Censis scores £9m public funding package

Ian Reid, chief executive of Censis, which has been awarded the funding package to continue its research. Picture: Contributed
Ian Reid, chief executive of Censis, which has been awarded the funding package to continue its research. Picture: Contributed
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Censis, the centre of excellence for sensing, imaging systems, and the internet of things (IoT), has received a £9.25 million public investment package to continue its work in the technology sector.

The Glasgow-based centre is set to receive £7.3m from the Scottish Funding Council, while Scottish Enterprise will supply £1.7m and Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to provide £250,000 as part of the five-year package.

Censis is targeting an additional £3m in third-party income, ranging from competitive programme calls to contributions from industry, to supplement the public funding.

The investment will be formally announced today by minister for trade, investment and innovation Ivan McKee during Censis’s annual Technology Summit at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall. The event will bring together some 400 delegates and 40 exhibitors from industry and academia.

Ian Reid, chief executive of Censis, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Censis and its partners in industry and academia to be involved in innovation in Scotland.

“This funding will allow us to build on the foundations set in place over the past five years, with a renewed sector focus on IoT infrastructure; digital manufacturing systems; the monitoring of the built and natural environment; and subsea, offshore, and marine activities.

“We’ll also be concentrating our efforts on projects where we can make both an economic and social impact, such as healthcare and independent living, the environment and precision agriculture.”

During its first five-year phase, Censis brokered 138 projects between industry and academics, worth a combined £17.3m, in sectors ranging from manufacturing and subsea to health and life sciences.

Censis played a key role in the genesis of the £6m Scottish Government-backed project IoT Scotland, as part of a consortium that launched Scotland’s first network in Glasgow in 2016, followed by test beds in Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, Orkney, and Inverness.

It has also collaborated with Scotland-based small businesses, such as Fuel Link and Beringar, to help them develop new IoT-based products for global markets.

The news comes in the same week as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced £5m funding for Interface, an organisation connecting companies with Scotland’s universities, research institutes and colleges, to continue to nurture links between research and innovation and industry.

An Interface review revealed it facilitated 196 first-time collaborations between businesses and academic institutions in the past year.

Chair of Interface’s strategic board Andrea Nolan said: “We have ambitious plans to increase business-academic collaborations and support the development of long-term partnerships to bring even greater benefits to Scotland’s economy.”