Join Yorkshire’s top innovators as they answer our big data questions

You’re invited to join Yorkshire’s top innovators at Nexus on Wednesday 13 October as they get together to find solutions to big data challenges posed by industry leaders.

The interactive, in-person event, hosted in collaboration with our strategic partners KPMG, will focus on two key challenges presented by our guest challenge owners Northern Gas Networks and NHS Digital. Specialists across the data, AI, digital and sustainability spheres will then combine their expertise to find solutions.

Three people listening intently

Steve Blacker, KPMG Tax Partner and innovation specialist, told us what to expect.


What will be the aim of the Innovation Cluster Challenges Workshop?

It’s a great opportunity to get some of our top innovators together, not only to explore solutions to two specific challenges, but also to cement relationships, build networks and stimulate growth for our regional economy.

Our region has a very distinct specialism in the AI and data sphere and this event will be a clear demonstration of that and the real spirit of shared insights and collaboration which exists across our innovation ecosystem.

Our first innovation cluster event took place in Sheffield some 18 months ago, attracting 120 companies in the advanced manufacturing sector and generating new commercial relationships, research partnerships and funding for many of the participants.

We anticipate the same traction and positive commercial outcomes for the Nexus event, with a clear focus on data and sustainability solutions which will benefit our economy and society.


Who should attend?

Anyone who either has an interest or specialism in AI and data solutions, or who is integral to the innovation ecosystem in our region.

We have already attracted interest from a number of data specialists and international tech companies, as well as private equity and other funding providers.

Innovate UK and British Business Bank will be there; brilliant academic minds from the University will be there; collaboration and commercial specialists from Nexus and KPMG will be there – all ready to add their expertise and support.


What are you looking to see from the solution providers?

Active curiosity, informed questions and a real willingness to share new thinking and insights. They will have experience in, or a clear appetite for, collaborative working to find the answers to big questions posed by industry and industry’s role and impact on society.

I want them to show that you don’t have to go to a major tech headquarters in the U.S. to solve those issues – working together, they can enhance and adapt their offer to provide the solutions right here.

A person giving business advice to another person

Our challenge owners gave us a flavour of the two issues they will outline to the workshop:


Nic Fox, Chief Commercial Officer, NHS Digital:

What is your challenge?

How can we measure the carbon impact of our supply chain of the digital and technology goods and services we consume?


Why is it a challenge for your organisation/sector and wider society?

Our teams design, develop and operate the national IT and data services that support clinicians at work, help patients get the best care, and use data to improve health and care. Our supply chain is vast and diverse – from SMEs to the world’s largest tech companies. The products and services they work with us on provide a multitude of outcomes – from access to citizen facing clinical apps to large scale data management supporting research and NHS planning.

It is absolutely vital that we are able to accurately assess the environmental impact of all those services through our supply chain and support NHS England’s Greener NHS strategy and targets.


What will be the outcome of the event for the participants?

Well of course it would be great if we can walk away with mature examples of how supply chains measure carbon impact. Realistically, we anticipate some extremely helpful dialogue and collaborative thinking, which will give us a new direction and pathway to explore.

We also hope it will create a much greater awareness and understanding of the challenges faced in NHS procurement and other service-based organisations, where it is often difficult to get truly robust data on carbon footprint and honest feedback on the impact of supply chains.


Matthew Little, Innovation, Improvement and Information Group (3iG) Director, Northern Gas Networks:

What is your challenge?

There are two challenges we’re putting to the workshop audience:

  1. How can we more accurately predict where gas escapes could occur
  2. How can we combine multiple data to predict where water could get into our gas mains


Why are these challenges for your organisation/sector and wider society?

At the heart of NGN’s strategy is our desire to deliver an affordable and reliable energy supply for the benefit of our customers in a sustainable way.

We’re committed to keeping the gas supply flowing to the millions of customers that we serve throughout the North of England, providing the best customer experience and keeping costs down for our customers.

Intelligent data about where gas escapes are likely to occur on our network helps us to target our investment and resources where it will deliver greatest benefit.

Water making its way into our gas mains is one of the main causes of loss of supply. Intelligent data can help us to understand where our network is most vulnerable to water damage so that we can invest in prevention measures and minimise the risk of water entering our pipes. As climate change brings more unpredictable weather and increased flooding, the value of precise data to predict outcomes becomes more important than ever.


What will be the outcome of the event for the participants?

I hope they will the find the challenges interesting, that they will spark insightful debates and innovative thinking and that they will really value the opportunity to address a real-world problem, which affects everyone’s lives. Thankfully, most people will never experience an interruption to their gas supply in their lifetimes, but data provides us with essential insights to inform how we run our network in a way that provides the greatest benefit for our customers.

Find out more and register for the event.