Smart grids and cloud computing set stage for growth

The latest information technologies being developed for business are being presented at the Digital World Event in Birmingham on Oct 19.

cloudsFrom a ‘PC on a stick’ to making the National Grid smarter, Science Capital is bringing together innovators and investors to look at starting new businesses in the fast-growing digital sector. Director Michael Overduin is assembling a team of investors and business experts to advise technology entrepreneurs.

In order to help combat increasing energy issues, Cisco is offering the smart grid system for optimising electricity transmission and distribution networks.

Cisco is the largest maker of computer-networking equipment and a producer of energy-monitoring devices.  According to solutions architect Stephen Goodman “Cisco’s solution enables enhanced visibility to network operators, allowing sensing control and automation throughout the electrical generation network”. Smart-grid technology is central to the £500 billion being spent on global transmission and distribution over the next 30 years according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

A convenient new cloud computing platform is being launched in partnership with Birmingham City University and African communications company, Econet, to offer a low-cost ‘Virtual PC’ to the masses. Chief technologist Anton Christodoulou says “the new platform enables people to access their personal desktop, applications, settings and files from any computer or mobile device, with or without Internet access, which synchronises seamlessly with the cloud when it is available. We wanted to create a system that was truly always available regardless of the quality of the Internet connection or the hardware used to access it, which is why we are rolling out simultaneously to students and teachers in the UK and consumers and small businesses in Africa.”

Our social lives are already managed via networks such as Facebook.  But Podnosh’s director Nick Booth believes social media are now central to success in every sector, including businesses.  He is developing exciting new approaches to provide understanding within and between organisations, and to promote sharing of data globally.

David Hardman, CEO of Birmingham Science Park Aston is developing ways to engage with entrepreneurs and high technology businesses to drive innovation across the region, including applications of communications platforms promoting science parks without walls.

SMEs are presenting business plans to a panel of experts from Advantage Creative Fund, Anthony Collins Solicitors, Blueberry Consultants, Marks&Clerk, Mercia Fund, Midven  and Talis, who are advising on intellectual property and business strategies.   Presenters include YEP media, which launches a new project this month to innovate the region’s approach to the use of digital media by creating new opportunities for independent producers.

This gathering of academic and business experts is organised by Science Capital, an independent non-profit organisation that is supported by Birmingham City Council. With the region’s melting-pot of talent coalescing into a global hub of digital collaboration, Birmingham is set to capitalise on its growing reputation for innovation.  A few places are still available for the event being held at Hotel du Vin Birmingham, details are at