CENSIS, Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing, imaging systems, and IoT technologies, has appointed entrepreneurial technologist Paul Winstanley as its new chief executive.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Winstanley has held senior positions across hi-tech organisations in the US and UK, covering sectors ranging from defence and security to medical and transport.

Winstanley began his career as a research scientist with the Ministry of Defence before rising through the ranks to become chief executive and president of QinetiQ’s North American operation in 2007.

Since 2010, he has held a series of board and non-executive appointments at organisations such as the UK Defence Solutions Centre, Reliance High Technology, and BHR Group. In 2012 Winstanley co-founded big data consultancy Alazen, where he was chief executive. He has substantial international experience, along with skills in capital raising and realising value from technology.

Winstanley will take up his new role in January from Ian Reid, CENSIS’s current chief executive. Reid is standing down after five years of leading the centre, which was recently award £9.25m from the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise for its second five-year phase.

The public investment will seek to cement Scotland’s position as a leader in cutting-edge technology and is expected to be supplemented by another £3m in third-party income – ranging from competitive programme calls to contributions from industry.

“This is an exciting time to join CENSIS as the team embarks on its second phase with a reinvigorated focus and energy,” said Winstanley.

“The innovation centre’s strength undoubtedly rests in the broad spectrum of sectors it touches, many of which play a crucial role in Scotland’s economy and have huge potential – digital enablement and the growth of the Internet of Things, subsea and marine activities, manufacturing, and healthcare to name but a few.

“Ian has done an excellent job of making CENSIS the go-to innovation partner for businesses of all sizes in Scotland and I look forward to building on that solid foundation.”

Ian Reid added: “The last five years have been about establishing CENSIS as a trusted partner which can bridge the gap between industry and academia – a fact reflected in the 150-plus projects we have brokered in that time.

“It’s been a memorable period in my career and I’m very grateful to the many businesses, researchers and public sector partners we have worked with over the years. With his breadth of experience, Paul is the ideal person to take CENSIS forward in phase two and I wish him and all of the team the very best for the future.”