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1 day

Insight to Foresight: Smart Planning for Food and Drink Companies

Conferences & seminars

Data, data everywhere – can you make it work for you?

Do you know what data you need to analyse in order to improve your line productivity?

Have you thought of digitisation technologies to improve engagement with your consumers?

Would you like mathematical modelling demystified so you can use it to make decisions?

Do you need to predict scenarios with confidence?


Then join us for the next Make Innovation Happen Event on Wednesday 12 February 2020, to find out how food and drink companies can become confident in turning data into sales.


This FREE event is aimed at food and drink businesses at all stages of development from vibrant early stage enterprises through to established manufacturing SMEs. With follow up support from the Make Innovation Happen Team, this event is designed to inspire you to consider where, how and when you can make data and data-based technologies work for your food and drink business.

Algorithms, blockchain, mathematical modelling, machine learning, artificial intelligence… all are processes and technologies that can be daunting for SMEs in the food and drink sector.

Make Innovation Happen has invited inspiring speakers from your industry and academia to share insights on how your business can gain an advantage through data analytics. Our three speakers, including a case study from Borders Distillery, will guide attendees through available expertise and resources. The event provides an excellent networking opportunity with fellow SMEs.

It’s easy to register, just click here and we’ll keep you up to date with reminders.


Speaker Details:

Professor Rachel Norman, Professor of Food Security and Sustainability at University of Stirling

Rachel will present relevant food supply chain projects where she has used data science techniques to solve problems. Ranging from sensor data to improve productivity in pig farming and the development of an algorithm to automate and optimise customer orders for a company with a complex business model.

She leads the University wide interdisciplinary research programme in Global Food Security which includes colleagues who work in aquaculture, psychology, marketing, sports science, social sciences and environmental science to name but a few.


John Fordyce, Co-Founder and Director, The Borders Distillery and Drew Lyall, Arc-Net

John and Drew will present their case study on how digital transformation is embedded in The Borders Distillery both in the distilling hall and in the provenance of the final product.

The Distillery began operation in 2018 and is open to the public. The distillery has now achieved a five-star accreditation from Visit Scotland, won the 2018 Architectural Journal Heritage Award and in 2019 was awarded a Civic Trust Award for the Built Environment. All their distillers act as guides giving the visitor a personal insight into the workings of the Distillery. John is a Board member of the South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

Craig Paterson, The Data Lab

Craig is a strategy advisor and coach with specialisms in Business, Data and Digital strategy development and execution. At The Data Lab Craig is Executive Education Advisor where he develops and delivers interactive sessions that allow attendees to improve their understanding of the business opportunity presented by the use of data and AI, arming them with pragmatic insights to apply when they return to work. 

Craig is particularly interested in strategy, leadership and ethics and how these play a part in delivering benefits. When his daughter asks him what he does, he says, “I help make Scotland famous for data.”

Caroline MacLellan, Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Caroline works for HIE’s Innovation Team with a specialism in the Food and Drink Sector.  Her role is to support companies in the HIE area who wish to innovate as well as taking a role as a connector with the Make Innovation Happen Service and is the Fund Manager for the Make Innovation Happen Collaboration Fund. 

Caroline has been working with HIE since 1999 to support businesses to achieve their growth ambitions.

Event details


Wed, Feb 12, 2020 | 1 day event | 10:00 - 13:00


Scottish Enterprise Apex House 99 Haymarket Terrace Edinburgh


Scotland Food & Drink


0131 335 0946

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