10 December 2019

Glasgow & Clyde Valley

Venue: Scottish Enterprise, Strathclyde Business Park, New Lanarkshire House, 1 Dove Wynd, Bellshill

Time: 10:00 to 13:00

Data, data everywhere – can you make it work for you?

Do you know what data you need to analyse in order to improve your line productivity?

Have you thought of digitisation technologies to improve engagement with your consumers?

Would you like mathematical modelling demystified so you can use it to make decisions?

Do you need to predict scenarios with confidence?

This FREE event is aimed at food and drink businesses at all stages of development from vibrant early-stage enterprises through to established manufacturing SMEs. With follow up support from the Make Innovation Happen Team, this event is designed to inspire you to consider where, how and when you can make data and data-based technologies work for your food and drink business.

Algorithms, blockchain, mathematical modelling, machine learning, artificial intelligence… all are processes and technologies that can be daunting for SMEs in the food and drink sector but we are increasingly seeing the emergence of food businesses tapping into food service or direct to the consumer markets through back of house ICT solutions that can intelligently target customers for repeat purchases and bespoke late customisation of products. Equally, food and drink manufacturing businesses need to be able to predict scenarios for production and for enabling consumers to engage with their food provenance. As a result, data-related technologies have a role to play in predicting new or variable opportunities and have a place in confident stockpiling and production scheduling, as solutions to smart tracking through the supply chain. Importantly, they are critical in extending the provenance experience to the consumer who may be geographically remote from the point of production.

Data analytics is just another core tool for those outward-looking businesses with a focus on growth and is key to smart decision making and engagement with customers and consumers. It’s time to demystify the perception that data and digital technologies are only for large enterprises! Whether you are the business owner, the production manager or have responsibility for consumer engagement this event is for you.

Make Innovation Happen has invited inspiring speakers from your industry and academia to share insights on how your business can gain an advantage through data analytics. Our three speakers, including a case study from Borders Distillery, will guide attendees through available expertise and resources. The event provides an excellent networking opportunity with fellow SMEs.

Speaker Details

Professor Rachel Norman

Professor of Food Security and Sustainability at University of Stirling

Rachel will present relevant food supply chain projects where she has used data science techniques to solve problems. ranging from sensor data to improve productivity in pig farming and the development of an algorithm to automate and optimise customer orders for a company with a complex business model. She has a degree in Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematical Biology from Liverpool University. She has worked in the Computing Science and Mathematics department in Stirling for more than 20 years, but her research has always involved applying mathematics to solving biological problems. Originally, she worked on models of disease dynamics and control, particularly in wildlife or agricultural species. In 2013 she took up the food security role and since then has worked on research related to the food system. Rachel leads the University-wide interdisciplinary research programme in Global Food Security which includes colleagues who work in aquaculture, psychology, marketing, sports science, social sciences and environmental science.

John Fordyce and Drew Lyall

Co-Founder and Director, The Borders Distillery and Arc-Net respectively

John and Drew will present their case study on how digital transformation is embedded in The Borders Distillery both in the distilling hall and in the provenance of the final product. John joined J&P Coats Ltd in 1984 and worked in Brazil, Portugal, Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand and Venezuela in sales and marketing roles within the Industrial Division. In 1994, John joined Wm. Grant & Sons and three years later he moved to Hong Kong to run the Asia Pacific business for Grant’s. In 1998 he joined the board of WGS International and became a director of William Grant’s. Whilst in Hong Kong, John served as the head of the Scottish Business Group. In 2004 John moved to Portugal where he ran his own business developing premium wine and olive oil brands returning to Scotland in 2012 to establish, with three friends, the Three Stills Company which in 2015 completed a raise of £10m for the first malt whisky distillery to be built in the Scottish Borders since 1837. The Distillery began operation in 2018 and is open to the public. The distillery has now achieved a five-star accreditation from Visit Scotland, won the 2018 Architectural Journal Heritage Award and in 2019 was awarded a Civic Trust Award for the Built Environment. All their distillers act as guides giving the visitor a personal insight into the workings of the Distillery. John is a Board member of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

Craig Paterson

The Data Lab

Craig is a strategy advisor and coach with specialisms in Business, Data and Digital strategy development and execution.

He is Executive Education Advisor at The Data Lab, where he develops and delivers interactive sessions that allows attendees to improve their understanding of the business opportunity presented by the use of data and AI, arming them with pragmatic insights to apply when they return to work.

In the last 2-years, Craig has worked with over 100 organisations to help them drive value from their investments in data and AI. He also has over 20 plus years of experience in Financial Services and Utilities.

Craig is particularly interested in strategy, leadership and ethics and how these play a part in delivering benefits. When his daughter asks him what he does, he says, “I help make Scotland famous for data.”

Rachel Mirfattahi

Sector Engagement Executive at Interface

A graduate from Reading University, Rachel worked for several years as a Food Technologist working in development for Jus-Rol and Grampian Country Foods. She then directed her knowledge of the industry to join Oracle, where she spent 15 years delivering training and consultancy on their specification and recipe management system "Creations". Rachel then joined the Scotland Food and Drink Skills Academy working with food and drink SMEs on training and skills development before joining Interface as Sector Engagement Executive. She is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Rachel will provide examples of how food and drink enterprises can benefit from expertise available within our Scottish universities to drive forward innovative thinking around their workforce management.

Event Programme

10.00 Arrival and refreshments

10.30 Welcome and Introduction

Helen Glass, SAOS

10.40 – 11.00

Professor Rachel Norman, University of Stirling

11.00 – 11.30 Digital Transformation in Practice - Industry Case Study

John Fordyce, The Borders Distillery and Drew Lyle, Arc-Net

11.30 – 12.00

Speaker to be confirmed

12.00 – 12.45 Understanding Your Data Capabilities

A taster session on demystifying your data related challenge

Craig Paterson, The Data Lab

12.45 – 1pm - Make Innovation Happen speaker

1pm - Buffet Lunch and Networking