£10m Sensor Systems Innovation Centre for Scotland launched

A new £10 million innovation hub, which will bring together Scotland’s universities with industry partners was launched in Glasgow by Fergus Ewing, MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism.

‌‌‌CENSIS will exploit the commercial potential of Sensor and Imaging Systems (SIS) technology and support the generation of future significant economic growth for Scotland in this technology area. There are already around 140 companies working in SIS in Scotland, contributing around £2.5 billion per year to the Scottish economy.

CENSIS was developed following the principle of Scottish Enterprise’s ‘Sensor Systems Framework for Action’ which is also being launched at the same event.  CENSIS is the first major initiative in the sensors area between universities, companies and their customers during early stages of new product development.  This SE initiative highlights many areas where the public and private sectors can work together to strengthen and grow the company and research base in Scotland.

CENSIS is located at the University of Glasgow until Spring 2014 when it will move to the Inovo building at ITREZ, Scotland’s International Technology & Renewable Energy Zone in George Street, Glasgow. CENSIS is expected to deliver 150 collaborative research and development projects and bring new products to market over the course of its initial 5-year funding period.

SIS is a key enabling technology that is fundamental to a range of industrial sectors, including transport; defence; oil and gas; agriculture; built environment; life sciences and food and drink. The technology enables us to sense, measure, process, communicate and visualise data.  This data provides invaluable information which informs business decision making.

CENSIS will act as a single contracting point for companies to access SIS research capabilities in Scotland’s universities and research institutions. The approach will be to integrate communities of academic research and industry leaders to encourage large-scale, significant collaboration.  CENSIS will be business-focused and will reinforce Scotland’s potential as a world leader in SIS technologies.

Mr Fergus Ewing MSP said: “The global sensor systems technology market is due to be worth over $600 billion by 2015. Scotland is already at the forefront of this technology and, by bringing expertise together, CENSIS is ideally placed to continue the development of our broad and deep research capabilities. I believe that aligning activity within universities to address industry-defined needs gives us the potential for substantial future growth.”

Laurence Howells, Interim Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council said: “SFC’s £10 million investment in innovation for sensor and imaging technology will help solve technological challenges in medical diagnostics, drug discovery, intelligent transport systems, environmental monitoring and superfast broadband. The innovation created by universities and industry working together will create new high-tech jobs in Scotland and help transform our economy.”

Eleanor Mitchell, Director of Commercialisation, Scottish Enterprise, said: "Sensors and Imaging systems underpin many of Scotland’s engineering and industrial sectors and are the foundation of a diverse range of products and services. The Enterprise Agencies working in partnership with the Scottish Funding Council see Innovation Centres as important mechanisms to enable the transfer of this technology from academia to industry as a means ofcreating new products and services.

“Scottish Enterprise will provide support to businesses to bring the innovation to market and encourages all of Scotland's ambitious businesses to accelerate their growth through engagement with the Innovation Centres.

David Clark, CEO of CENSIS, said: “There is no doubt that we have a major challenge ahead of us – but the potential for economic growth in the SIS sector is enormous.  Scotland has the knowledge within its academic institutions, the capabilities within its industrial base and the collective ability to excel.  CENSIS will foster a new ‘coalition of the willing’ to deliver the growth that is within our reach.

Find out more


Media enquiries: nick.wade@glasgow.ac.uk / +44 (0)141 330 7126 

Notes for editors:

  • CENSIS is supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and is funded by the Scottish funding Council (SFC) http://www.censis.org.uk
  • CENSIS university partners are:
    • University of Glasgow
    • University of Aberdeen
    • University of Dundee
    • The University of Edinburgh
    • Glasgow Caledonian University
    • Heriot-Watt University
    • University of the Highlands and Islands
    • Robert Gordon University
    • University of St Andrews
    • University of Stirling
    • University of Strathclyde
    • University of the West of Scotland 

First published: 14 January 2014

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