CW Unplugged: Tech for Air

Brought to you by Cambridge Wireless

CW Unplugged is back for 2019 bringing you Tech for the Environment. This year we're exploring the four elements, first up Tech for Air.

Registration for this event is now closed.

About the event

CW Unplugged Hero air

In partnership with ArmUN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP - WCMC) and the Centre for Global Equality (CGE), we're hosting CW Unplugged: Tech for Air an event that explores how innovative technologies can monitor air quality networks in developing regions. This is the first of four events as part of the CW Unplugged: Air, Earth, Fire, & Water programme and will address how enhancing air quality contributes to four of the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Good health and wellbeing
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Climate Action

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental health risks, causing approximately 7 million deaths each year. Across the globe pollutants in our air, specifically Fine Particular Matter (PM), causes respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and is classified as a carcinogen (reference). These pollutants are also contributing to global warming, and ground level ozone poses a threat to our soil and ultimately food security (reference).

This event will showcase two projects in the CGE Global Goals Innovation Cultivator that are developing novel, affordable, appropriate air monitoring technologies. CamBike Sensors and open-seneca, are building mobile air quality sensors modified for the contexts of Nairobi and Buenos Aires and will explore other potential for sensors that can be owned and operated by citizens to raise public awareness and influence policy in developing world cities. We are also happy to announce Emsol - tackling transport pollution. See more information about the ventures and the challenges they're trying to address below and in the agenda.

Bringing together impact investors, designers, engineers, we'll help create solutions to specific challenges currently faced by start up ventures working on Tech for Air.

We would like to invite you to register by clicking 'reserve a place'.

You can follow @CambWireless on Twitter and tweet about this event using #CWUnplugged.


open-seneca is a University of Cambridge student-led initiative that is developing a low-cost mobile citizen science air pollution sensor network. The versatile open-source sensors, which measure air quality, can be carried by various vehicles as well as pedestrians. The open-seneca hub incorporates a Sensirion particulate matter sensor, optional Alphasense gas sensors, and a GPS module in order to correlate air pollution data to a certain location. All components are off-the-shelf and available from electronics providers. The sensor’s output is computed on a Black Pill microcontroller and is sent to the data base via GSM, where the user is able to plot the individual tracks and aggregated pollution maps. In case the communication between GSM module and data base is interrupted, a SD card module secures the pollution data backup. open-seneca is adapting the sensor to extend the low-cost Cambridge design to fast-growing developing world cities. Globally, ambient air pollution is accelerating climate change and global warming. Air pollution is associated with numerous health conditions and 1 in 9 deaths worldwide is due to air pollution-related diseases ( With increasing urbanisation and dramatic rises in air pollution in developing countries, the technology used in the open-seneca has the potential to contribute to the well-being of the earth’s population.


We are a data-focused air and noise pollution monitoring solution that enables businesses to drive interventions based on live data to reduce road transport pollution. We call it 'Emissions as a Service.'

Series Sponsor Arm

Arm technology is at the heart of a computing and connectivity revolution that is transforming the way people live and businesses operate. Our advanced, energy-efficient processor designs have enabled intelligent computing in more than 125 billion chips. Over 70 percent of the world’s population are using Arm technology, which is securely powering products from the sensor to the smartphone to the supercomputer. Arm is committed to ensuring our work helps meet the United Nations Global Goals. Through our international partner ecosystem and philanthropic collaborations, we’re enabling technology to deliver the 2030 Global Goals agenda.

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Series Partner UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre

UNEP-WCMC confronts the challenges faced by our world's biodiversity.

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Event Partner Centre for Global Equality

The Centre for Global Equality focuses the resources available in global centres of excellence such as Cambridge on evolving innovative solutions to global challenges.

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Sponsored by u-blox UK

As a global leader in wireless communication and positioning, our products and services are used by billions of people every day. And with this great power comes great responsibility, which is why we are always looking for ways to ensure that every part of our operations is run as sustainably as possible. We take great care to maintain a sustainable business model that looks after the interests of our customers, shareholders, the environment and the communities we operate in. Underpinning this aim are our five pillars of corporate social responsibility.

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Event facilitator Cambridge Consultants

The deep tech powerhouse of Capgemini

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Event facilitator Fresh Perspectiv

Our team of commercially-minded scientists love working at the intersection of science and business strategy to help companies to make informed decisions and enhance their commercial impact.

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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Arrival, registration and networking


CW Unplugged Introduction: Abhi Naha, CCO, CW


Air Quality – the Cambridge experience

Dan Clarke and Anne-Marie Hindley, Connecting Cambridgeshire


Embedding the consideration of nature in decision-making: Katie Leach, UNEP-WCMC

Finite resources means there is often a trade-off between expanding the use of renewable technologies to shift to a low carbon economy versus using existing nature–based solutions. Businesses and governments need to better understand the benefits and limitations of these two approaches, while exploring potential solutions that bring nature and renewables together.


Startup Challenge: CamBike Sensors

CamBike is adapting the sensor to extend the low-cost Cambridge design to fast-growing developing world cities. Globally, ambient air pollution is accelerating climate change and global warming.


Startup Challenge: Open-seneca

The open-seneca project in Argentina brings together Citizen Science air pollution monitoring and outreach initiatives in the UK, Canada and Argentina. The aim of the project is to influence policy and to develop consensus on how best to present air pollution mapping data to both the public and policy makers to enable an accurate understanding of the data, thus informing strategic decision-making to reduce air pollution at a global level.


Startup Challenge: Emsol

Tackling transport pollution.


Intro to the Ideation workshop facilitators

We'll split into groups and intro you to your group leader before a quick break to refuel.




Ideation Workshop

A fast paced hour of brainstorming discussing the challenges Tech for Water faces. Attendees have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and experiences in facilitated groups ran by our partners.


Workshop Presentations

Informal presentations and discussion of the main outcomes from each Ideation group.


Next Steps


Join us in the atrium for food, drink & networking


Event Close


Charles Christensen

Charles has a bachelor's degree in Physics, and a master's degree in Mathematics from Technical University of Denmark. He has recently started a PhD project at the University of Cambridge on the topic of deep learning microscopy; a collaboration between the Laser Analytics Group and the Artificial Intelligence Group. As a member of the open-seneca team, he has been responsible for data analysis and software.

Daniel Clarke - Head of Technology and Innovation, Greater Cambridge Partnership

Dan leads the Smart Cambridge Programme which was set up to explore how data, innovative technology and better connectivity can be used to transform the way people live, work and travel in the Greater Cambridge area and beyond. Local councils, technology businesses, university researchers and partner organisations are working together to find smart ways to tackle city challenges, such as transport and air quality.

Lorena Gordillo Dagallier

Lorena completed her undergraduate degree in General Engineering and has recently started a PhD at the University of Cambridge in paper diagnostics. Her research will focus on developing low-cost sensors made of paper to use in resource-limited settings for the detection of diseases. Lorena leads the open-seneca team, along with designing the hardware for a sensor that measures the local environment (i.e. air pollution and road surface quality).

Katie Leach - Senior Programme Officer, UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Katie Leach is a Senior Programme Officer in the Business and Biodiversity Programme at UNEP-WCMC. Katie joined UNEP-WCMC three years ago, following the completion of her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast where she explored species’ responses to climate change. At UNEP-WCMC, Katie links the scientific functions of the Centre with private sector partners and their influencers to embed the consideration of nature in private sector decisions. Katie has recently been leading a project with the finance sector through the Natural Capital Finance Alliance to understand how businesses depend and impact on nature, in order to manage risks and potential exposure

Abhi Naha - Cambridge Wireless

Abhi Naha is the Digital Accelerator Director at PwC. He is creating and leading a new tech division for PwC. The Digital Accelerator solves innovation challenges using the power of scale ups and ecosystems for greater insights, impact and value creation.

Abhi was the CCO of CW Cambridge Wireless and CEO of the Product as a Service Consortium. At CW, Abhi initiated and lead on the 5G private network testbed in Cambridge, corporate digital innovation accelerators and high value collaborations.

Abhi was the CEO and Founder of Zone V a Cambridge start up backed by Qualcomm and ARM focused on empowering people with aging eyes and visually impairment through inclusively designed smartphone software. He held senior roles at Powermat, San Jose based Synaptics and advisory roles for Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake in the area of mobile user interface technologies. Abhi is a senior advisor to an autonomous vehicle mobility scale up Conigital, Industry Partner (Digital Infrastructure) for Arjun Infrastructure Partners with 5 Billion Euros of assets under management and an Ambassador for the United Nations Global Sustainability Index Institute. Abhi studied Electronics and Electrical Engineering, has an MBA in International Marketing and authored a book on Mobile Handset Design when approached by Cambridge University Press. More recently Abhi has created an initiative to help train widows in developing countries learn python programming, gain financial empowerment and become future leaders.

Event Location

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Location info

The Bradfield Centre, 184 Cambridge Science Park Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0GA

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