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Innovation Generation

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Student enterprise IoT workshops

CENSIS is running a pilot programme to help students find out if they have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Two workshops will challenge students to:

  • Think strategically
  • Identify problems that need solutions
  • Channel their entrepreneurial curiosity
  • Focus their energy

Students will work in teams to explore a set challenge and investigate potential innovations. Cash prizes are available to teams who present the best ideas.

Everyone who completes the workshop will receive a CENSIS Certificate of completion and a goody bag.

The first workshop was held over a weekend in Glasgow in November 2021 University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art students), and the second, held over a number of weeks in Aberdeen between January and April 2022, is an invitation only workshop for Robert Gordon University Computing Science students.

  • Where are the workshops being held?

    Workshops are non-residential and will be held on campus at:

    University of Glasgow/Glasgow School of Art
    November 2021

    Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
    Jan-April 2022

  • Who can apply for a workshop place?

    Aberdeen: This is an invitation only workshop for students studying at Robert Gordon University.

    Glasgow: This workshop was open to any undergraduate or taught postgraduate student. There were 50 places available, and the application was competitive.

    Students from any subject background could apply. The focus of the workshop is on new ideas and solving challenges, and while there will be a technology element to the programme, students did not need to have a technical background or be studying engineering or computer science to take part.

  • What will be covered in the workshop?

    In both workshops participants will explore:

    Innovation and business idea generation
    How to ask the right questions to generate innovative ideas

    Real world problem solving
    How to tackle real problems that don’t currently have solutions

    Team building/team working
    Understand how to build effective and high performing teams

    Prototyping and user testing
    How to develop and refine a business idea through engaging with the product or service and the customer

    Communicating and pitching ideas
    How to engage and persuade

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) team challenge

    Participants will work in teams based on a real-world problem issued by CivTech. CivTech is a Scottish Government programme that helps solve public sector challenges in collaboration with innovative businesses.

    The challenge will require you to explore potential technology solutions to a challenge based around the Internet of Things (IoT).

    The challenge:

    How do we better plan, manage and respond to the experiences of visitors and communities at visitor hotspots in rural, remote and other locations?

    The pandemic of the past year has disrupted much of life, including how people spend their leisure time. Restrictions on travel – especially internationally – have encouraged ‘staycations’ in the UK.

    Such restrictions mean that infrastructure designed for visitors and communities near to “visitor hotspots” in rural and remote areas can be overwhelmed, as was experienced throughout 2020.

    The resulting upsurge in local visits, especially for remote and rural communities, can offer advantages as it brings much needed revenue, and can help rebuild the local economy. But this change in people’s patterns of behaviour also puts real pressure on rural beauty spots.

    There have been many well-publicised incidents across the UK of the downside: ‘dirty camping’, uncontrolled campfires, BBQs left to smoulder, motorhomes accessing remote sites, traffic jams and illegal parking, anti-social behaviour, excessive noise, and littering are unfortunately common.

    In Scotland, it is anticipated that even beyond the lifting of Covid travel restrictions, there will be a permanent, sustained demand on infrastructure, teams, volunteers and resources. The experiences of visitors and residents are all impacted by public services that provide infrastructure for transport and parking, camping, littering and waste management, leisure, health and safety.

    There is an opportunity to devise new ideas and innovations to help in solving these issues thus help creating more positive experiences for visitors and local communities while also contributing to sustainable tourism and the wellbeing including economic benefits of rural and remote communities.

    These innovations may focus on such things as anticipating demand and planning for future visitor numbers; reacting to sudden increases in visitor numbers; and reacting to situations such as parking problems, camping, litter, fires, anti-social behaviour but you may have other, better ideas!

    CENSIS would like to thank CivTech for its generous support of this Innovation Generation weekend and allowing us to use one of their challenges.

  • About the Internet of Things (IoT)

    You will explore the Internet of Things (IoT) as a part of the workshop. You won’t need prior knowledge of IoT.

    At its simplest, IoT is the connection of physical objects that contain sensors and software to the internet. These devices can then communicate with each other and share data to make the physical ‘things’ smarter.

    IoT examples are everywhere around you – your phone is an IoT device and at home things like Alexa, FitBit or Ring are too. In business and industry IoT systems can be used everywhere – from traffic management to farming, from manufacturing to tourism.

    At its core, IoT helps organisations better understand their operations and shines a light on how well they are performing in real-time. It lets businesses ditch clipboards and manual checks to generate new efficiencies, whether that’s reducing costs or margins of error, managing supply chains, or even improving safety and security.

  • Prizes

    Cash prizes will be awarded at both workshops for the best team ideas.

    All participants will receive a CENSIS certificate of completion and a goody bag.

  • Privacy policy

    This event will be run by CENSIS in conjunction with consultants Dawn Shand and Jonathan Tait who will require to access the application data provided in order to deliver the workshop.

    The CENSIS Privacy policy can be found at

  • How to apply

    Applications are closed for the Glasgow workshop. The Aberdeen workshop in Jan-April 2022 is an invitation only event for students studying at RGU.