February 11th 2020 | Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

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Professor Roger Halliday, Chief Statistician & Data Officer, Scottish Government

The Chief Statistician and Data Officer, Roger Halliday, has overall responsibility for the coordination and implementation of professional standards that help maintain trustworthiness in the use of data, its quality and delivers improved outcomes for people in Scotland.

Peter Brown, Group Manager (Technology) Information Commissioner's Office

Peter is Group Manager (Technology) at the ICO. He leads a team of technical specialists responsible for delivering expertise in technologies and information security at the ICO. His role involves monitoring and researching the technological environment for new and emerging developments that may impact on information rights, providing advice and guidance to the ICO on technology issues (particularly cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and online tracking), and producing specialist guidance for organisations at UK and European levels.

Prior to joining the ICO, Peter was responsible for information technology and network security at a specialist consultancy. He was responsible for implementing the company’s data protection policy and procedures as part of its involvement in European projects.

Polly Purvis, Chair of CodeClan, Director at IGS

Polly is Chair of CodeClan and Director at leading Scottish agritech business, IGS. 

Previously CEO of ScotlandIS, she spent the last twenty years working with technology companies large and small, and as a member of the SICSA Advisory Board has strong connections to the research base. She is also a member of the Regional Enterprise Council for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

Polly is passionate about digital technologies and led ScotlandIS's contribution to the joint RSE/SCDI/ScotlandIS report : Building an inclusive AI and Data Strategy for Scotland.  Her new role at IGS provides insights into the practical applications of AI, robotics and IoT in the fast developing world of agritech.  


Jane Morrison-Ross Chief Executive, ScotlandIS

A focused, energetic and innovative CEO, Jane has a strong track record in digital transformation.  Jane is passionate about the international opportunities for ScotlandIS members, creating 'one window' to the Scottish digital technology industries and opening up global channels to market.

Jane will lead ScotlandIS through its next phase of development and evolution, building on the strong foundations in place and continuing to focus on what our members want.

Keith Dargie, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

Keith joined COPFS as the Director of IT in 2013.  He has extensive experience in senior IT management and executive roles held in a number of government organisations.  He has leadership responsibility for delivering and developing wide ranging IT and digital services to COPFS staff located in offices throughout Scotland and to external customers and stakeholders.  Keith has developed IT and digital strategies and delivered a range of profile business transformation, corporate and legislative initiatives over the course of his career.  Keith’s current priorities include implementing COPFS’ digital strategy, which aims to further digitally transform the delivery of user focused services and improve the way the organisation works.  Keith is a member of the senior programme delivery board responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Scottish Government’s Justice Digital Strategy.  Keith previously worked in senior IT management positions at National Records of Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland.

Kenny Higgins, Director Smart Village Scotland

Director of Smart Village Scotland

Ken is the creator of Smart Village Scotland, which is a bottom-up approach on Community, Tourism and Business Enterprise Development in Rural Scotland. The project includes a Digital Portal for each Smart Village, providing links to a wide range of information such as; weather, storm, flooding, road closure updates and transport links. Rural Health and Care advice is included with links to local events, a business directory and Tourism guide. A Technology section offers links to IOT and AI innovation. Ken is former head of Wireless Data with BT and is a multi-award winner on Innovation such as his River Level Monitoring and Flood Warning System used throughout the UK. Smart Village Scotland has recently partnered with GrowBiz Scotland.

Gus Niven, Intelligent Automation Manager, Edinburgh City Council

Gus heads up the Intelligent Automation team providing Robotic Automation Processing and process improvement across the Council. Established in March 2018, the team has been one of the most successful public sector RPA programmes in the United Kingdom. Gus' career has spanned several industries with one common thread - a focus on continuous improvement, productivity and efficiency. The recent years have seen a move towards leveraging technology to deliver sustainable transformative change.

Rachel Statham, Economic Analyst, IPPR

Rachel is an Economic Analyst at IPPR - the progressive policy think tank. Her work has focussed on how Scotland’s productivity strategy can deliver inclusive growth, the impact of automation on women, and what the digital revolution in finance means for economic justice. She is particularly interested in how the benefits of automation can be more broadly shared - particularly in Scotland’s low wage sectors - and how to widen access to access to good new jobs.  She joined IPPR in 2018, having previously worked in political campaigning and the social enterprise sector, and works across IPPR Scotland and IPPR’s Centre for Economic Justice.

Paul Winstanley, Chief Executive Officer, Censis

Paul is the CEO of CENSIS, the innovation centre for sensing, imaging systems and internet of things. He is an entrepreneurial technologist with a substantial track record for applying innovation across multiple market sectors spanning academia, government, SMEs. 

Dr David Lowe, Consultant in Emergency Medicine

David leads a portfolio of projects centred on unscheduled care and specifically data, devices and decisions. His research focuses on decision-making within acute care and the interface between data, the clinician and the patient. He is the clinical lead for data-driven solutions for a range of conditions including trauma, COPD and chest pain to support and enhance clinical decision-making and operational efficiency. David is leading the development of delivery of the trauma app an innovative approach to clinical decision support for teams caring for patients with major trauma.

Professor Emma Hart , Head of Nature-Inspired Intelligent Systems Group, Edinburgh Napier University.

Her group takes inspiration from processes observed in natural systems to build computational systems that are capable of intelligent problem solving – tackling problems that range from optimising processes in the logistics and workforce management sectors, through engineering design (for example of robots and buildings), informing forest management practices through intelligent wind-damage prediction, to enabling groups reach socially beneficial outcomes, e.g. by reducing energy consumption.

Prof. Hart is the co-lead of the Artificial Intelligence theme within SICSA (Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance), a government funding pooling initiative of computer science departments in Scotland, and a member of the  new Steering Committee that is currently developing an AI Strategy for Scotland, an initiative chaired by the Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes.  She is the Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Evolutionary Computation, which focuses on optimisation and learning methods.

Janice Preston, Head of Services for Scotland, Macmillan Scotland

Janice is a nurse by background and has 17 years experience within the NHS and 16 years of experience working within Macmillan in the 3rd sector. Janice has a long track record of introducing innovation into practice across the health & care sector and describes herself as ‘a dog with a bone’  when it comes to ensuring proven innovative practice is embedded and sustained across care pathways. To this end, she has led multi-agency partnerships, which have co-design and client engagement at their core, and have and are delivering a spread of new person-centred practice at scale.

Currently, everyone in Scotland has access to Macmillan benefit services face to face in addition to the Macmillan helpline and a new partnership with Scottish government and key partners, transforming cancer care, will see the spread of learning from improving the cancer journey and transforming cancer care – 2 programmes of work set to transform cancer care for everyone in Scotland. Janice feels appreciative of the creative and passionate individuals who work in Scotland and who support Macmillan in developing solutions for the future and making them happen.

She is people orientated and looks to find value in integrated working and using technology to then support teams which cross traditional care boundaries. She is also leading for Macmillan on person-centred approaches which are enabled by technology

Dr Kean Lee Kang, Lecturer in Data Science, Abertay University

Kean Lee is an aerospace engineer-scientist by training. After completing a PhD at the National University of Singapore, he worked for the multinational aerospace company Airbus in the area of computational fluid dynamics, developing advanced technologies for laminar-turbulent transition control, including a collaboration with the joint European Union-Russia BUTERFLI project. He recently made a career pivot towards data science and machine learning, leading development of the computational models at Abertay University that allow optimisation and predictive analytics of cancer patient service provision in light of future scenarios. Furthermore, he is responsible for the architecture of a novel artificial intelligence solution that recommends social care services to clients based on their holistic needs assessment results. This digital tool development is a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and the Digital Health and Care Institute, who facilitate a co-design process in dialogue with the cancer community in the United Kingdom.

Debbie Collins, Finance Director, Blackwood Homes and Care

Debbie is the Finance Director of Blackwood Homes and Care. A Chartered Management Accountant with over 20 years’ finance experience working across many industries, she brought her previous experience as Finance and Commercial Director for SB Cares, an adult social care provider in the Scottish Borders, and as a non-executive Director for Trust Housing. Debbie has a wealth of experience in the third sector at senior levels.

Debbie oversees Blackwood’s Finance and Business Solutions teams and is responsible overall for IT services and customer facing digital projects working within Blackwood's long term goals of independent living through digital innovation.

Debbie has extensive experience in financial management, team building, a strong commitment to innovation and the ability to build strong relationships.

Dr Katrin Lohan, Associate Professor, School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University

Katrin Lohan is Professor for Robotics and Automation at the Institute for Development of Mechatronic Systems (EMS) at the University of Applied Sciences in Technology (NTB) in Buchs, Switzerland since 2019 and she is an Associate Professor at the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University where she joined in 2013. She is Director of the Social Robotics Group, and she is a member of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics at Heriot-Watt University. Previously, she was working at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) as a Post Doc in the RobotDoc project funded by a Marie Curie RTN. 

She obtained her Ph.D. in Engineering from Bielefeld University, Germany in 2012, where she also worked as an RA in the ITALK project. 

Her main research interests are inspired by developmental robotics to allow for a natural interaction with a robot. From this natural interactions, robots shall learn semantics about objects, both through vision and speech.

Guy Kirkwood, Chief Evangelist, UiPath

Guy Kirkwood is Chief Evangelist at UiPath, the leading RPA vendor. He has 20 years' experience in outsourcing and a particular interest in the future of shared services and BPO. He is a writer and presenter on RPA, cognitive and AI.

Andrew Dean, Sales Director, OCF Limited

Andrew has always had a keen interest in IT and Technology and has worked with OCF since joining in 2007. Initially OCF sponsored Andrew through the IBM Storage Academy graduate program following his graduation from the University of Aberystwyth. Starting out supporting the sales team as a Pre-Sales Engineer then managing the OCF Pre-Sales team and later going on to be a Business Development Manager. Following a Management Buyout in 2019 Andrew is now a director of OCF and working hard to ensure OCF is ready to support customers in their adoption of AI technologies.

Emily Barrett, AI & HPC Architect, Lenovo

Emily Barrett is a Systems Architect working for Lenovo, specialising in AI and High Performance Computing. Emily helps clients at all points on their AI journey, from seasoned AI developers to those working out their first use cases, to reach their goals.

Tikiri Wanduragala, Senior Consultant specializing in Server Systems, Lenovo

Tikiri Wanduragala is a Senior Consultant specializing in x86 systems. With over 30+ years of experience in the IT industry, he worked in a number of international roles with PC and server vendors covering Applications, Systems Development and Product and Brand Management.

In his current role at Lenovo, Tikiri is advising customers in EMEA on data center transformation & optimisation projects and adoption of new technologies.

Tikiri has rich speaking experience at number technology and business conferences across the EMEA region hosted by, VMware, Gartner, IBM, Microsoft etc.

John Zurowski, Project Manager, iCAIRD

John brings over 30 years of experience from the software development industry working both in the UK and overseas. The work ranged from technologies for publishing, internet browsing and multimedia through to advanced visualisation of radiology images and clinical information. For 11 years John had been involved in developing technologies that are aimed at improving the management and presentation of clinical imaging at Canon Medical Research Europe. There his roles ranged from engineering team lead through to project management and eventually settling into product analysis of new areas of clinical interest for Canon Medical. His current role at iCAIRD is to facilitate and promote all the consortium work streams to deliver ground breaking AI technology that aims to improve patient outcomes through improvements in digital diagnostics