North East Scotland Food & Drink Network Event – Technology to Revolutionise Productivity

Tuesday 30 October 2018, 3.45-6.30pm
Jury’s Inn, Argyll Road, Dyce, Aberdeen, AB21 0AF

Book here.

The adoption of digital technologies could unlock £56bn for the food and drink manufacturing industry, according to the UK industry-led Made Smarter Review in 2017.

This event is an opportunity for North East food and drink producers to explore technology, digital transformation and the potential impact on business performance and productivity.

Early adoption in the sector can build a competitive advantage for the region by helping to accelerate the growth of high potential businesses and strengthening the supply chain from farm and fishing, direct to consumers.

Speakers include local food and drink businesses who have already invested in digital technology and industry professionals and government bodies, including Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), to provide insight on the latest developments and support available to your business.

Rapidly changing market conditions and demands from consumers, buyers and retailers require an agile industry, able to respond and adapt to remain globally competitive. Innovation will be a key driver for growth, from product and market development to digital transformation improving supply chain productivity and competitiveness.


3.45-4.00pm       Registration and networking

4.00-4.10pm       Welcome from ONE

4.10-4.50pm       Presentations and case studies

4.50-5.00pm       Short break

5.00-5.30pm       Presentations and case studies

5.30-6.30pm       1-2-1 sessions with the speakers will be available for food and drink businesses only. Delegates can also visit information stands of the other support organisations present. A buffet will be provided during this time.

Speakers include:

  • Alex Campbell, Practitioner, SMAS: Alex will introduce the session by explaining the why and the how technology can revolutionise productivity, de-myth some common statements and beliefs around this subject and give some successful – and not so successful – examples of how companies have benefitted from investing in technology; what the keys to success are and the common mistakes to avoid.
  • Dr Rachael Wakefield, Business Development Manager, CENSIS – Innovation Centre for Sensor and Imaging Systems (SIS): A big focus for CENSIS is IoT enablement and helping companies fast-track skills and innovation in this area. Through case studies Rachael will demonstrate how adopting even the most basic principles of IoT can transform business as usual, create operational efficiencies and generate new benefits. Rachael will also provide an overview of available resources and infrastructure available in Scotland to support IoT adoption.
  • Steve Aitken, Consultant Director, Intelligent Plant Ltd: Intelligent Plant have made available The Industrial App Store which allows capability developers to quickly provide digital apps to end users on their own data and lets anyone see what they could use on their own plants. Steve will speak about how optimisation and analytics could be bootstrapped in the Industry and also show home-based examples around a boiler/heating system to spark your creativity.
  • Neil Freckingham, Operations Director, Macphie: Neil talks about the adoption of digital technology at Macphie and its role in boosting productivity. But there are other aims behind their investment in automation beyond the glamour of installing Arctic robots, and Neil discusses the effect on the workforce, on yield, as well as having an eye to what the future might bring.
  • Dr Nicholas Watson, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Nottingham (via video): Nik will give an overview of how low cost ultrasonic sensors can be used to monitor and optimise food manufacturing processes. His talk will cover two current technology development projects: BREWNET is a project which combines ultrasonic sensors, IoT and machine learning to monitor the alcohol content in craft beer fermentation. Self-Optimising Clean-in-Place (SOCIP) combines ultrasonic measurements, ultraviolet measurements and machine learning to optimise industrial cleaning processes known as clean-in-place.
  • Gregor Mackintosh, Director, Mackintosh of Glendaveny Ltd: Gregor will give an overview of the £1.2m investment he has made on new facilities on the farm in Peterhead to become the largest producer in Scotland rivalling the largest producers in the UK. He will explain how the investment has enabled them to increase output to average 20,000 bottles per week with capabilities to produce nearly 50,000 bottles with new infrastructure on a 5day standard shift, which makes them one of the most advanced efficient oil production plants in the country.

Please click here to book your place(s) at this free event. You must register to attend this free event. Priority is given to food and drink producers, who are looking to drive growth in their business and are based in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray. Places for non-food or drink businesses will be limited to one per organisation.

For more information on this event or future North East Scotland Food & Drink Network events, please email

Accelerating the growth of start-up and high-potential businesses of all sizes through specific support focused on business growth, market development, innovation and digital transformation, and skills attraction, development and retention, are strategic priorities for ONE as we seek to grow the region’s food, drink and agriculture sector.

The North East Food & Drink Network is organised by Opportunity North East in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council and aims to support the growth of the region’s food and drink sector.

Awards to celebrate excellence across region’s food and drink businesses
Increasing Scotland’s energy export potential

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