2018 - A Year of CW

Blog published by CW (Cambridge Wireless)

With 2018 coming to a close within the next few weeks, we are taking a look back at all that CW has accomplished during the year that Prince Harry married Meghan Markle and England came 4th in the Fifa World Cup.

From starting this year off with the announcement that alongside the Knowledge Transfer Network and the TM Forum, CW would be leading the UK5G Innovation Network, to closing the year with a new CEO, Simon Mead, taking over from Bob Driver, 2018 has been a year of stories and successes for CW.  During this festive season, the team extends our thanks to the Board, SIG Champions and most importantly the CW members and community.

December 2017:

UK5G Innovation Network

On the 19th December 2017, we announced that CW would be the lead partner for UK5G, working alongside the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) and the TM Forum.  This consortium was chosen by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), to create and deliver a national ecosystem that nurtures the adoption of 5G in the UK.

February 2018:

CW Unplugged: Tech-for-Good

CW Unplugged was launched for 2018, a programme of Tech-for-Good initiatives designed especially for CW’s younger members. The first of this new series focused on FemTech and proved to be a major success for everyone involved. The two start-ups leading the programme were Syrona Women and Binti International.

These CW Unplugged events bring together innovative start-ups, impact investors, designers and engineers who aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions and who discuss solutions. The goal of each CW Unplugged session is to develop a set of actionable suggestions and connections which bring tangible benefit to the chosen sector.

Three further Unplugged events took place over the year: Tech for Autism, Tech for Water and Megacities.

March 2018:

UK5G has officially launched!

UK5G was formally launched at BT Tower! Throughout 2018, this innovation network has brought together organisations across the 5G eco-system, including CW’s world-class research base, technology providers, investment, regulators and, crucially, vertical industry partners who share their requirements for next generation connectivity through events, programmes and testbeds.

Hand-in-hand with the news of the UK5G Innovation Network launch, the Advisory Board for UK5G was also announced with members hailing from Ofcom, BT, Digital Catapult, u-Blox just to name a few, and Rosalind Singleton of UK Broadband Ltd as chair!

The first technical event for UK5G was hosted at the Royal Academy of Engineering and explored how the 5G core networks could be built and operated. Speakers included, among others - Philip Bridge, Principal Network Architect at EE, Simon Fletcher, CTO at Real Wireless and Dimitra Simeonidou, Professor of High Performance Networks at University of Bristol (Communication Systems & Networks Research Group).

Check out the UK5G website here: https://uk5g.org/

April 2018:

The CW Board formation:

Following the announcement of the CW Board elections towards the end of March, the election results were released in April, and the CW Board were pleased to welcome Henk Koopmans, CEO of Huawei R&D (UK) and Jack Lomas, Head of Product, Smart Infrastructure, Mott Macdonald to take their place within the Board.

April also saw the launch of CW Talks with Mischa Dohler and Tony Milbourn debating whether the UK could secure a first mover advantage in 5G in the stunning surrounds of Queens’ College, Cambridge. The conclusion was yes, so long as we focused on a specific area of 5G such as network automation.

May 2018:

It's a manic May:

May was a busy month for SIG events with the Location, Healthcare and Virtual Networks SIGs all delivering.

May also saw the last in the Spring series of AI Byte-Size events. These evening sessions with pizza and beer proved themselves to be a welcome addition to the CW calendar and have covered topics including AI in an Earbud (Qualcomm), Generative Adversarial Networks (Cambridge Consultants) and Demystifying Speech Recognition (Amazon). The event format was relaunched in the Autumn and will continue into 2019.

In other SIG news, on the 22nd May, we held a Power Amplifier Techniques Workshop at Jesus College in Cambridge with the Radio Technologies SIG. This event proved to be popular with students and experience engineers as experts from Rohde & Schwarz, the Universities of Cardiff & Bristol, Qualcomm and CambridgeRF gave a grounding in RF amplifier design with practical demonstrations of RF power amplifier measurement techniques to follow suit.

June 2018:

A new SIG is open for business!

CW officially opened a new SIG for business! CW announced the launch of the newly revised Business SIG. The champions behind the launch include Ann Fisher, Co-Founder of Bailey Fisher Executive Search, Mike Price, Chair and Founder of MPA Group and Soraya Jones, Director of Communications and Partnership of Invested Investor, and former CW CEO.

To support the launch of this SIG, the champions worked together to curate an event in July 2018 where an impressive line-up of entrepreneurs and investors (including Amelia Armour of Amadeus Capital Partners and Rhodri Thomas of Spectral Edge) shared their stories of their own investment journeys with our audience consisting of start-ups, scale-ups and SME’s.

The next Business event will be held on the 24th January ‘Assembling the A-Team’, where attendees can learn how they can make their team “investable”, along with proven techniques for recruiting the best possible people to your business.  Speakers are hailing from: Darktrace, Raspberry Pi Foundation, MPA Group, Halpenfield Ltd & Octopus Ventures.

July 2018:

Thinking Beyond the Hype at CWIC 2018

July 4th saw not just an American holiday being celebrated, but the most successful year of CWIC! The CW community ventured ‘Beyond the Hype’ at this year’s International Conference through seven different sessions that were able to present different viewpoints within each subject area.

Over 400 delegates from the international technology community descended to the beautiful Wellcome Genome Campus for a day of diverse networking, insightful track sessions and inspirational keynotes.

Focusing on 7 tracks throughout the day with over 30 speakers and 30 exhibitors, CWIC 2018 proved to be a huge success and we couldn’t have achieved all that we did without the work of the CWIC 2018 Committee Board, led by Faye Holland.

September 2018:

After the extraordinary heatwave that the UK experienced in August, we were back in September with a jam-packed month of events including a conference and a competition!

Having a good hair day with ghd!

But to kick off the exciting September month, we were very pleased to announce that leading hairstyling company ghd and CW were looking to establish an Innovation Hive in Cambridge and the call was on for start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs to help design the next era of health and beauty products.

The five chosen companies would spend three months from October 2018 working alongside ghd R&D, the CW community and local tech mentors to co-design a prototype connected hair styling device. This Innovation Hive is still on-going, and we’re excited to see what the next steps for the companies and the Hive are!

Discovering Start-ups: Connecting the Digital World

On the 17 September, the Discovering Start-ups Competition took place at CMS London, with the technology start-up and investor community coming together for an intense afternoon of pitching and networking.

Fifty-one ambitious start-ups applied to the competition and we were pleased to announce the ten finalists who each won the opportunity to pitch to an elite panel of technology investors and business leaders earlier in August. The finalists for this year were:

  • Arete Medical Technologies Ltd
  • Camnexus Ltd
  • Capito Systems
  • Conigital Group
  • Granta Innovation Ltd
  • Lujam Security Ltd
  • Syrona
  • Tethir
  • Virtuleap Limited
  • WeSee AI Limited

The line-up of DSU 2018 judges included over 20 technology investors and business leaders from companies such as, Wayra UK, IC Resources, Syndicate Room, Allia, Magna International and Deloitte.

On the day, the finalists had five minutes to provide a succinct and engaging overview of their business, following which the judges rotated in pairs around the demonstration zone, spending three minutes at each station assessing the quality of technology on offer.

The winners of DSU 2018 were, Conigital Group, Granta Innovation and Tethir.

CW TEC: The Inevitable Automation of Next Generation Networks

When things couldn’t get any busier in the month of September for the CW Team, we held our annual Technology and Engineering Conference on the 27 September which focused on ‘The Inevitable Automation of Next Generation Networks’.

The conference addressed the role of artificial intelligence in delivering Next Generation Network performance and included speakers from companies such as Samsung UK, Nokia, BT, Ofcom and GeoSpock.

The committee was looking at the potential for recent advances in artificial intelligence to automate the operation of next generation networks. They wanted to see what the potential is for the networks themselves to get smarter, so that they can optimise their own performance, or protect themselves against security risks.

With a fantastic set of speakers, an engaged audience who were keen to ask the difficult questions and a committee focused on bringing attention to the technologies that we all wanted to hear about, CWTEC 2018 proved to be another success!

October 2018:

Goodbye Mr Driver!

Following a three-and-a-half-year realm at CW, the time came for Robert Driver to bow out and mark the way for Simon Mead to join as CEO on the 1st November.

Although Bob was leaving his position as CEO at CW, we were pleased to know that he would still be working closely with CW on the Board, and that he is still leading the way for UK5G whilst representing CW.

The CW team would like to thank Bob for his friendship and leadership during his time as CEO.

Deep learning in diagnostic imaging

One of the best SIG events of the year took place at Microsoft’s office in Cambridge and highlighted the application of cutting-edge image recognition technologies to the reading of images used for the diagnosis of breast or prostate cancer. Speakers from the University of Cambridge, Kheiron Medical Technologies and Granta Innovation presented the latest developments in this field and the huge improvements in productivity and patient care that could be possible.

November 2018:

Welcoming Simon Mead to the CW Team

On the 1 November, Simon Mead was welcomed by the team in Cambridge for his first day as CW’s CEO.

Simon previously managed the Incubation Centre at the University of Essex and was also CEO of the Eastern Enterprise Hub. Through a career that has ranged from traditional media (Thames TV) to Cambridge start-up success (E*Trade UK), Simon has experience in supporting organisations achieve their growth goals by finding the right connections and relevant opportunities.

With a full autumn calendar lined up of CW SIG events, Simon dived straight into the business of getting to know CW’s members and supporters over the autumn months with his first event falling on the 8 November which was ‘Small Cells: Realising the 5G Opportunity for Pioneering Spectrum Access – Beyond Exclusive Licensing’ in London.

December 2018:

So here it is, Merry Christmas!

With Christmas cheer spreading around the office, the team are excited for all that is taking place in the festive month of December, from the Founders Dinner to the annual CW Christmas do!

Kicking off the month with some exciting news, we announced the launch of the Digital Sector Strategy with an accompanying survey which is asking for all local Cambridgeshire & Peterborough businesses to contribute their ideas to the development of a Digital Sector Strategy for the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA).

The closing date for the survey is the 21 December, so if you wish to contribute your ideas, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DigitalSectorStrategy

CW has celebrated many triumphs this year, and we hope that our community are just as excited to see what is in store for CW in 2019 as the team are!

CW Xmas do 2018 collage

From all of us here at CW, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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