As a fairly un-techy person immersed in an overwhelmingly techy environment here at the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA), I’m constantly amazed (and occasionally mind-boggled) by some of the innovative research happening within our 14 member institutions. Our researchers across Scotland are working on problems that can be applied to many aspects of our society. I think a great many of us less techy folks tend to take for granted the digital systems we rely on from the moment we get up until the time we go to bed; and given the prevalence of technology in our daily lives and the exponential growth of the sector, Informatics and Computer Science research has never been more relevant to us.
It’s essential then that our research doesn’t exist within a bubble – locked away behind the doors of our Universities. For many of our researchers, it is highly important that they can find opportunities to apply their research in real-world scenarios and this might take many forms – from involving the public in experiments; to collaborative work with the commercial or public sectors; or starting off a successful new business and launching a product that might just change all of our lives!
To help facilitate these interactions, SICSA runs DemoFest each autumn, in collaboration with ScotlandIS (Scotland’s trade body for ICT). This flagship event comprises a large space, in one of our great cities, crammed full of the best of current Scottish Computer Science and Informatics research and technology; together with over 250 academics, technologists and business people, all exchanging ideas and opportunities. The event is a huge amount of fun - I’ve witnessed dancing robots, senior academics riding (and falling off) hover-boards and a rather humorous hacked talking-doll to name a few things. But DemoFest is also a great opportunity for your business or organisation to come along and get behind the doors of the Scottish institutions and see research that is at the cutting-edge. Our exhibitors will talk about their research, tell you why it’s important to your organisation, and will demonstrate their technology working in real-time. There’ll be some high profile keynotes this year on hot topics (such as security, data analytics, and improving the user experience), and we’ll also have involvement from the Scottish Innovation Centres, such as The Data Lab, CENSIS and the Digital Health and Care Institute. Our 2017 event will be held at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh on 3rd October 2017 from 4-7pm. Full details of the programme will be available shortly at http://www.sicsa.ac.uk/demofest and registration will open in June. Make sure you register early, since it is very popular. We look forward to seeing you there!
Steven Kendrick is the Executive Officer for the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA), which represents all 14 Scottish HE Computing Schools/Departments. Steven is responsible for all aspects of the operational management of the Research Pool.