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New interim CEO for Scottish sensing center

21 Oct 2013

Dave Clark, also a visiting professor at the Institute of Photonics, joins from Thales Optronics.

CENSIS, a recently established innovation center for imaging and sensor systems in Scotland, has appointed an interim CEO in the form of Dave Clark.

Clark joins from Thales Optronics and has a background in high-performance sensors, imagers, laser equipment and systems. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute of Photonics, hosted by the University of Strathclyde.

Strathclyde is one of twelve academic partners in CENSIS, which received £10 million in funding earlier this year to help bridge the gap between academic research and industrial applications of novel sensor technologies.

Having been the technical and product management director at Thales Optronics, Clark has experience in that area and Bob Downes, the chair of CENSIS, said: “We are very fortunate to have Dave join us on an interim basis while the center seeks a permanent CEO.

“He brings a wealth of experience and specialised knowledge in sensors, imaging systems and business. We look forward to working together to take CENSIS into its next stage of development.”

Clark added: “I am delighted to play this key role with CENSIS. I look forward to working closely with the team to determine the key priorities and associated actions to deliver the first stages of the operating plan. Once these are in place, we can aim high in our business objectives.”

Bridging the gap
Thanks partly to the strength of the local oil and gas industry, Scotland’s economy stands to benefit from new sensor technologies, and CENSIS has been backed in a bid to establish the country as a global leader in the field.

Mirroring activities south of the border and across Europe more widely, Scotland’s politicians are keen to find more effective ways to exploit the world-leading research taking place at their academic institutions, so that they are of more direct benefit to the local economy.

At the launch of CENSIS and two other new innovation centers earlier this year, Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond said that their establishment would offer "game-changing" opportunities for collaboration between the academic and business base. He added: "The investment and partnership model is unique and their potential for growth is huge."

Echoing the motivation behind the UK’s new Catapult Centres and the strategic "industrial leadership" elements within Europe’s forthcoming Horizon 2020 funding program, CENSIS says:

“The gap is between university research and industrial uptake. CENSIS will bridge this gap and form tripartite project teams to work in collaborative projects which are industry-led.”

The center is set up to act as a single contracting point to access all of the various sensor-related research capabilities across Scotland, and will also have its own technical capability in system design and project management.

CENSIS has also been busy appointing new non-executive members to its governing board. Among them are Calum MacGregor, operations and engineering director at Glasgow-based infrared sensor maker Gas Sensing Solutions, and Myrddin Jones – lead technologist in electronics, sensors and photonics at the UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

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