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Innovation Generation

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Student enterprise IoT workshops

In 2021/22, CENSIS delivered a pilot programme to help students find out if they have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Working in teams, two workshops challenged students to think strategically, identify and solve problems and channel their entrepreneurial curiosity. Cash prizes were given to teams who presented the best ideas and everyone who completed the workshop receive a certificate of completion and a goody bag.

  • Where were the workshops held?

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

  • Who could apply?

    Aberdeen: an invitation only workshop for Robert Gordon University students.

    Glasgow: open to any undergraduate or taught postgraduate student. There were 50 places, and the application was competitive. Students from any subject background could apply. Students did not need to have a technical background or be studying engineering or computer science to take part.

  • What was covered?

    In both workshops participants explored:

    • 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
  • IoT team challenge

    Participants worked in teams on a IoT challenge provided by CivTech in 2021: 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 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, 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 thanks CivTech for its support of Innovation Generation including allowing the use of one of its challenges.

  • About the Internet of Things (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 were awarded at both workshops for the best team ideas. All participants received a certificate of completion and a goody bag.

  • Privacy policy

    This event was run by CENSIS in conjunction with consultants Dawn Shand and Jonathan Tait. The CENSIS Privacy policy can be found at

  • How to apply

    These workshops have finished and there are no current plans for new dates or locations.