SICSA DemoFest 2017

by Dr Jeremy Singer, SICSA Graduate Academy Director
16 October 2017

Blog Pic 2Hundreds of people attended the SICSA DemoFest at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, last week. The annual DemoFest event showcases over 50 innovative Computing Science research projects currently under development at Scotland’s universities

As I wandered round the large exhibition hall, I saw sonic levitating devices, virtual reality drum kits, emotional fonts, optical 5G data transmitters, and much more.  The range of research was impressive and inspiring.  I particularly appreciated the enthusiasm of the researchers as they demonstrated their technology and explained it in everyday language to the visitors

The highlight of the evening was a presentation about ‘The World in 2037’ by Gillian Docherty from The Data Lab. Her talk involved lots of entertaining and speculative future-gazing, but the take home message was clear – Scotland needs to maintain its global position at the forefront of digital innovation. A short speech by Shirley-Anne Somerville (Scottish Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science) affirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to support ongoing innovation in the tech sector.

Blog Pic 1So, I had a great night at SICSA DemoFest, soaking up tomorrow’s technology which is being designed today by world-leading researchers based in Scotland.



Reminder SICSA Funding Call 31 October 2017

Let SICSA help you …….  funding call opportunities for October 2017.

SICSA Summer School Sponsorship Funding

Are you thinking of organising a Computing Science and Informatics focussed Summer School in Scotland?  If so, SICSA can provide sponsorship funding for a number of free student places; up to £750 per student for residential summer schools or smaller amounts for non-residential.
More information on this sponsorship opportunity can be found on the SICSA funding page


SICSA would like to help you have the  opportunity to work with eminent Academic Researcher who are world class in their field, leading to long lasting relationships to benefit your own career and potential future collaborations for SICSA.  Equally we want you to share this opportunity with students and other researchers from across SICSA.  We can assist by providing funding for travel, accommodation and subsistence for a visitor from the UK or abroad to come to Scotland and visit some SICSA institutions to give presentations and/or talks on their area of expertise as well as participating in SICSA Workshops.  More information and how to apply can be found at the SICSA funding page.

Post-doctoral and Early Career Exchanges Bursary (PECE)

SICSA is able to provide bursaries of up to £7,500 for researchers in Informatics and Computing Sciences at SICSA institutions to take part in researcher visits to Europe, North America, China and India. PECE bursaries provide research training and development opportunities for the most able postdocs and early career researchers across SICSA. Change your surroundings and experience life as a researcher in another institution; develop your network, enjoy another environment and lay the foundations for future international collaborations. It is also hoped that these exchanges will provide opportunities to build experience of international collaboration with academia and/or industry.
More information and how to apply can be found at the SICSA Funding page
Read our latest blog from Dr Areti Manataki who has just returned from Arizona State University as part of SICSA funded PECE

Remember that SICSA can also provide all year round funding for the following:

You can access information on all of SICSA funding opportunities at the SICSA funding page

SICSA PhD Conference 2018. Now recruiting for student committee members

After a very successful SICSA PhD Conference 2017, SICSA is now making plans for next year’s event.  As always, the SICSA PhD Conference next year will be put together by a hard-working group of student volunteers and we are now recruiting for the next organising committee.  If you are a PhD student in Informatics/Computer Science, working in a SICSA institution you are eligible to apply to be part of the committee.

Sicsa PHD2017-210 3Being part of the SICSA Conference Organising Committee can be an immensely rewarding experience – you will have the opportunity to work closely with PhD students and academics from around Scotland, gain experience of all aspects of organising a high profile academic event and contribute to the success of a conference that is becoming more popular year upon year.   This is also a great addition to your CV.

For more information on the SICSA PhD Conferences visit the web-site

To apply, please complete the application form and return to by Tuesday 24 October

Register for DemoFest 2017

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DemoFest: Bringing Research to Life

Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

3 October 2017, 4-7pm

Register free-of-charge here:

SICSA DemoFest is the largest event of its kind in Scotland. Now in its tenth year, it showcases the very best of Informatics and Computing Science research from all of Scotland’s Universities. 

 The next event will take place on 3rd October 2017, 4-7pm at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh and will be sponsored by The Data Lab and Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems.

The 2017 event will feature: 

  • Welcome: Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science
  • Keynote Talk: Gillian Docherty, CEO The Data Lab“The future is depending on us!”
  • Exhibition hall with over 50 research demonstrations from Scottish Universities
  • Sponsor and partner exhibits

DemoFest provides a perfect opportunity for your organisation to experience, first-hand, the cutting-edge research taking place in Scottish universities. Our exhibitors will talk about their research, tell you why it’s important to your organisation, and demonstrate their technology working in real-time.

The event also provides a space for you to discuss future collaborations, business opportunities, internships, employment opportunities and much more.

 DemoFest 2017 will focus on the following key areas: 

  • Big Data
  • Cyber-Security
  • User-Experience
  • Networking and the Cloud
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence

Register now

DemoFest 2017 is in very high demand.  Please register for FREE at before 24th September.

DemoFest is organised by SICSA in partnership with ScotlandIS and is sponsored by The Data Lab and Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems

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Place your vote for SICSA Supervisor of the Year 2017

Computer Science PhD supervisors in Scotland are doing fantastic work! SICSA wants to celebrate PhD supervision with an award for Scottish Computing Science Supervisor of the Year.

Please consider nominating your supervisor by completing the nomination form, before Friday 15 September. Note that SICSA will not share nomination form details with supervisors, in the interests of confidentiality. The Supervisor of the Year for 2017 will be announced at DemoFest 2017 on Tuesday 3 October in Edinburgh.

Register to Exhibit at DemoFest 2017!

DemoFest Logo

SICSA DemoFest is the largest event of its kind in Scotland. Now in its tenth year, it showcases the very best of Informatics and Computing Science research from all of Scotland’s Universities. 

The next event will take place on 3rd October 2017, 4-7pm at Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.

Register to Exhibit Now!
Exhibiting at DemoFest is free-of-charge.  However, space is limited within the exhibition hall to a maximum of 50 research stands and we encourage you to apply to exhibit your research by completing our short exhibitor questionnaire at as soon as possible or by latest 28/07/17.  We will confirm all exhibitors by no later than 04/08/17.

Why Exhibit?
We expect up to 200 delegates from business and the public sector, who will be keen to discover some of the cutting-edge research taking place currently in Computer Science and Informatics in Scotland.

The event provides a space for exhibitors to showcase their current research and discuss future academic and business collaborations, commercialisation opportunities, internships and placements, employment opportunities and much more.

Who can Exhibit?
We now welcome applications from researchers at all 14 SICSA Institutions.   Exhibitors are encouraged from all stages of research, from 1st year PhD to Professorial level.

We particularly encourage applicants who are keen to build collaborative linkages with industry; to commercialise their research; and to build contacts with other researchers.

 Your Space
All exhibitors will be provided with their own space in the exhibition hall featuring an individual pod for your research poster and space for any technology that you wish to demonstrate.

Your research will be featured in the event programme, which will be circulated to companies across Scotland.

If you have any questions please email the SICSA team at


Thanks to Dr Karen Petrie: Outgoing SICSA Education Director

The SICSA Directors offer their sincere thanks to Dr Karen Petrie, who yesterday completed her final task as SICSA Education Director at the SICSA PhD Conference at the University of Dundee.  Dr Petrie served as the SICSA Education Director from September 2013 until June 2017 .  During that time she dedicated significant time, energy and enthusiasm to the post and her passion for Computing Science Education is truly inspirational.

The SICSA Directorate are now preparing to advertise the role of SICSA Education Director and more news will follow shortly.  The post is open to all suitable academics working within SICSA member Universities.  Any queries about the post in the interim should be directed to




Registers of Scotland 400 Anniversary Sasines MSc Scholarship in collaboration with The Data Lab

As part of their 400 Anniversary, Registers of Scotland (RoS) is offering an amazing, once in a lifetime MSc level scholarship.

Theme: Any course related to data (Data Science, Data Engineering, etc.)

2017 is a landmark year for the Registers of Scotland, as they are celebrating a mammoth 400 years of the world’s oldest national land register, the General Register of Sasines. As an innovative, data focussed organisation, RoS is keen to mark this momentous anniversary by sponsoring the best and most talented MSc student who is ready to embark on a data science journey.

The Data Lab is delighted to be part of this partnership contributing to the needs of Scottish Industry and supporting the development of the Data Talent community.

The Registers of Scotland Sasines 400 Year Anniversary Scholarship

In the first instance, the call is open to Scottish Universities who would like to apply to receive up to £10,000 for one student to cover MSc course tuition fees and additional costs, such as relevant conferences or other activities in collaboration with RoS. This call is for the 2017/18 academic year.

The 400 Year Anniversary Scholarship will be awarded based upon university’s experience and reputation in delivering data science master programmes and the course capability to teach students the data skills to equip them to excel in the data-driven workplace such as Registers of Scotland.

Following selection of the course partner, elite students will have the opportunity to apply to have their data science studies fully funded.

The Data Lab invites all universities from across Scotland to submit a short application for this scholarship here.

Deadline for applications: 9:00am Monday 12 June 2017.

Places still available at SICSA PhD Conference 2017!

There are a limited number of places still available at the SICSA PhD Conference 2017.  The deadline for registrations has been extended by one week to 22nd May.

Eventbrite - SICSA PhD Conference 2017

The SICSA PhD Conference has become one of the highlights of the SICSA events calendar, bringing together Computing Science and Informatics PhD students, leading academics, and industry practitioners for 2 days of workshops, keynote presentations and social events. The conference is an event aimed specifically at Informatics and Computing Science PhD students and is organised each year by a hard working committee of PhD students and members of the SICSA Executive.

Keynote speakers this year will include one of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs, Chris van der Kuyl; and Mandy Chessell, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Distinguished Engineer at IBM.

Save the Date for DemoFest 2017!

DemoFest: Bringing Research to Life

The next DemoFest event will take place on 3rd October 2017, from 4-7pm at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.  Please save the date in your calendars for this evening of tech demonstrations and talks.  Registration will open in early June and more details on the full programme will be available at that time!

For more general information on the event, please see our recent guest blog at Interface.