Food and drink industry gathers at event to explore IoT use across its supply chain

Michael Fletcher, Business Development Director at CENSIS

Representatives from across the Scottish food and drink industries gathered at West Brewery in Glasgow on Thursday to explore the potential use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology across its supply chain.

Hosted by CENSIS, Scotland’s centre of excellence for sensor and imaging systems and IoT, the latest FutureTech seminar will focus on designing IoT into real world industry projects. Following the event, CENSIS will look to help develop viable project ideas that come from discussions with advice and funding. 

Speakers include sector specialists Graham Young, industry development director at Scotland Food & Drink, and Kirsty Wainwright, production manager at The Glenmorangie Company.

Delegates will look at how IoT can be integrated into the food and drink supply chain. The technology could impact everything from the health of livestock, which can be monitored using sensors, to collecting information about food compliance and safety through data analytics.

Michael Fletcher, Business Development Director at CENSIS, said: “Food and drink is worth an estimated £14 billion to Scotland’s economy, but there is even greater potential in the sector if we can use new and innovative technologies. 

“From production to manufacturing to sales, the whole industry stands to benefit from increased connectivity. Whether it’s monitoring crop growth to maximise yield or using data analytics on the factory floor to increase packaging efficiency, every rung of the ladder can be improved with IoT.

“We have delegates joining us from across the different food and drink sectors in Scotland which shows that there’s a strong appetite among businesses to learn more about this technology and the opportunities it offers the industry.”

The workshop is part of a wider programme of business support commissioned by the Scottish Government and delivered by CENSIS to explore and support the use of IoT in Scotland’s key economic sectors. The first workshop, which focused on applying IoT in transport, was held in Edinburgh in June. Further workshops on tourism and health are planned for later in 2019.

The programme will also include a number of IoT technology development starter kits, aimed at businesses without in-house expertise, along with two ‘how-to’ guides to educate and inform organisations about getting started with IoT and the importance of IoT cybersecurity. 

Graham Young, Industry Development Director at Scotland Food & Drink, added: “Exploring innovation to improve processes and efficiency is a part of Scotland Food & Drink’s Ambition 2030 strategy, which aims to increase the value of the industry to £30 billion by 2030.

“Bringing together such a range of businesses from different stages of the supply chain is really useful in helping us to understand how IoT can be a part of that effort.”