Offices are available for short leases on a full time and part time basis. ■
For further information, please visit: www.aberinnovation.com
Air Liquide can help support you, through having dedicated offers, services and a real focus on delivering financial and environmental benefits. The company want to truly partner with the science parks community to help you to deliver for your sites and tenants. Our specific focus combines our expertise on gases, industrial processes and research applications, with a strong commitment to improve: • Research quality • Cost optimisation Leader in gases, Air Liquide, have recently become an UKSPA member
It’s a gas, gas, gas Air Liquide serves more than three million customers and patients New UKSPA Business Affiliate; Air Liquide, is delighted to become a member of the UK Science Park Association. We are the world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry, academia, research and health; present in
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80 countries with approximately 65,000 employees and serving more than three million customers and patients. Air Liquide UK has the support of the global group but with local presence to connect with our customers. Our Stokeon-Trent site is the base for our specialty gases Centre of Excellence, and home to the Research & Analysis Market Team. To back this, we have a strong national supply chain for industrial and bulk gases.
• Safety of science parks and their members (including training) In addition, we can give advice on research processes, facilitate improvements on gas process management, including safety and therefore support innovative companies seeking to accelerate their businesses (from start-up to full production). Contact us for any gases and related equipment requirements, from bulk vessels to calibration gas mixtures. ■
For more information, please contact: email@example.com
Sharp Ahead’s strategies will enhance digitally-driven growth for B2B tenants
Driving digital growth Lead generation from Sharp Ahead for innovation centres and science parks New UKSPA Business Affiliate; Sharp Ahead, is a digital marketing agency specialising in lead generation for innovation centres and science parks—and digitally-driven growth for their B2B tenants. The company’s proven methodologies work alongside other more traditional marketing methods and are based on best practice and years of digital marketing experience. Services include: marketing strategy; paid media campaigns, including PPC; website
design and development; SEO; and lead generation and lead nurture campaigns. A Sharp Ahead report [The Digital Maturity Index, An analysis of the digital footprint of 100 UK science parks], reveals that 88% of UK Science Parks are not taking full advantage of digital marketing best practice. Results show opportunity for improvement for most organisations. “Sharp Ahead have transformed the way Oxford Innovation approach lead
generation and marketing for our innovation centres. We have seen remarkable success in filling centres ahead of schedule, making us more profitable and efficient across our portfolio,” said Jo Willett, Managing Director, Oxford Innovation. The reality for many B2B companies is that having an in-house digital specialist to develop a digital marketing strategy just isn’t cost effective. Hiring an experienced Head of Digital who can truly transform your business doesn’t come cheap. And they are unlikely to expect to get their hands dirty actually executing that strategy on a daily basis. Our directors have over 45 years’ combined digital experience (although they don’t always like to be reminded of that). We will work with you to develop a digital strategy that will result in demonstrable success. And we will focus on delivering that strategy using as much or as little of your in-house resource as appropriate to your organisation. ■
For further information, please visit: www.sharpahead.com
Trouble-shoot your PP project Blake Morgan helps to build a Britain fit for the future New UKSPA Business Affiliate; Blake Morgan LLP, is a large full-service commercial law firm with offices in Cardiff, London, Oxford, Portsmouth, Reading and Southampton in the United Kingdom. The company has a long history of acting in connection with science parks located in Oxfordshire, with Oxford and Reading offices located within close proximity of Science Vale. The Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper, “Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future”, describes the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor as having “the potential to be the UK’s Silicon Valley”. What sets Blake Morgan LLP apart from other law firms is its significant public and private sector experience, having engaged with various central Government stakeholders over the years to support the
New Business Affiliate, Blake Morgan, provide legal services for numerous science and technology companies
delivery of ambitious partnerships and developments. Inhouse experts understand political drivers and the need for early engagement to “trouble-shoot” any potential blockers to project delivery. As a full-service firm, Blake Morgan also acts for a number of science and technology companies providing services. It offers a rich heritage of supporting new and emerging technologies from IT security, big data, artificial intelligence
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(AI) and autonomous vehicles. The company has the expertise and scale to provide informed, proactive advice to help businesses to thrive in this dynamic sector which can support the growth and development of occupiers of UKSPA’s members. ■
For further information, please visit: www.blakemorgan.co.uk
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European IP services Potter Clarkson, supporting clients with a full range of award-winning IP services New UKSPA Business Affiliates; Potter Clarkson LLP, is an award-winning firm of European patent and trademark attorneys and IP solicitors. Established in 1889, Potter Clarkson is one of the largest full service Intellectual Property practices in Europe (and one of the largest outside of London), employing some 60 qualified professionals and 90 paralegals, administrators and support staff at their Nottingham office. The firm offers the full range of IP legal services, from seeking and securing registered IP rights to both contentious and non-contentious IP matters (such as licencing strategies and collaboration agreements). They provide representation in all English courts as well as in organisations such as the European Patent Office and European Union
Potter Clarkson’s main office, Nottingham
Intellectual Property Office, making them the European firm of choice for a number of individuals, start-up and early stage companies, owner-managed businesses, universities and technology transfer organisations, as well as large multi-national companies. Potter Clarkson is one of only a handful of UK patent and trade mark firms to have achieved three internationally recognised ISO accreditations. The three ISO standards (ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO27001), achieved in 2015 and re-accredited annually, provide clients with assurance of high
quality in the areas of management systems, environmental management, and information management. Cyber security is taken extremely seriously and, in 2015, Potter Clarkson was awarded the Government and industry-developed Cyber Essentials accreditation. The scheme recognises the firm’s ongoing commitment to the protection of its clients’ data against the risk of common internet-based threats. ■
For further information, visit: www.potterclarkson.com
MERLIN call Apply for fully funded, market-driven R&D strategy innovation programmes St John’s Innovation Centre is a partner for the recently launched, fully funded MERLIN (Methodologies for Researcher Led Innovations) project aimed to support ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) researchers, post-docs, SMEs and start-ups across Europe to realise the full potential and impact of their research and to support them with market validation and commercialisation. Together with four European project partners, The Technical University of Cartagena, Blu Specs Innovation, Poznan Science and Technology Park, and UAB Civitta, St John’s Innovation Centre will deliver training, networking and follow-on support through thematic workshops, webinars on SME growth and business models, international conference workshops and meet-ups with potential customers and commercial partners. If you’d like to take part in this programme or require further details, please contact Anna on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 422379.
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Workshops coming up: • Lean Start-Up - 24 April 2018 Take part in the first in a series of workshops, the LEAN STARTUP, dedicated to the lean start-up methodology and learn about key techniques designed to create fast-growing ventures • Business Model Canvas 19 June 2018 Understand the use of Business Model Canvas as a tool to assess and focus business development; Independently develop a BMC; Understand the use and application of BMC in the context of other methodologies • Customer Discovery 24 September 2018 Understand how Customer Discovery guides business models; Have the knowledge and tools to conduct Customer Discovery independently; Understand the characteristics of a MVP; Know the steps to achieve Customer Validation
• Entrepreneurial Mindset 22 November 2018 Be aware of techniques like effectuating to approach decision making in uncertainty; Get equipped with tools to develop realistic short and medium-term goals and to adapt for change; Be able to foster new partnerships and exploit new opportunities rapidly. ■
For further information, visit: www.merlin-ict.eu
© Laura Bennetto, Bennetto Photography Ltd
Dr David Gillham, Sir David Bell and Dr Paul Preston
Thames Valley Science Park open for business Flagship Gateway building has welcomed its new tenants The University of Reading-owned Thames Valley Science Park opened its doors for business as tenants moved into the flagship ‘Gateway’ building. The building is part of a £35 million investment in the Science Park and is the first to open. It provides 70,000 square feet of flexible office and laboratory space for around 20 technology-led companies ranging from early stage start-ups to global research and development centres. These include companies such as BioInteractions Limited, Covance, Sage People and Clasado BioSciences. Tenants will have access to a highspeed digital infrastructure that will meet the vast data needs of their businesses. Other amenities at the site located in Shinfield (just off junction 11 of the M4) include a café, conference facilities and flexible meeting spaces.
A dedicated hub for entrepreneurs and growing businesses will also be based in the ‘Gateway’ building. Innovation Catalyst is a collaboration between VitalSix, a specialist in supporting growing businesses, Thames Valley Science Park and Barclays Eagle Labs. The Thames Valley Science Park will be the amongst the biggest dedicated science parks in the region and one of the largest in the South East. The full Science Park will take up to 20 years to be fully developed, with significant long-term investment from the University of Reading. The second building, an innovative cancer treatment centre being built by Proton Partners International Ltd, is under construction and will open later this year. The company is investing £30 million to build its own purpose-built centre, which will help to meet growing demand for proton beam therapy, a specialised type of cancer treatment that is not yet available in the UK.
Plans for the third building in Phase One were approved in February 2018. Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “The Thames Valley Science Park is the first of its kind in the region, and a sign of the University’s commitment to investing in the local economy. Its location just outside London - and close to major transport hubs like the M4, Reading Station and Heathrow - will attract new UK and international businesses to the area, in turn creating more jobs and wealth. “The launch today is the culmination of many years of hard work. It also represents an exciting moment for the University as it further enhances its reputation for excellence - locally, nationally and internationally.” ■
For more information, visit: www.tvsp.co.uk
Powering the world’s most successful science parks for over a decade
Provide high-growth startups and tenants with faster, more reliable internet across your site at close to £0 investment using the UK Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme. Visit: essensys.tech/gigabit
Software enabled infrastructure
On-demand IT & voice services
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Lead to cash automation
Powerful stats, reporting & billing
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Masterplanning Birmingham Campus Bruntwood to bring a new strategic vision to Innovation Birmingham Campus
Written by Ian Halstead | email@example.com
lans to create the UK’s largest dedicated technology hub in the heart of Birmingham are on track, after a leading property company snapped up 80,000 sq ft of space from the city council. Manchester-based Bruntwood is paying an undisclosed sum for the Innovation Birmingham Campus, which has three buildings, including its flagship hub, iCentrum. The family-owned business has operated and managed in Birmingham for almost 20 years, and chief executive Chris Oglesby calculates its current investment there at £150m. “This marks the latest stage of our strategy of investing in, and then developing, major science and tech assets, including Alderley Park, Cheshire, and new tech-incubators in Manchester and Leeds,” he says. “Our experience in the science and digital tech sector, and our relationship with funders, aligned with our commitment to growth ensures we are
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ideally placed to deliver significant growth for the campus.”
D I S C U S S I O N S U N D E R WAY
Masterplanning discussions are underway, although no architect has yet been appointed. However, the existing masterplan envisaged the delivery of another 90,000 sq ft before January 2020, making it the UK’s largest technology campus. That news came in February 2017, when the council revealed it was bringing in KPMG’s corporate finance arm to identify strategic options for the site. The campus was created from Aston Science Park, after the arrival of Dr David Hardman who is now CEO of its management company, Innovation Birmingham Ltd. After rebranding the park, he focused on creating space for innovative digital start-ups and tech-based SMEs, launching the ‘science parks without walls’ concept to underline the need to build a technology ecosystem underpinned by
collaboration and digital platforms - not simply geography. After the deal, Dr Hardman admitted external investment had become essential. “We have moved a long way in nine years. We have three buildings, they are full, we have more than 140 businesses, and a thriving community of people who visit here, but to really make a difference to the Birmingham economy we had to scale,” he says.
Meanwhile, Bruntwood’s Oglesby was happy to reveal that Hardman’s strategic vision would be the catalyst for expansion. “We see additional growth being facilitated by developing links with other science parks, nationally and internationally, through David’s concept of ‘science parks without walls.’ “Our investment strategy is aimed at ensuring the site grows as an innovation campus, which is sustainable in the long-term and also contributes to the wider Birmingham economy.” ■
Expanding into STEM Kent Science Park enjoys dramatic growth under commercial property management
he Kent Science Park (KSP), which evolved out of the Shell Sittingbourne Research Centre where Sir John Carnforth won a Nobel Prize in the 1970s, changed ownership in 2016. Now managed by MJ Mapp Limited on behalf of the new owner, Trinity Investment Management, KSP is starting to demonstrate the benefits of having an owner with a vision for investment and expansion in the STEM area. So far, the most obvious manifestation of this is the construction of a new £2m Hub, combining a cafeteria, meeting rooms and a conference facility on the edge of KSP’s iconic (and beautiful) Japanese
Garden. This should complete in September. Less obvious is the investment in infrastructure, particularly the district heating system and an increasingly active refurbishment programme of space.
“We have strong demand for both office and laboratory spaces,” explains Site Director Patrick BenhamCrosswell. “In the year that I have been here, the number of tenant companies has risen by almost 30%, so we are bringing more space back into service. It is wonderful to be part of
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bringing Kent Science Park back to what it should be; a preeminent scientific facility for the UK.” “The hub is not the only construction project,” continues Patrick, “One tenant is more than doubling the size of his facility here, which is especially pleasing as that company started here 15 or so years ago with just two people; now it employs over 500. We have several more tenants on that journey, which is very much the core of what we are here to do; provide facilities, space to grow and an environment for success.”
BUS ON DEMAND SERVICE
As well as buildings, KSP was the global launch site for the ArrivaClick bus on demand service. Algorithms and tweaks developed in Sittingbourne are now being used as far away as New York. The luxury minibuses, which can be summoned on demand via a mobile app, are based on KSP and make it possible to get from the front gate to St Pancras in under 70 minutes. ■
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© Fraunhofer IPA / Rainer Bez
The holistic nerve center of an interconnected company
he term laboratory covers a very broad list of functionalities and activities from research and development to analytics and testing. As depicted by the Latin origin of the word “laborare”, the lab was associated for a long time with suffering and intense exhausting labour. Furthermore, despite successful implementations throughout other areas of a company, the lab seemed to be inaccessible to optimisation efforts, robotics, efficiency paradigms or standardisation. Evaluation and drivers of value generation within the product-focused business architecture focused on production and business development.
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Accordingly, laboratories were often just loosely coupled to the main value stream and value generation. Against this backdrop, the laboratory was mainly seen by senior management as a cost factor and an object of outsourcing strategies. Mario Bott PROJECT MANAGER, nICLAS, FRAUNHOFER IPA Mario heads Fraunhofer IPA’s innovation center for laboratory automation Stuttgart (nICLAS), connecting manufacturers, users and researchers to address all challenges related to labs and bio production
DATA-DRIVEN VALUE GENERATION
In the recent past, the role of laboratories has undergone a silent but profound transition. The fundamental service and value proposition of laboratories has taken on greater significance, now focusing on the generation of data. The digital- or fourthindustrial revolution provides a powerful set of new technologies. Even more disruptive is the accompanying and
trillion boost to the global economy is expected from AI by 2030
L A B O R AT O R I E S W I L L B E C O M E E S S E N T I A L N O D E S A N D S T R AT E G I C C O N T R O L U N I T S W I T H I N D ATA D R I V E N VA L U E G E N E R AT I O N
At Innovation Center nICLAS, members develop technologies for the smart lab of the future
ongoing loss of reliance on physical products, with a radical shift towards data-rich markets across most industry sectors. In this regard - especially for life science industries - laboratories will become essential nodes and strategic control units within data driven value generation. The future â€˜laboratoryâ€™ might become a scientific data factory. Today, the concentration of expertise and knowhow in laboratories already leads to an increase in overall communication efforts and exchange. The increasing process complexities and dependencies tend to overwhelm traditional lab infrastructure and organisation. To challenge these side effects and avoid the setup of inefficient or redundant structures, a modern lab needs to match crucial key requirements. While classical paradigms such as platform automation, robotics or LEAN process optimisation frequently failed in the past, new organisational principles need to be defined. The laboratory, as an integral part of a connected company, primarily needs to
be adaptable, scalable and responsive to match the requirements and needs of a multitude of (external) stakeholders and services. Besides this customer-driven and service-oriented architecture, the lab needs to provide a robust, easy to maintain and easy-to-use set of tools, devices and processes to stay manageable and provide long-term sustainability. A kind of blueprint and design template to set up these principles can be seen in the general structures and principles of a city. While companies and business units tend to lose innovation power and efficiency at a certain level of growth, the decentralised organisation of Mega-cities attracts and generates unsuspected economical and innovation strength.
T H E H U M A N O P E R AT O R
A central requirement in the transformation of lab services into the nerve centre and holistic data hub of a data driven company is that of the human operator. Unlike other parts of the business, manual labour still accounts for major parts of lab process chains. Besides redundant and dull documentation or transportation tasks these operators and scientists perform an outstanding job by analysing complex data sets and deriving strategies and solutions. Biological process and non-standard, versatile process chains generate fragmented and interrupted information. The underlying combination of creativity and intelligence makes the operator a powerful and crucial element of the digitally interconnected smart lab of tomorrow. While modular and selfsufficient robotic systems, as well as artificial intelligence, will empower and foster data generation and evaluation, the complex interplay and ecosystem of human-machine, human-process, human-data and machine-data interactions will continue to require organisation and assistance.
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ADAPTED ASSISTANCE SYSTEMS
Nonetheless, the human brain capacity and potential to survey huge amounts of data is strictly limited. The critical and timesensitive challenge is to provide smart and adapted assistance systems to empower the human operator. The first step within this endeavour will be to establish a holistic understanding around the behavioural aspects and stress associated with lab work. The technological base for smart sensor systems is already available in sport training apps. A good second step would be to embed the operator in a framework of sensor-driven scene-analysis and smart control interfaces to analyse speech, gesture and context. Thus, a cyberphysical ecosystem of partly automated services emerges with the operator as node and main context provider. The third, and most important step, concerns a fundamental mind-shift within the lab community. Besides additional communication tasks and consulting services, the lab needs to establish a profound technological and data processing expertise.
AN ESSENTIAL IDENTITY SHIFT
Global data-driven companies such as Google, Amazon or Facebook already incorporate data generation and data processing capabilities and technologies. However, current business frameworks for responsible lab managers and operators ensure they identify themselves as working within a science-driven unit. The shift towards identifying as a techdriven unit will be crucial for the entrusted operators and the lab as a whole. Failing that, the aforementioned data-driven players or competing approaches from China may change or eliminate the laboratory as we know it. â–
For further information, visit: www.ipa.fraunhofer.de/niclas
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The many shades of AI “Governments have been by far the greatest investors in AI - whether through military and intelligence agencies (particularly in the US and China), or less directly through universities…[ ]… The risk is that governments will oscillate between over enthusiasm as they buy into misleading hype and disillusion when the promised results don’t materialise. The answer is that they need more in-house capability to be smart customers and commissioners; more serious R&D and experiments; as well as more serious efforts to deal with public trust and legitimacy, like the UK’s promised new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.”
Ten major areas of likely change based on different types of AI technology relevant to governments:
AUTOMATING EVERYDAY PROCESSES
PATTERN RECOGNITION AND BETTER PREDICTION
Routine task automation may be the least exciting area for AI but offers the biggest early productivity gains, so long as whole processes are reengineered.
Predictive algorithms have been used for many years in public services, whether for predicting risks of hospital admissions or recidivism in criminal justice. Newer ones could predict exam results or job outcomes or help regulators predict patterns of infraction. These uses of AI have lots of challenges, not least of which is avoiding the bias embedded in past data sets.
ENHANCING INTERACTIONS WITH CITIZENS
Governments are beginning to use Alexa and Siri and bots of various kinds to handle everyday interactions, from planning applications to school places. We’re already well down the road to a very different model of interaction between states and citizens.
N E W WAY S O F S E E I N G
Computer vision is already obviously useful for security and surveillance. Combined with sensors, it could become much more integral to management of infrastructures.
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landscape of opinion; showing clusters of views or how different people’s views relate to each other.
TA R G E T I N G S O C I A L PROGRAMMES
Robotics has been pioneered in the military and can be very useful for entering dangerous environments, such as after manmade or natural disasters. There are many other uses in and around public services, such as cleaning and maintenance.
With six, we’re looking at bigger projects that combine governments, foundations and business to interpret data on whole population patterns, using predictive algorithms to better target action. Saskatchewan in Canada and Allegheny in the US are leading examples that are trying to use a mix of big data, AI and smart social policy to better predict and prevent risks.
A C C E L E R AT I N G E D U C AT I O N
There’s a flood of good ideas for AI in education, some of which Nesta has invested in (like Cogbooks). For maths, language teaching and a few other areas, the potential is big, though as with edtech more generally there’s been a shortage of good evidence and testbeds.
While currently controversial, some of the leading experiments in online democracy use AI tools like pol.is to help participants understand the balance and
Nesta’s detailed study of future jobs showed that the cruder forecasts in which AI simply replaces doctors or teachers is almost certainly wrong. Look in more detail at the cluster of skills in jobs and it becomes apparent that although some aspects are very amenable to automation others are not.
NEW FORMS OF R E G U L AT I O N A N D NEW GUIDING PRINCIPLES
There are big, and still unanswered, questions over transparency, ownership and responsibility. The working draft; ‘10 principles for public sector use of algorithmic decision making’ by Eddie Copeland, Director of Government Innovation, Nesta, is an important step forward in setting some new ground rules. One other pressure for new regulation is the potential for a crisis if AI is misused. AI promises more predictable and controlled public services. But a striking feature of complex systems is that they become opaque even to their creators. More complex and interconnected systems go wrong in ways that no one quite understands. ■
From the 26 February 2018 blog; ‘A roadmap for AI: 10 ways governments will change’ by Geoff Mulgan, CEO, Nesta.
Taking care of your people, places and public perception
AI drives digital skills gap Unpicking the Artificial Intelligence talent arms race
ithin the Winter 2017 issue of Breakthrough, UKSPA Chairman Dr David Hardman MBE highlighted the technology skills gap and said that companies requiring specific skills will either struggle to grow, or will move elsewhere to access the necessary talent. This article explores how AI is driving the skills gap, and what can be done about it. The rapid adoption of AI is accelerating the broader digital skills gap, and with one new AI being formed each week in the UK there is now an ‘arms race’ for talent. At a recent AI conference in London1, almost every presentation featured skills development as an imperative. This is in line with a recent 1 2
Mike Lloyd FOUNDER, CLWB.ORG
Entrepreneur and technology leader Mike’s passion is to simplify Deep Tech and STEM to help businesses grow and people to learn
Westminster eForum, AI and robotics, innovation, funding and policy priorities, February 27th 2018 CBI, Adopting the Future survey, 2016
Confederation of British Industry report which stated that the biggest barrier to AI adoption in UK companies is the shortage of AI skills, with two thirds of pioneering businesses saying they don’t have the skills and capabilities needed to adopt AI.2 But, what skills are required, how might they be developed, and what specific actions should businesses take?
A I I S T H E N E W J AVA
According to Paul Clarke, CTO at Ocado, “AI is the new Java, it will be everywhere and in everything”. Whilst Java is a language, the AI process involves inputting data, processing and optimising it, applying mathematical models, and obtaining a prediction.
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© Panaspics / Shutterstock
Is AI becoming the new Latin – open only to an extremely skilled elite?
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PhD-level problem solving
Higher Education and/or Specialist Experience
AI differs significantly from other technologies in that it can develop itself without human intervention. As we race towards the singularity – the point at which machines exceed human intelligence - we can expect increasing ‘self-determination’ in intelligent systems. This means that at the sharp end of AI development people are required to design systems that program themselves, so the level of abstract thinking, skills and knowledge needed is PhD level – even if AI developers don’t have a PhD, their thinking needs to be broad and deep, and they need to be capable of significant abstraction. AI is not new technology, and many AI processes are now automated – e.g. AutoML allows the automated selection of the mathematical models that are applied to the data, and other tools can be used to automate workflows and other processes like feature selection in the data. However, automation in AI processes can only go so far, and between 60% and 80% of the AI process is the preparation of data. So, skills like data wrangling, cleaning, model validation and data visualisation will continue to be in demand.
Produce with AI
Manage AI solutions
Use AI to augment work
Use AI as a savvy consumer
AI included in the curriculum
AI not included in the curriculum
AI SKILLS CONTINUUM
The core skills needed to build and work with AI systems are mathematics (particularly statistics and probability), data manipulation, and computer science. Depending on the focus of the business, deep domain expertise can add a lot of value to the AI development process. Governments in the West are increasingly demanding more openness, and this means showing your workings – including algorithms – and this will drive demand for strong communication skills. Only a very small number of people will be required to develop AI solutions. As AI reaches into the workplace, most people will be either managing the use of AI to produce value, or they will use AI to augment their work. For example, one can imagine how staff in a company could talk to an AI assistant to help make decisions, but a comparatively small team of people would actually implement and support the system. There’s also a real need to educate everyone to use AI in a smart way. This means people generally being savvy enough to not be persuaded by AI assisted fake news, or aggressive marketing, and being able to analyse how algorithmic decision making affects them. Without a basic understanding of how AI works, there’s a risk that many people will simply have AI done to them. Higher Education, training and self-learning all have roles to play in ensuring that AI is used in the
Have AI “done to you”
workplace. The UK Government is active at the top end of the AI skills continuum. For example, government funded Alan Turing Institute has a fellowship programme designed to attract the brightest and best in the field. The EPSRC are funding clusters of PhD level research in AI.3 Other initiatives include funding for one-year conversion Master’s degrees. At the lower end of the workplace AI skills continuum, Further Education and workplace training can have significant business impact. A key skill required in all businesses is to recognise where AI can potentially add value. To take advantage of AI, there must be people in the organisation who know what AI can do, and understand what products and services are required. There must also be people who can visualise AI use-case scenarios, gain support, obtain resources, implement AI solutions, and manage change.
AI TOOLS WILL BE COMMODIFIED
As with most technologies, it’s a reasonable expectation that AI will become commodified, and that generalpurpose AI tools for business will become widely used. In 1962 the concept of a spreadsheet was embodied in Fortran4 a language accessible only to specialists. By 1985, the spreadsheet had become fully visual in the form of ExcelTM for the MacintoshTM. Now ExcelTM is ubiquitous. It’s not unreasonable to expect a similar journey with AI. Peering further into the future, we evisage Bio-Inspired AI fundamentally changing traditional development
Taking advantage of AI requires a range of talents, skills and knowledge
paradigms towards Goal Directed Design, or GDD. This will enable developers to tell the computer what is needed instead of what to do, and this has implications for the kinds of skills that will be needed in all kinds of software development.
W H AT S H O U L D B U S I N E S S E S DO ABOUT THIS?
AI can be used in an exceptionally wide range of scenarios, from swarms of microscopic robots to big data processing in massive server farms. So, understanding the scope, scale and range of benefits that AI can bring to business is an essential first step. The most important question to start with is “what problems can AI solve – for our customers, and for the company”. The next logical step is to appoint a team leader to drive an AI transformation program, starting with the ‘lowest hanging fruit’, and then driving a cross-company program of AI awareness and skills. At the same time, it’s important to ensure that the data upon which AI services are built is of the highest possible quality. Of particular importance are leadership skills, and leaders should 3 4
know not just about AI itself but the kind of technologies and methods that can define, complement or underpin AI systems – e.g. platforms and architectures; IoT; big data; and analytics. To take full advantage of AI, companies also need to develop skills in designing digitally-based solutions; solution selling; effective cross-team collaboration and innovation process. Finally, it’s worth realising that AI is just a tool – albeit a very powerful tool, of course. Whilst it helps to be able to think at PhD level to undersand how to develop AI systems, for most companies the heavy lifting involved in implementing AI will be about definining the problems and opportunities, choosing and implementing the right solution components, and helping people incorporate the power of AI into their work. ■
For further information about Mike Lloyd and CLWB, visit www.linkedin.com/in/mikeslloyd/
BE T WEEN 60% AND 80% OF AI PROCESSING I S T H E P R E P A R AT I O N O F D ATA Bio-inspired AI fundamentally changes traditional system design paradigms, telling the computer what you need instead of what to do (Goal Directed Design, or GDD). Examples include DarktraceTM infrastructure cyber security systems and Autodesk’s Dreamcatcher CAD system. Darktrace’s immune system inspired cyber security uses unsupervised anomaly detection to isolate and neutralise viruses. Within Autodesk’s Dreamcatcher, rather than defining a part in great detail from the top down, the user gives the software a set of fundamental rules and lets it seek out the optimal solution to a problem - GDD does the grunt work for the designer, processing and evaluating design trade-offs at a speed impossible for humans.
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Start ups need science parks Nurturing talent to help business thrive and contribute to UK Plc
usiness models and needs today are dramatically different to just a decade ago. Technology has and continues to - radically change the workplace. Many jobs today didnâ€™t exist a few short years ago. And that transformation will continue as companies harness the new and evolving technologies that are coming to the fore every year. While technological advances bring opportunity for businesses, they of course also bring challenges. For one thing, the skills modern businesses need today are totally different to what was needed ten, let alone twenty, years ago. And that pace of change is speeding up.
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Sherry Coutu CBE CHAIR, SCALEUP INSTITUTE Sherry is an entrepreneur, investor and advisor who chairs Founders4Schools, the ScaleUp Institute and the Financial Strategy Advisory Group for the University of Cambridge
Organisations have always relied on the skills of its people to grow and thrive, but the changing workplace means that people with the right skills and experience are increasingly hard to find. This is holding back businesses and holding back our economy at a crucial time. The vast majority (93%) of scale up businesses in the UK said they would be able to grow faster if they had access to talent with the right skills. Scale up businesses have already proven their growth. Imagine how much we could increase that by if we helped them find the right talent they need to grow even more?
million UK workers will be impacted by AI by 2030
W E N E E D T O C O M P L E T E LY R E T H I N K T H E W AY BUSINESSES AND THE YOUNG INTER ACT AS THE Y ENTER THE WORKING WORLD
N U RT U R I N G N E W TA L E N T
But our approach to nurturing the next generation of skilled workers is broken. That’s where the science parks come in! If each of the science parks encouraged their tenants to host work experience placements for children from disadvantaged backgrounds from schools nearby throughout the year, the skills-gap would be as good as solved. Work experience, in its traditional form, has not evolved in line with the changing world of work. For too long, businesses have only offered work experience to connections of their family or friends, in a meaningless week-long period of making tea and photocopies. Changing this - and honing the skills of these young people who have so much more to offer - is where our opportunity lies. We need to give young people proper experience of work. This is vital to making sure tomorrow’s workforce is passionate, engaged, and has the right skills to help our economy grow.
The way I see it is, right now, many businesses are shooting themselves in the foot. They have a pool of local young talent on their doorstep, but they don’t know how best to nurture their skills, let alone find those who are interested in learning about or experiencing the industry in which their business operates. Instead they see work experience placements as a resource drain, rather than an opportunity to develop meaningful work, bring in fresh perspectives, and to grow the local talent pool.
RETHINKING OUR APPROACH
We need to completely rethink the way businesses and the young interact as they enter the working world.
Work experience is known to be valuable to businesses, as well as to young people
Science Parks need to get better at connecting businesses with local young people who already have the skills they need, or the potential to develop them We need to make it easier for businesses in Science Parks to deliver quality work experience that will improve young people’s employability and add value to their business
We believe the solution lies in Workfinder - a service we created to connect business leaders to young local talent and help their businesses grow. WorkFinder offers a variety of ways for business leaders to access local talent, whether through work placements, internships or workplace visits or presentations. Whatever size or sector, WorkFinder matches young people with local businesses, and in doing so gives back to the local community, in whatever way works best for their business.
TA K E T H E P L E D G E
TA K E T H E W O R K F I N D E R P L E D G E
As ambassadors for student employability, Founders4Schools and UKSPA will facilitate student-employer encounters by enabling teachers to place business leaders in their classrooms. These leaders will talk to students about the jobs they might hold or create in the future.
Educators – are asked to invite leaders of local businesses that are available to inspire their students
Business leaders – are asked to volunteer to speak to students about their career
Parents – are invited to download an info sheet to pass to a teacher they know
Join us to become a partner at: www.founders4schools.org.uk/partners/UKSPA/
R E A D O N L I N E AT: U K S PA . O R G . U K / B R E A K T H R O U G H
Encourage at least three people from each business in your science park to sign-up to host work experience placements so that young people apply for work experience projects that will develop their skills. Offering quality work experience isn’t a ‘nice-to-have’ for businesses, it’s fundamental to their success. It supports the commercial imperative of growth by improving access to new ideas, skills and talent. So, let’s make it a priority: Sign up to WorkFinder today. And then tell your friends and fellow business leaders to do exactly the same. ■
To join WorkFinder, please visit: www.founders4schools.org.uk/ partners/UKSPA/
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National Grid innovation lead powers up round table series at University of Nottingham Innovation Park
he first in a series of Innovation Round Tables hosted by the University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP) heard one of the senior figures at National Grid suggest that the energy market could be the next major sector to experience technologyled disruption. Dr Stephen Marland, part of National Grid’s Corporate Development team responsible for innovation and technology, outlined how the organisation which owns and operates the electricity and gas transmission networks in the UK drives innovation.
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HOW WILL UTILITIES REINVENT TRADITIONAL APPROACHES TO INNOVATION?
“Utilities aren’t necessarily well-known for innovation,” he said. “We tend to be frugal, and despite the longevity of the businesses we operate we tend to focus on near-term delivery and be highly riskaverse. But change is coming. “The energy market has yet to be truly disrupted. We’ve seen the introduction of competition in the generation and retail side of the market, but what will happen when renewable generation no longer requires subsidy, or when having solar panels is cheaper than
not selling them, and when electric cars reach mass market adoption? “Who will you buy your energy from then? At some point, you’ll be able to buy electricity from the likes of BMW or Nissan. So, markets are converging and change is coming fast.”
WHAT DRIVES INNOVATION IN THE ENERGY SECTOR?
Dr Marland said that while innovation is often driven by a desire to create value, significant numbers of projects fail to progress. Nevertheless, National Grid’s own gas business reckons its return ratio on investment in innovation will be 4:1. Its approach to innovation focuses on research, development and demonstration, with projects being adopted by a business unit once they have reached demonstration stage. While innovations can be incremental or transformative, organisations also
of the AI economy pre-2030 boost will be enjoyed by China
THE ENERGY MARKE T COULD BE THE NE X T MAJOR SECTOR TO E XPERIENCE T ECHNOLO GY- L E D DIS RUP T ION
isn’t easy and we are continuing to learn, continuing to benchmark what others are doing, exploring new methods and seeking new opportunities to bring about positive change. “From a leadership perspective, those in innovation need to be very resilient, well-connected and have a passion for what they want to achieve and, for those supporting, they do need to challenge the value but be patient. “My organisation is on a journey, and many of the aspects I’ve spoken about remain nascent, but I’m confident we will make it happen.”
WHAT IMPACTS ON MARKETREADY INNOVATION?
Dr Stephen Marland addresses the audience at the first Innovation Round Table at UNIP
have to decide whether it should stay in-house or become a spin-out. Radical innovations, said Dr Marland, are big bets which may have significant impact across a market: the emergence of autonomous or electric vehicles, for example.
HOW WILL THE SECTOR ENSURE TECHNOLOGY READINESS?
Dr Marland also examined the impact of organisational structure on innovation, looking at the incremental innovation that takes place within business units and the big bets usually designated to a central corporate function. He continued: “Innovation has numerous stages and it is NASA who are credited with the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) scale. TRLs 1-3 define the challenge, which for NASA was ‘how do we put a man on the moon?’. TRLs 6-9 take you from demonstration to launch – which was Neil Armstrong taking those first steps on the moon. “For most of us, this is the stage when we can truly see whether a project will add value.”
The TRL process also helps in identifying the capabilities or partners required to progress, and whether an innovation project delivers the value originally forecast and remains aligned to business priorities.
WHAT ROLE WILL INCUBATION PLAY?
Dr Marland highlighted the role played by venture investing, whose reach means they can provide valuable market insights for corporates about whether a technology matches up to its hype. They can also be a mechanism for piloting or partnering with start-ups. Incubator facilities, such as the Ingenuity Centre in which the event was held, were also praised for the way in which they can encourage entrepreneurs to learn from each other, host innovation challenges, speed up growth and host spin outs. “For companies with a highly risk-averse culture – such as utilities – the incubator environment for fostering innovation may be more effective.” Organisational culture also has a key role to play in fostering and enabling innovation, Dr Marland said: “Innovation
R E A D O N L I N E AT: U K S PA . O R G . U K / B R E A K T H R O U G H
Dr Marland was joined in the Round Table by Professor Seamus Garvey, the theme lead for geo energy at the Energy Research Accelerator, and Professor Simon Mosey, Director of the Haydn Green Institute for enterprise and innovation at the University of Nottingham. They discussed the impact of policy change on market-ready innovation, and the appetite among a new generation for wider definitions of entrepreneurship which factor in social impact. They also faced questions from a number of businesses who attended the event, covering issues such as the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning, the challenges faced in developing collaborative relationships between large corporates and SMEs, and communications standards.
HOW WILL AI IMPACT THE SECTOR?
Pushed on the application of AI to the sector, Dr Marland acknowledged an inevitability that the technology would drive innovation and take over more routine tasks, many of which have been previously off-shored from the UK. He said, “In many ways AI is our worst nightmare, but we are a conservative industry that will need to get used to AI probably through the use of chat bots initially.” ■
More than 40 guests attended the event, which is part of a programme of Innovation Round Tables UNIP is hosting to mark its 10th year. For information on future events, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Celebrating 10 years of innovation support For more information, contact: Dr Mark Tock t: +44 (0)115 748 4608 e: Mark.Tock@nottingham.ac.uk
Look out for our UNIP10 programme of events INCLUDING: MAKING INNOVATIONS FLY WITH HEATHROW. 24 MAY 2018 Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/2BZNWcy
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million sq ft of warehouse space is leased by Amazon
Managing flexible space Leases, licences and the growth of space on demand
D Michael Goldfinch COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLICITOR, WRIGHT HASSALL
Michael is a solicitor who advises various science and technology parks
emand for the ability to occupy space on flexible terms, whether for a hot desk or a short-term lease of an office, is growing. The right to occupy space can be granted either by lease or licence. While they are often used to achieve similar ends, legally, leases and licences are profoundly different documents. Leases create legal interests in land. They are governed by the Law of Property Act 1925 and generally need to be made by deed with a wet-ink signature. Licences instead create contractual rights to occupy the property. They can be entered into in the same way as any other contract. Licences are easier to put in place and are more flexible for the property owner and the occupier. However, it is too simplistic to say that licences are better than leases. Licences carry a hidden risk – they can turn into leases. English law doesn’t generally prescribe the words needed to create a given relationship, but looks for the parties’ intentions and actions, as well as their words. The law can look through the words and then treat the document accordingly.
R E A D O N L I N E AT: U K S PA . O R G . U K / B R E A K T H R O U G H
W H AT I F A L I C E N C E T U R N S O U T TO BE A LEASE?
The owner’s interest in the property or its funding may prohibit granting leases. Granting a lease could entitle the freeholder to forfeit the owner’s headlease or their lender to ask for the loan to be repaid instantly. In relation to science parks it is also important to note the effect on the rental income due to renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. A court will likely propose a significantly lower rent for the renewal as it won’t account for the significant business support offered by science parks. While it is possible to contract out of these rights in a lease, if a licence turns into a lease the automatic renewal rights are immediately granted to the tenant. These rights can also fetter the active management of tenants on a science park. While a licence could still be the right document, a lease - together with full contracting-out of the renewal rights - is often more appropriate for most science parks. ■
To discuss faster signature-ready leases for tenants, contact: michael.goldfinch@ wrighthassall.co.uk or 01926 883 046
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DAY IN THE LIFE
Stevenage BioCatalyst, STEVENAGE, UK
BIOGRAPHY Miranda is responsible for supporting the development of campus master planning and leads on tenancy matters. With 17 years’ experience in the biotech sector, she is also Chair of the UK Bio Incubator Forum, representing 24 bio incubators across the UK
Business Manager for Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst I am awake before my alarm goes off at 5.30am and fancy some blueberry pancakes before my two-hour daily train journey down to Stevenage. People often ask me how I have managed to do such a long commute for the last five years but it is a great opportunity to think about how to shape my morning/week and prepare my ‘to do list’ – this morning I look at our latest KPIs, case studies, success rates and areas for improvement in preparation for our next Board meeting. FEB
Despite getting up so early, I am the last person in the office (I think Dave, our operations manager, must sleep there). I have a quick catch up with Dave to see how he is getting on with planning for the building power shut down and installation of new air source heat pumps (something I have recently become an expert in!); then it’s a quick walk around the building before we have a
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UKTI film crew arrive to film some of our tenants’ successes on receiving Biomedical Catalyst funding. 11:00 is a team meeting to ensure various activities are on track – tenant lab and office fit-outs, GDPR,
DESPITE GE T TING UP SO E A R LY, I A M T H E L AST PERSON IN THE OFFICE new telephone system, comms updates and which events we are attending. The great thing about working in a team is the interaction and the feeling that we are all pulling in the same direction. I don’t have a lunch appointment, so I eat at my desk whilst chatting to
a leading provider of life science events–I provide some content ideas and suggest some speakers and am invited to join its steering group. This afternoon is a walk over to the new Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing Centre, first to discuss campus wide collaborations between GSK, the Catapult and ourselves and then secondly to meet with the new Councillor of Herts County Council to discuss our next phase plans.
T H E LO W- D O W N
4pm and I’m off for a meeting at the Crick before I go over to Victoria for the BIA comms steering group meeting. We have a private room in a nice pub and I get a low-down on Brexit, JP Morgan week, a new comms guide and finance data. 9pm and I’m running for my last train home. I have a nice cup of tea on arrival and a quick chat with my better half before falling into bed! It’s been a good day… ■
Powering the economy through Science and Technology The Surrey Research Park is recognised as a centre of excellence in technology, science, health and engineering. To date it houses over 150 businesses, including leading players such as SSTL, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Limited, IDBS, Optegra as well as many start-up R&D businesses, all of which enjoy an idyllic waterscape park location. The University of Surrey The Research Park is owned and managed by The University of Surrey renowned throughout the globe for its exceptional performance across teaching and research. The Park maintains close links with the university both physically and through its knowledge base. The Surrey Technology Centre The STC allows opportunities for opportunity led entrepreneurs and established companies to locate in serviced offices on flexible licence from 120 up to 900 sq ft. This centre incorporates a business incubator and an on-site support team. Larger units for corporates and high growth companies The Park has accommodation for companies requiring up to 60,000 sq ft. Outstanding amenities The Park sits at the edge of the thriving university campus with the ÂŁ40m Surrey Sports Park and Hotel within walking distance. There is easy access to the historic county town of Guildford which offers exciting retail and leisure facilities as well as a rail station, serving London Waterloo. Communications The Park enjoys outstanding communications with fast links to major airports, road and rail networks.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORLD FAMOUS SURREY RESEARCH PARK Telephone: 01483
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