The South of England is the home to an eclectic array of successful science and technology businesses; from start-ups through to industry-leading multinationals, The University of Southampton Science Park has got them all.
The Science Park’s entrepreneurial and visionary outlook makes it a perfect sponsor for the South Coast Tech Awards, as it nurtures businesses in its community-centred ecosystem, facilitating innovation in an award winning and healthy environment.
Dr Robin Chave, operations director at Southampton Science Park chatted to us about encouraging more tech-start ups to get innovative and attend the South Coast Tech Awards.
1. Could you tell me more about Southampton Science Park?
Southampton Science Park is a 72 acre site where technology businesses can thrive and prosper. It has a real community feel about it and is one of the key hubs for technology in the South Coast Region. We currently have around 100 technology businesses based here, with over 1,300 highly skilled staff employed at the Park.
2. Why have you chosen to sponsor the South Coast Tech Awards?
There is an excellent alignment between the SCTA and what we do at the Science Park. We’re all about the commercialisation of technology and the encouragement of start- up companies. All the award categories have relevance to us and we agreed it was an obvious decision.
3. How will the Tech Awards be beneficial for the region?
Encouraging technology and entrepreneurship in the region at every opportunity is very important as the South Coast has a huge potential for technological and innovative growth. I believe the South Coast Tech Awards will be contributing to that potential and boosting the region further.
4. How do you think technology will change in the next five years?
I think there are some exciting developments in technology on the horizon, especially with artificial intelligence and big data. It’s been talked about for many years, but I think companies are only now starting to implement AI in a way that sees a real benefit.
Autonomous vehicles are also another area developing fast. Although we probably won’t see much real change in the next five years, it is coming. Medical technology is also hugely important, and we are starting to see personalised medicine coming out of extensive genome research.
5. What is your favourite development in technology over the past 10 years?
Cloud computing would probably have to be the most useful. The ability to hold your data and access it wherever you are has certainly changed the way we all work and allows everyone to be more flexible. It is not without its challenges in terms of data security, but being able to access your data, whether at work, at home, or on the move has been so convenient.
6. What tech gadget couldn’t you live without and why?
Well the obvious answer would have to be my smartphone. It’s at the centre of everyone’s life nowadays. It’s my satnav, inbox, source of news, music player, camera, calculator, bank and, of course, it makes phone calls too. I couldn’t see myself looking back.
For more information about the South Coast Tech Awards, including how to apply, please visit: https://southcoasttechawards.co.uk