South West research universities team up in new GW4 group

January 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Collaboration, Events 

The Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter today announced a formal collaboration, to boost research expertise and capability in the South West of England and Wales.

The collaboration will explore and identify opportunities for combined research to address global challenges, while also maximising the impact of and return on investment from research funding.

The group of four research intensive universities, each of which have significant research capabilities and which represent a total turnover in excess of £1,300 million, will be known as the GW4. There are already strong partnerships across the four institutions and the collaboration seeks to build on these.

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said:  “Regional groupings of research intensive universities are a rapidly emerging and important evolution, enabling the sharing of research infrastructure and the identification of thematic areas of expertise.  These will be increasingly important in order for universities to address grand intellectual and societal challenges.”

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bath, said: “The collective strength of the new grouping is much more than the sum of its individual parts. Taken together, the breadth and depth of our research expertise is truly impressive providing a powerful new contender in the increasingly intense competition for research funding on both the national and international level.”

Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, said: “We want to enhance Cardiff’s world-leading research and reputation by creating a critical mass of research excellence with other UK universities. In a competitive higher education sector we need to find new ways for Wales to compete for research income.

“Working in collaboration with fellow research-intensive Universities will help us to succeed in research and tackle some of society’s biggest research challenges. Critical mass is the key to success and the combined research excellence of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter will give Cardiff – and Wales – a new and competitive edge that will place us at the forefront not only in the UK, but internationally.”

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “This is a vital development for ensuring the growth and development of world class research in the South West and Wales. It gives us the critical mass and the quality to succeed in an increasingly competitive and research-intensive environment. The four universities already have a strong tradition of working together and GW4 will take that collaboration to a new level.”

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Raspberry Pi stimulates computing for kids in Bristol

December 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi (Photo credit: tkramm)

One of the team behind the Raspberry Pi £25 computer is coming to @Bristol tomorrow evening to talk to kids in the region.

The Bristol chapter of the British Computing Society has invited Rob Bishop, 22, from the Raspberry Pi Foundation in Cambridge to talk about the joy of making and using the Raspberry Pi. Rob will discuss how he got involved in the project as an intern at Broadcom (which has a development centre in Bristol as well as Cambridge) and why a career in engineering or computer science is awesome (and important!). There will also be a chance to get hands-on with a Raspberry Pi and to ask him any technical or non-technical questions you might have about engineering, computer science and the Raspberry Pi.

The talk will be followed by an opportunity for a Q&A alongside some demonstrations of how the Raspberry Pi can be used.

Rob Bishop is a Developer, Product Engineer & Evangelist for Raspberry Pi Foundation, one of the earliest engineers involved with the development of the Raspberry Pi and currently the only full-time paid employee in the Foundation.

The event starts at 1800 with the chance to have a look around @Bristol followed by the talk starting at 19:00.

Both BCS Members and Non Members are welcome – tickets are nearly sold out at

If you require any more information please contact

You can buy the Raspberry Pi at

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RoboWorldCup comes to UK for the first time in Bristol

August 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, News 

FIRA’s World Cup of Robotics is coming to the UK for the first time from 20 to 25 August, hosted by the Bristol Robotics Lab (BRL) and @Bristol. A total of 27 teams will be competing, with 202 participants from across the world coming to pit their robotic skills against each other.

Competitors are coming from as far afield as Mexico, Canada, India, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. The UK has two teams competing – one from the BRL and the second from the University of Plymouth. Hundreds of spectators are expected to watch the events unfold in @Bristol, one of the UK’s leading science and discovery centres, as top roboticists test their newest technology and hope to finish on the podium. The most highly-anticipated category is for humanoid robots which can walk and run. ‘HuroCup’ events include football, basketball, wall climbing, weightlifting and marathon running. These robots can be up to 130cm in height and weigh up to 30kg.

Other categories include ‘MiroSot’ – a five or 11-a-side football game for wheeled robots. An external vision system tracks the position of the robots and the ball, relaying this information to another computer which then calculates the next move. While it’s not quite as fast-paced as events in the Olympic Stadium, organisers promise that it will be a spectacle in its own right as spectators marvel at pioneering mechanical, electronic and advanced artificial intelligence technology in action.

Dr Guido Herrmann, from the University of Bristol, led the BRL bid and hopes members of the public will make the most of the opportunity to see world-leading robotics on their doorstep for free. He said: “We are looking forward to welcoming teams from around the world to Bristol. The competition promises to be both exciting and insightful, pushing the boundaries of robotics to the limit. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the public to see just what autonomous robots are capable of. Although very different to the Olympics, it’s another opportunity to show the world just what Great Britain is capable of – both as event hosts and being pioneers of engineering.”

A major scientific conference, the 2012 Joint FIRA-TAROS Congress, will run alongside the tournament, bringing together the world’s leading experts in robotics. The TAROS Industry Day will also be held at BRL on the Frenchay Campus of UWE Bristol on 23 August, with talks by key robotics industry figures and exhibitors from leading companies.

The event is organised with UK’s Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTN) on Robotics and the British Automation & Robot Association (BARA). Members of the public are invited to a public lecture which takes place on Tuesday, 21 August, at 7pm in the Wills Memorial Building. Professor Shuzhi Sam Ge, from The National University of Singapore and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, will discuss the ‘Era of Social Robotics’ and how social robots might one day be able to improve services, healthcare and productivity. Professor Jong-Hwan Kim, President of FIRA, said: “It is my great pleasure to have FIRA RoboWorld Cup and the joint FIRA-TAROS Congress held in the UK for the first time, especially as it’s the birthplace of modern football. Football has created a unique culture and I believe that robot sport can contribute to the future of technology through encouraging young scientists and engineers to get together during the event and share ideas to advance robotics.”

The public are welcome to enjoy the action from Wednesday, 22 August to Saturday, 25 August. For details of the schedule, please see the At-Bristol website. Entry to the RoboWorld Cup is free. The event has been sponsored by The Institution of Engineering Technology (IET), The Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG), Regional Educational Legacy in Arts and Youth Sport (RELAYS), Team South West, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and Maxon Motor UK.

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Leading multicore silicon conference set for September in Bristol

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Multicore Challenge Conference 2012

24 September 2012

Bristol (UWE, French Campus) 

TVS and ICT KTN are holding the 2012 Multicore Challenge Conference on Monday, 24 September 2012 with speakers, case studies, workshops and tool demonstrations on the latest techniques and technologies for developing systems with multiple processor and graphics cores.

Leading speakers from Imagination, Intel and the University of Bristol will also be part of a panel session at the end of the day on the challenges of developing and using multicore silicon chips. Sign up here

Multicore Challenge Conference 2012 Agenda

Provisional agenda for the Multicore Challenge Conference 2012

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Memorial for South West entrepreneur Kenn Lamb

July 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, News 

Serial entrepreneur and stalwart supporter of South West innovation, Kenn Lamb, has lost his long fight against cancer. A memorial service will be held at the Memorial Woodlands, Earthcott Green, Alveston, Bristol, BS35 3TA on Thursday 19th July at 12 noon.

It was as CEO of Hewlett Packard spinout Elixent that saw him take on a wider role in the industry, building up the startup until Panasonic took over the business in 2006. His last role was CEO of Cambridge startup Cyan Technology, re-building the company while commuting from the SouthWest.

He started out at Plessey Semiconductors in Swindon, becoming data products manager, but moved into the electronic design tool industry at Comdisco and then Cadence Design Systems. Moving back into hardware he was the European General Manager at FPGA designer Actel (now part of MicroSemi) followed by roles at development system house Pentica Systems and IP developer Arc (now part of Synopsys).

He was a strong supporter of the industry and of the SouthWest, influencing and assisting many people throughout his career with his humour and expertise.

For information about the memorial please contact

Venturefest Bristol 2012 announced

June 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Wednesday 7th November 2012

New venue: UWE Exhibition and Conference Centre

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Venturefest Bristol is back for a second year to showcase the latest new technology business ideas and innovations.

The venue moves from the Bristol & Bath Science Park to the Exhibition Centre at UWE, bringing together technology businesses at all stages, from pre-commercial to established organisations. Venturefest Bristol 2012 aims to offers opportunities to businesses regardless of their size, sector or location within the UK.

Last year’s event attracted more than 700 attendees and this year promises to be even bigger. Venturefest is aimed at anyone who has an early-stage technology business idea and is looking for support and advice to get that idea off the ground. Attendees can listen to other entrepreneurs’ stories, get IP and funding advice and to network with like-minded people.

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Science fair boost in Bath this weekend

March 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Over 800 local school pupils will be getting to grips with science in unusual ways in a two-day hands-on science fair opening at the University of Bath on Friday 9 March.

The Bath Taps into Science fair provides school children and their families with the opportunity to discover science at a fun, hands-on fair. Everything from making a special type of ’slime’ with very odd properties, trying out lego robotics, finding out about the life of a bee, magical mathematics, digging up dinosaur bones to astronomy, and liquid nitrogen will all feature in this two-day science fair.  Stalls will be run by staff and students from the University of Bath, Bath Spa University, Bristol University and the University West of England (UWE) and other colleges. Some stalls are also run by school children from local schools and societies like the Galenicals.

Day two of the Science Fair (Saturday 10 March) is held for the public in the city centre, with lots of families coming year after year. Based in Green Park Station, the venue is smaller with fewer stalls but this year will feature a brand new event – a maths and Morris dancing workshop from 2.30pm.

Mathematics professor Chris Budd said: “This year we are bigger than ever, with many schools coming and presenting, a team of science communications experts from Ireland and even a Morris Dancing Group. We will truly be dancing with science.”

The Bath Taps into Science event opens with a bang with a showcase lecture by Professor Budd on Wednesday 7 March. Titled Maths in and out of the zoo, Professor Budd will challenge guests to use their imagination and follow him as he takes a tour of a zoo in order to look at mathematics from a completely different perspective. The lecture will take place at the University of Bath Claverton campus in the University Hall and starts at 7pm. It is aimed at families and young people.

The fair is organised, run and supported by hundreds of volunteers from the University of Bath, Bath Spa University, Bristol University and the City of Bath College together with Keele University Earth Sciences Education Unit and organisations including the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, The Ethical Property Group, B&NES Waste Services, the Herschel Society, Wessex Setpoint, the Propioception Trust and Science City Bristol.

On Friday 9 March the fair will be held at the University of Bath’s Founders’ Sports Hall (10.30am to 3pm). The second day will take place at Green Park Station on Saturday 10 March (10am to 4pm). The event is funded by the University of Bath’s Widening Participation and HE STEM Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes.

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Bristol hosts key security and safety conference

January 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
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Next month Bristol hosts a key conference on safety critical systems at the Marriott Royal Hotel from 7th to the 9th Feb.

The region is hosting expert speakers from around the world on a wide range of issues from the Fukushima nuclear accident and train security to cyber security and the vulnerabilities of the GPS navigation system.

SSS ’12 – Celebrating the accidents that haven’t happened – covers the vulnerabilities in global navigation satellite systems; safety culture and community; transport safety; cyber-attacks on safety-critical systems; improving our approach to systems safety; accidents; assessment, validation and testing; to safety standards and safety levels.

Alongside the conference, now in its 20th year, will be an exhibition and tools and services fair. SSS ’12 is organized by the Safety-Critical Systems Club, and is the must-attend forum for all those working on safety-critical systems in industry and academia.

In the opening keynote address, Martyn Thomas will highlight vulnerabilities in GPS and other global navigation satellite systems, demonstrating the impact on safety of many general purpose systems. Other keynotes include Roger Rivett looking at the challenge of technological change in the automotive industry, Chris Johnson looking at cyber-attacks on safety-critical systems, Peter Ladkin on the accident to the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, and Jens Braband presenting a risk-based approach to assessing potential safety deficiencies. The final keynote, by John McDermid and Andrew Rae, focuses on goal-based safety standards. Like all the previous symposia the proceedings will be available from Springer.

More details are on the SCSC website at

Contact: Joan Atkinson, on 0191 221 2222 and


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Making Sense of Sensors

November 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Wednesday 30 November

09:30 – 16:00

UWE, Exhibition and Conference Centre, Bristol

iNets South West are actively seeking to provide financial support and free business services to new projects relating to sensors and their innovative use in both existing and new application areas. Bringing together companies, entrepreneurs and academics from the South West’s microelectronics sector, this event will seek to generate activities for the iNet to fund and assist. Five ‘Smart Building’ projects resulting from a similar iNet event currently stand to share in the region of £50,000 of support.

How the innovation lab works

At iNet Innovation Labs attendees are given an overview of current trends, commercial opportunities and funding sources before discussing how they might use their pooled knowledge, skills, technologies and ideas to exploit gaps in the market.

Any resulting eligible project proposals will be invited to apply for financial support and free business services:

Fri 23 Dec– proposal submission deadline

Mon 9 Jan– proposals reviewed / results announced

Confirmed key speakers…

Dr. Steve Nicklin
Senior Fellow at Dstl

Dr Giles Sanders
The Technology Partnership plc

Dr. James Richard Fishwick
Bio-Optical Oceanographer Western English Channel Observatory

Confirmed company case studies…

Plessey Semiconductors: EPIC sensor

Alpha-Active: EEG Products

Atlas Genetics


09:30 Coffee and registration
10:00 Welcome and introduction, Rick Chapman, iNets SW
10:15 Dr Steve Nicklin, Senior Fellow, Dstl
10:40 Dr Giles Sanders, The Technology Partnership plc
11:05 Coffee & Networking
11:35 Dr James Richard Fishwick, Bio-Optical Oceanographer Western English Channel Observatory
12:00 Workshop 1: Brainstorming
13:00 Lunch and networking
14:00 Company Case Study: Plessey Semiconductors Ltd
14:10 Company Case Study: Alpha Active
14:20 Company Case Study: Atlas Genetics
14:30 Workshop 2: Project Ideas
15:45 Closing summary and next steps
16:00 Networking and close

SW Microelectronics iNet small
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Bristol hosts Energy-Aware Computing workshop

October 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Alternative Models for Energy-Aware COmputation

Wednesday, 19th October 2011, 9:00 – 17:00, Cabot Room, The Hawthorns, 14-16 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UQ

Researchers and engineers with interests in energy-aware computing are coming together in Bristol next week to identify the challenges that can be developed into collaborative research projects in computing systems that are aware of the energy they consume.

The special focus of this workshop is on Alternative Models for Energy-Aware COmputation with one session focused solely on Learning from Biology. “We strive to go significantly beyond the state of the art,” say the organisers.

Agenda (all times approximate)

9:30 Welcome and Introduction – Kerstin Eder and David May, University of Bristol

9:45 “Prising the secrets of energy efficiency out of brains” – Simon Laughlin, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

~10:45 Discussion followed by a short Coffee Break

11:15 Intellectual Challenges Update and Discussion: What next?

~12:30 Lunch including Networking and Intellectual Challenges Discussion

13:30 “Energy-Modulated Computing” – Alex Yakovlev, Newcastle University, UK

~14:30 Discussion followed by a short Coffee Break

15:00  Brainstorming Session

~16:00 Discussion and Conclusion

16:30 Wine Reception and Networking

17:00 END

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Green energy high fliers compete for awards

October 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Companies, community groups and charities are among those shortlisted for the South West Green Energy Awards, judged by a panel of leading industry experts and awarded on 9th November.

Green energy high fliers compete for awards | This is Cornwall.

Driving your SW Business Forward Through Growth, Innovation and Internationalisation

September 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Businesses in the South West of England are being offered a half day seminar delivered by Business West to showcase the support available to help businesses grow. The seminar will also include an introduction to two further workshops that Business West will be holding shortly.

If you are planning on growing your business over the next 12 months, this event is for you. The event will enable you to:

  • Gain insight to overseas growth markets from UK Trade & Investment
  • Learn how to access over 14,000 business opportunities for FREE via Enterprise Europe Network’s Partnership Tool
  • Discover how you can grow your business through the Coaching for Growth programme brought to you by Solutions for Business
  • Hear about ‘Innovative Marketing Strategies’, a new workshop that will help increase profit and turnover for companies with a limited budget
  • Hear about Business Finance Options, another exciting new workshop being run by Business West

To register for one of these events, please click the relevant link below

Tuesday 20th September 2011 – The Bristol Golf Club, Bristol –  CLICK HERE

Thursday 22nd September 2011 – Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth, Dorset –  CLICK HERE

Tuesday 4th October 2011 – Exeter Golf & Country Club, Exeter, Devon – CLICK HERE

Thursday 6th October 2011 – Brook Madison Hotel, Swindon. Wiltshire –  CLICK HERE

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August 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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StartUp Britain has chosen to start it’s summer bus tour in Bristol, identified as one of 14 entrepreneurial hotspots.

Experts from the SETsquared Business Acceleration will be on hand to offer business mentoring support and coaching as part of the initiative, which will be stationed at The Paintworks, Bath Road, on Monday, 22 August between 9am and 11.30am.

The aim is to celebrate, inspire and accelerate new and existing small businesses by providing expert advice and mentoring.

StartUp Britain was launched by the private sector in response to the Government’s call for an ‘enterprise-led’ recovery from the financial crises and has been backed by David Cameron.

SETsquared will be one of the selected business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs offering business advice, speed mentoring and speed networking aboard the bus.

Nick Sturge, Centre Director of SETsquared at Bristol University, said: “It’s great that this tour kicks off in Bristol, one of the leading locations for technology companies in the UK.  We are delighted to be offering expert mentoring support to Bristol’s up and coming talent.”

SETsquared is the enterprise collaboration between five universities – Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. It supports new businesses, both university spin-outs and from the wider community, through its business incubation and acceleration centres.

At the Bristol centre alone, SETsquared has helped its members raise investment funds of over £53million in the last four years.

Emma Jones, Co-founder and Interim Chief Executive of StartUp Britain, said: “We will be meeting with students and helping them turn ideas into ventures and we’ll be visiting employees moving from employment into self-employment. I look forward to welcoming hundreds of start-ups and small businesses on board.”

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Bristol hosts technology ‘mission’ from London

August 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Bristol University’s SETsquared incubator unit for innovative new technology businesses last week hosted a get-together of some of the UK’s leading young technology companies.  Prominent amongst these were a number of new Bristol technology firms, including DocCom who have helped organise the visit.

In January 2011 SETsquared-based healthcare technology company DocCom was identified by the UK Technology Strategy Board as one of the UK’s top 20 emerging health tech companies.  This resulted in DocCom being invited to participate in the UK Trade and Investment’s “Future Health Mission” trip to Silicon Valley USA, where the best of new British healthcare technology was showcased to the American high tech and investor communities.

“Bristol is always an exciting place for ideas-led new technology companies, and today we are really pleased to have the chance to give our London-based innovator friends a taste of that atmosphere,” said Dr Jonathon Shaw, co-founder of DocCom. “SETsquared is the obvious place to host any coming together of the brightest and best in emerging UK technology companies, as they are noted for the support and encouragement given to emerging South West technology businesses like DocCom or Brightpearl.  We are looking forward to a stimulating day of shared ideas and best entrepreneurial practice, as well as an opportunity to show off Bristol’s new technology credentials”.

The Technology Mission from London to Bristol brings together innovative, entrepreneurial technology companies for a day of ideas exchange, as well as allowing out-of-town technology firms to see first-hand what gives Bristol its reputation as a breeding ground for technology innovation and successful start-up businesses.

“London companies need to get out more.  Bristol is a fantastic city and home to some great companies,” said Oli Barrett, senior account manager for Polecat which helped to organise the US trip. “This is a one-day ‘mission’ which will help companies based in London and Bristol to meet, share and plot together”.

In addition to DocCom, new technology companies and their followers who took part in the Mission day include:

Viadeo, Coull, Netsight, Glow Creative, X-Digital, OneLeap, SubHub, Firebox, Level 29, The Sandpit, The Long Run Venture, Shell Livewire, Skyscanner, Brightpearl, NetTek Ltd, TechHub, The Filter, Like Minds, Cognac Systems, Plexus Technology Ventures, Churnbar Ltd, Cassie Robinson, WildIrishGuy Productions, The Mowgli Foundation, Conscious Solutions, Eden Ventures and Science City Bristol Ltd.

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Student Conference addresses key issues in Complexity Science

August 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The first Student Conference on Complexity Science is taking place this week in Winchester with feature over 80 presentations demonstrating how the discipline is addressing challenges such as global sustainability, energy, climate, finance and technology.

The conference is being organised by PhD students from the University of Southampton’s Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS) and will bring together complexity science students from across the UK and particularly the UK’s three EPSRC Doctoral Training Centres at the Universities of Bristol, Southampton and Warwick.

The students will present their current work during the conference, addressing research problems spanning a broad range of scientific disciplines such as social science and economics, climate and earth science, biomedical and neural systems, ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainability, physical systems and materials science, cell biology, molecular biology and biochemical systems, the web, critical infrastructure and techno-social systems, networks science, evolution, and language.

Lord Robert May, distinguished professor, former president of the Royal Society and chief Government scientist, will deliver a keynote speech on Friday 5 August in which he will present his latest work with the Bank of England’s Executive Director for Financial Stability, Andy Haldane, on how techniques pioneered to model complex biological ecosystems can be used to deal with systemic risk in financial “ecosystems” in order to avoid financial disasters such as the ones experienced globally over the last half-decade.

The second keynote speaker on Saturday 6 August is Luis Amaral, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern University, who is a world authority and pioneer in network science. His research aims to address some of the most pressing challenges facing human societies, including the mitigation of errors in healthcare settings, the characterisation of the conditions fostering innovation and creativity, and the growth limits imposed by sustainability.

The students will address a wide range of subjects. A public engagement study by James Crossley at Manchester Metropolitan University will look at how complexity science can be used to conduct studies of zombie, vampire and werewolf attacks on a population. Other interesting contributions involve using complexity science for mathematical modelling of cell fate regulatory networks by Sonya Ridden, University of Southampton; decoding the statistics of neural networks by Marc Box, University of Bristol, and game theoretic models of crime prevention by Hemant Pasi, University of Warwick.

The conference main themes are:

• Core Research in Complexity Science

• Physical and Engineered Complexity

• Biological and Environmental Complexity

• Socio-economic and Socio-technological Complexity.

Professor Seth Bullock, who directs the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS) at the University of Southampton, said: “The UK is investing significant sums in training and supporting the next generation of complexity scientists because they are able to bring a new set of tools to bear on critically important interdisciplinary research challenges, such as those surrounding issues of global sustainability, energy, climate, finance and technology. This conference is the first chance for the UK’s complexity science PhD students to come together as a community and learn from each other.”

Related Links:
• Student Conference on Complexity Science
• Institute of Complex Systems Simulation
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Kyoto delegation visits Bristol to explore research collaboration

July 22, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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A top-level delegation from Kyoto University visited Bristol as part of an ongoing relationship aimed at exploring collaborative research opportunities. The visit aims to showcase some of Bristol’s expertise in environmental change, nuclear research and composite materials, and builds on previous collaborative work in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and clinical translational research (TR).

During the stay, the team, led by Professor Kiyoshi Yoshikawa, Executive Vice-President for Research, visited the University’s National Composites Centre to see its innovation in high-tech materials and example of university – industry collaboration. They saw some of the groundbreaking work being carried out in the Cabot Institute, which is developing risk and resilience models for major catastrophes, linking the environment, critical infrastructure and the insurance industry.

The delegates met with academics from the Faculties of Engineering, Social Sciences and Law and Medical Faculties, and toured the School of Chemisty’s state-of-the-art laboratories.“In order to tackle the increasing challenges that are likely to have a major impact on people’s lives in the future, it is important for Bristol to collaborate with leading research universities such as Kyoto to harness the research excellence at both institutions, and to explore collaboration with industry partners,” said  Professor Guy Orpen, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise. “The relationship between Bristol and Kyoto continues to mature and I am convinced will lead to even further interaction, collaboration and activities between academics and students at both universities.”

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TopicLogic looks to shine out of the cloud in the US

July 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Bristol startup TopicLogic is looking to raise runds for the launch of its cloud-based software in San Francisco later this year.

The company develops a web-based service that manages online storage such as Evernote and Dropbox. It has already raised £100,00 in angel funding and is looking for £250,000 to support the product and for online marketing, with the launch at the TechCrunch event in September.

The tool is already being used in a trial of barristers in London to organize their legal documents.

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SETsquared showcases cutting-edge SW technologies

July 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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An innovative system that aims to convert waste water to protein, creating algae farms for the fish and animal feed markets, and a spherical musical instrument that glows were just two of the pioneering technologies showcased this week in Bristol.

Some of the South West’s most innovative technology companies from the SETsquared Business Acceleration Centres at the Universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter presented their businesses to large corporate companies, prospective investors and grant-funders.

Danny Wootton, Innovation Director of Logica UK, gave the keynote speech, and described the importance of corporate and early stage companies working together: ‘In today’s economic environment, it’s clear that businesses doing everything themselves is a thing of the past. We see huge benefits from early-stage companies leveraging the routes to market and scale offered by a corporate and in return a corporate can tap into a constant stream of great innovative solutions and services from smaller businesses.’

Nick Sturge, SETsquared Centre Director, commented: ‘The key to success in any organisation is partnership: we are now working with corporates and investment groups to really accelerate the growth of companies we support. The creation of our joint technology investor network with SWAIN should double the amount of angel investments that happen.’

During the evening, eight selected companies entered a 60-second ‘Elevator Pitch’ competition to promote their businesses. The audience, of venture capitalists, SWAIN investors, representatives of the grant-funding and venture capital communities from London and the South West, senior executives from major corporates and supporters and mentors of the SETsquared activity, voted for the best pitch.

Aragreen (UK) Limited won the most number of votes and secured the top prize of £500 and the Veale Wasbrough Vizards Elevator Pitch trophy. By utilising a combination of cutting-edge production technology and what would otherwise be wasted nutrients (mainly phosphates and nitrates) from waste water, Aragreen aims to redefine the value proposition of algae, as a sustainable and cost-competitive source of protein, for commodity markets.

A further eight ventures that are supported by the SETsquared Centres at Bath, Bristol and Exeter showcased their work, including ‘nu desine’, which makes the Alpha Sphere, a novel new musical instrument that brings the musician away from the computer, and back to the instrument.

Three of the SETsquared’s 52 current members are based at the renowned Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol and receiving business support from the SETsquared Centre, demonstrating the value being created at the interface of creative industries and high-technology.

Dr Neil Bradshaw, a director of the SETsquared Partnership, commented: ‘This is the best city and region in the country to create a technology company and the event shows how universities, large companies and investors are all coming together to help entrepreneurs make these businesses even more successful.’

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Innovation forum looks at the future of Integrated Transport

June 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Integrated Transport…what the future holds, Wed 29 June, 09:00 – 16:00,  Leigh Court, Bristol BS8 3RE

Within our complex transport infrastructure moving people, goods and data efficiently and securely, where are the upcoming opportunities for technology companies to engage? Specific areas of opportunity may include intelligent transport systems, goods handling and tracking, infrastructure management, marine systems, telemetry, security and safety and many more, and the SW Microelectronics iNet, in partnership with ESPKTN and NMI, is holding an innovation forum to bring together South West based Microelectronics companies to identify these opportunities and generate several project ideas that the iNet can directly support through feasibility study stage and beyond….

  • Receive exclusive access to bespoke research
  • Find new partners to collaborate with
  • Stay informed on future market directions
  • Identify new market opportunties
  • Extend your network and open up opportunties to gain new customers, employees, investors and advisors
  • Work with other members to access new services and facilities
  • Project ideas generated by the event will be eligible to apply for iNet funded support

Who should attend:

Transport companies, technology suppliers, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors or anyone passionate about identifying new opportunities in the South West.

Register here


09:00 – 09:30 Coffee and Registration

09:30 – 09:40 Welcome: Rick Chapman, Microelectronics iNet

09:40 – 10:25 Keynote Speaker: Professor Eric Sampson CBE, former DfT civil servant; Visiting Professor at Newcastle and City (London) Universities; Ambassador, and former Chairman, of ITS UK.

10:25 – 10:55 Talk 1: Stephen Hart, Technology Strategy Board

10:55 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 11:45 Talk 2: Glenn Lyons, Professor of Transport and Society at the University of the West of England

11:45 – 12:00 Workshop introduction

12:00 – 13:00 Workshop 1

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 14:30 Talk 3: Andy Graham, White Willow Consulting

14:30 – 15:30 Workshop 2

15:30 – 16:00 Wrap up & next steps

16:00 Close

SW Microelectronics iNet

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Bristol lawyers run IP and patent primer course free to iNet users

June 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Events, News 

“Have you got a patent for that?”, Bristol Thursday 30th June 2011, 13:00 – 17:30

Withers & Rogers is running a half-day intensive session takes a fresh, accessible, workshop-based approach to the issues of identifying and exploiting IP rights. The primer, supported by the SW Microelectronics iNet, is looks at the entire innovation process, from concept through to commercialisation and set out the context in which IP rights arise and how and why they are useful.
A series of interactive sessions will be run to heighten focus on key stages of the product development process. Content will include invention, design, branding, how best to exploit innovation, the sensitive issue of infringement and where to find financial support.
A number of formal presentations will be provided looking at patents and confidentiality; the differences between registered and unregistered designs; trade mark creation, clearance and registration; licensing, franchising, sale and assignment; IP litigation, in particular process and costs; and finally, access to finance and insurance.

The primer is intended to provide the knowledge required to protect investment in R&D and brand building activity so as to maximise revenue and is aimed at anyone within an innovative organisation wanting to achieve greater value from their innovation. The course is also suitable for anyone wanting to learn about or refresh their knowledge of intellectual property.

Detailed course materials will provide a useful take home reference guide to IP for future use.

How to appy?

Places are limited. Simply reply by email to mentioning SW Microelectronics iNet, and your place will be free or charge. Precise joining instructions and a map will be sent to you no later than one week prior to the event.


* 13:00pm Registration and coffee.
* 13:30pm What is Intellectual Property? Discover IP through three every day objects.
* 13:50pm The Innovation Process: Going from Concept to Commercialisation.
* 14:00pm Invention: Confidentiality and Patents – how they work.
* 14:40pm Design: Registered Designs, UDR and Copyright – what is the difference?
* 15:10pm Refreshment break.
* 15:25pm Branding: Trade mark creation, clearance and registration.
* 15:55pm Exploitation: licensing, franchising, sale and assignment.
* 16:20pm Enforcement: IP infringement issues & litigation.
* 16:55pm Financial support and reward: Access to finance, insurance and other
* 17:20pm Questions and answers session.
* 17:30pm Drinks & networking.

SW Microelectronics iNet

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