Scotland’s innovation centre for the internet of things (IoT) is to join a research and innovation hub at Heriot-Watt university.

CENSIS is to join the ‘GRID’ research facility in a move that aims to help Scottish businesses explore the wide range of opportunities presented through advanced digital technologies.

The new additional location for CENSIS will see the innovation centre increase its regional presence in Edinburgh and the Lothians through its first east coast ‘hub’ located at the university’s Riccarton Campus. 

The GRID facility was established to advance global research, innovation and discovery to solve industry challenges and drive the commercialisation of academic research.

Through the partnership, CENSIS will further support businesses and public sector organisations in the region to accelerate the development of new sensor and imaging-led products and services that contribute to Scotland’s economy. 

David Richardson, chief entrepreneurial executive of Heriot-Watt Enterprise, said: “CENSIS is a great supporter for companies aiming to develop or get started with IoT and sensing, and a natural fit for our GRID facility. Together, we aim to positively contribute to Scotland’s economy by encouraging further innovation in technologies that drive real-world impact for businesses and organisations.

“At Heriot-Watt, we have a long and proud track-record of delivering commercial, strategic and innovation support and taking world-leading research from lab to market. We’re committed to growing greater cohesion between academic research, business enterprise and entrepreneurial talent, which we’ve demonstrated by recently bolstering our commercialisation team.”

Paul Winstanley, CEO of CENSIS said: “Our new hub at Heriot-Watt University marks the beginning of another exciting chapter for CENSIS and comes as we celebrate our tenth anniversary in 2023. We have worked closely with the university’s academic partners throughout that decade, but having a permanent base at the campus will no doubt lead to greater collaboration and unlock further opportunities.

“By joining up academic expertise with Scottish businesses we can aid the development of even more technology-led processes and products that can boost efficiency, health and safety and even cut carbon emissions across a range of sectors.”

Sensing and imaging systems are used in a wide range of industries including health, social care, agriculture, security and manufacturing to gather information by detecting physical, chemical or biological signals and converting them into readable data. 

Scotland has a strong and growing reputation in sensing and IoT systems and it is estimated that the sector contributes more than £2.5bn per year to the Scottish economy as part of a global market worth over $600bn.

Heriot-Watt and CENSIS have worked together previously. Most recently, researchers and technology engineers delivered a sensing and IoT system that improves safety in dental surgeries by detecting airborne particles and contaminants that can lead to the transmission of infections such as Covid-19.