The Value of the Smart Systems Summit 2014 1-2 October London IoD

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This is a special summit culminating 7 years of smart systems conferences within various segments

We form media partnerships with those who can extend our reach further

We are a strategy consultancy rather than an event organiser following instructions

We specialise in market research, using contact referrals and social media to obtain top speakers year after year

The value is in the bringing together of industry leaders beyond your own lists, with government and other academic groups

Our databases are large, from 12 years of conferences with 3,200 delegates

Network with industry innovators to create and develop critical new business collaborations and to exchange knowledge

Minimize risk by keeping up with technology developments – where is the industry going

Bring in cross-over engineering situations that might lend valuable ideas to work already being done

The spice of high level events in the capital, a greater chance of serendipity in networking

We’re bringing together top people from no fewer than 21 conferences in Cambridge and Oxford on these topics – so it’ll be a unique group, not the same people

If communications are important to you, this will be a well-covered conference in social media and in print

It will quickly generate a legacy website and slides for the site Slideshare, which are looked at by delegates and referred to others over time, something which builds over a long period

Gain industry recognition for yourself and your company through speaking, roundtable participation

For buyers – what new systems, products and services are there to buy?

It’s a prestigious venue – one of the best in the UK

It’s in a central location easy to reach from all directions –  In the capital, in exciting West London, near parliament.

Book now via this link

This is how hard it is to get it right…

Ramanujan, the self-taught Indian mathematician, is being celebrated this year. Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel (Slumdog millionaire) star in a film being made in Cambridge as I write, summer 2014.  Another film about his life has just been completed.

Ramanujan wrote down, worked on, and arrived at thousands of results, the vast majority of which were correct. He came to Cambridge for five years towards the end of his short life and became a Fellow of the Royal Society. Born in Madras in 1887, he died there of TB in 1920, aged 32.

This little anecdote below, however, from the 1940 book “Ramanujan” by Professor G Hardy (Chapters I and II), who helped bring Ramanujan to Cambridge, shows how hard it is to get it right in mathematics.

In the theory of prime numbers, there was a ‘prime number theorem’ for the number of primes up to a given number, call it x, which, brilliantly, Ramanujan independently rediscovered. Gauss, Legendre and Dirichlet had “endorsed” it prior. The theorem however “errs by defect” – which means if you stress test it enough, i.e. go to high enough examples, you’ll see it deviate from the truth, and increasingly so.

Up to x = 1 billion, the expression is good!

But another mathematician, Littlewood, went on in 1912 to show that there are an infinite number of (very high) values of x where the formula is shown to be incorrect. He did so by looking at its difference from a better, proven formula for the number of primes up to a given value, and an example found by a man called Skewes was 10 to the power of ten to the power of ten to the power 34. A large number! Hardy thought this was the “largest number ever to have served a definite purpose in mathematics”.

When Einstein wrote down Special and General Relativity and these were later tested, this showed that under certain conditions (strong gravitational fields or velocities close to the speed of light) the Newtonian theory was very wrong. Quantum mechanics does the same thing at the small scale to Newton’s theories.

A conjecture, a model, a hypothesis remains just that until you prove it, as in mathematics, e.g. prime numbers,  or do experiments to check it, as in gravitation, or in small-scale physics.

Proof is extremely difficult.

Top 4 Reasons Why the Public Sector Shouldn’t Build Tech Networks

If a service is renderable by people working in a particular industry, then why and when should government compete with those providing this service?

Take the case of industry conferences. The current situation in technology industries in the UK is that government events are very common, often very cheap or free, and nearly always in competition with or to the detriment of those in the private sector providing this service. It is quite possible now to go almost exclusively to government run conferences. This has the effect of devaluing the them along with the other, private sector events. In finance, this used to be called in the jargon: “trashing the market”.

Yes, these are sometimes outsourced back to the private sector. But the message is there to business people, academics, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and so on, that a conference or event costs nothing and is to be funded by taxpayers. So the cost of hiring the venue, the catering for lunches, dinners, breaks etc, the staff to organise the conference and the “je ne sais quoi” that goes into doing the research, having the idea, structuring and finding participants – all of that – costs nothing to those who go for the “cheap seats” of subsidised government events. Often, those events actually involve further attempts to stay away from the reality of the marketplace and actually obtain grants for research be it product or market.

Is all this healthy?

If for some unknown reason an industry cannot muster someone to step forward and set up an “industry association” and the same person or another to offer conferences and networking events etc for the industry…well… it would be a very unusual and unsociable industry.

But what if it costs too much?

What does that mean “costs too much”? Marketing is a value-creator or realiser, essential alongside innovation. Again, the providers of events find this out reasonably quickly and will make efforts to use cheaper venues, reduce on costs etc until a format is found. Different events providers will come up with different pricing matrices which in theory will enable all categories to choose which events to attend – and that will be a a useful subset of possible experiences that fits with the pocket and risk-taking & rewards obtained of the particular individual or company.

Is this really lacking across all tech sectors so that we need online social network and physical leadership from government for such, across the board?

I leave this for discussion. But a few points can be made:

1. Governments are not good at strategy, leading industries*

2. Governments are not there to run events (there are other things to do with those resources)**

3. It is more efficient and cheaper to sponsor a private sector event to encourage it

4. It is more effective to let the private sector lead its business and marketing activities***

*Why should government be any better or safer with experience services related to those industries?

So (from 3.) a key question for this blog entry is: why do government agencies run events rather than just sponsor, exhibit at and attend and learn from private sector events rather than running and outsourcing their own?

**They may need to regulate industries, but that is a different function.

***This has the benefit of allowing the private sector to lead, and has much less distortive effects on the whole service economy, and also frees up funds and resources for government to work with.

Top 12 Reasons to attend Smart Grids & Cleanpower 2014 Cambridge

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Top 12 Reasons to Attend SGCP14

1. See and mingle with 40 top speakers
2. Influence the debate – audience reverses & open panels
3. Build your network – new and old partners & clients
4. Pleasant dinner roundtable in Cambridge with decision makers and influencers
5. Help innovators at smaller and large companies
6. Debate fracking rationally
7. Debate energy pricing & market structure
8. Debate the energy vs internet cultural challenges
9. Help increase grid resilience
10. Learn all about smart grids and energy
11. Get latest updates in markets
12. Challenge your assumptions
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AGENDA – DAY 1 – EXECUTIVE BRIEFING MASTERCLASS DAY JUNE 3
10:15 – 11:00 Session 1: Introduction Smart Grids & Energy – led by Gavin Jones, Business Development Director, ElectraLink
10:15 Introduction to Day 1
10:20 Definitions
10:30 Basics
10:40 Trends and Drivers
10:50 Review & discussion

Coffee break

11:15 – 13:00 Session 2: Technology led by Dr Andy Stanford Clark, CTO Smart Energy, IBM
11:15 Demand Side Management (DSM) – the key to the smart grid
11:30 Case studies
11:40 Smart Meters & AMI | Interoperability
12:00 Distributed generation – Alan South, Commercial Director, Solar Century
12:30 Renewables and storage, markets and intermittency – Graham Ford, Mansion Partners
Review

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch networking & meetings

14:00 – 16:00 Session 3 Markets – led by Mike Wilks, Director Smart Energy, Poyry
14:00 Social & Innovation Cartography in grids and energy
Key players – visions, strategies and what they are doing
Porter’s Market Characteristics & Forecasts
14:45 Demand Response Economics – Anneesha Patten, Poyry
15:00 Big Data, Data sharing & privacy – Gavin Jones, Business Development Director ElectraLink
15:20 Monetisation of energy management systems – Pilgrim Beart, Founder AlertMe & 1248.io
15:40 The Industrial Internet – Dr Amyas Philips
Review

16:05 Tea break

16:30 – 17:30 Session 4 Innovation – led by Rob McNamara, Founder, Smart Grids GB
The status quo & change challenges
The value & funding of innovation – Steve Dawson, VP Consulting, Sentec
17:10 Discussion
Summary of Day

19:00 – 21:15 Roundtable dinner at King’s College, Cambridge

AGENDA – DAY 2 – SMART GRIDS 4 JUNE
Session 1 Smart Grids & Collected Intelligence
10:00 Dr Justin Hayward, Director, Cambridge Investment Research, Introduction
10:05 Gavin Jones, Business Development Director, ElectraLink, Chairman’s Opener
10:10 Rob McNamara, Founder, Smart Grids GB, The Value of a Smart Grid to Great Britain
10:20 Audience Collected intelligence, Comments & questions for day speakers and panellists from audience – one minute each
10:50 Stephen Cunningham, CEO, UK, Ireland & Nordic, Landis & Gyr, Keynote: Managing Energy Better – The landscape for smart grid
11:10 Panel with speakers and chair

Morning coffee & showcase of products and services

Session 2 Connected Intelligence: servers, networks, meters, fast data analytics & grids
Dr Sean Cochrane, Director Cyan Technology A connected energy network through metering and lighting
Dr Paul Wright, CCM National Physical Laboratory Smart grid measurement
John Di Stasio, CEO Sacramento Municipal Utility Department (SMUD) Jt Keynote: Smart grid intelligence and risk, Smart grid intelligence and risk
Martin Dunlea, Global Industries Lead, Utilities, Oracle, Jt Keynote: Fast Data, Actionable Data
Panel with Peter Drake, Managing Director, Intelligent Networks

Lunch networking & exhibition of products & services

Session 3 Smart Cities & Infrastructure: real systems solutions at scale | the industrial internet
Michael Clark, Programme Director – Low Carbon London UK Power Networks, A Smart Grid for London
Rich Hampshire, Principal Consultant CGI, End-to-end smart grid & consumer engagement
Philip Burr, Director of Product Marketing Arkessa, Case study: an M2M platforms for IoT Solutions
Chris Wright, CTO, Moixa Technology, Smart Direct Current
Dr Andy Stanford Clark, CTO Smart Energy, IBM, Keynote: Smarter planet works
Panel with Tony Rooke, Sustainable Strategy Director; Smart Cities & Innovation, Infosys

Coffee networking & expo of products & services

Session 4 Plenary Policy debate grids and energy: innovators | funding | regulation & reforms
Dora Guzeleva, Head of Network Policy Ofgem, How regulation can be a win-win for stakeholders
Ian Ellerington, Head of Innovation, DECC, The key role of innovators in changing the energy industry
Steve Dawson, VP / Dr Mark England, EVP Smart Grid, Sentec, Routes to market for energy innovators
Pilgrim Beart, Founder, AlertMe, Keynote: UK energy management innovation in global markets
Panel with Chairman – followed by Chairmen’s summaries

Drinks networking

AGENDA – DAY 2 – CLEANPOWER CONFERENCE 4 JUNESession 1 The Energy Trilemma: Resilience | Affordability | Targets & transition technologies
10:00 Mike McCreary, Director, Cambridge Investment Research, Introduction
10:05 Jeremy Nicholson, Senior Advisor, EEF, Energy Intensive Users Group, Chairman’s Opener
10:10 Peter Sharratt, Director – Sustainability Services, SBP (spin out Deloitte), Guiding future investments for property, infrastructure & sustainability needs
10:20 Audience Collected intelligence, Comments & questions for day speakers and panellists from audience – one minute each
10:50 Dr Bernard J Bulkin, NED, Ludgate Investments (former Chief Scientist BP) & Cambridge Univ., Keynote: The Energy Trilemma
11:10 Panel with speakers and chair

Morning coffee & showcase of products and services

Session 2 Fracking in Focus
Professor Andy Woods, Lead Scientist, CU BPI, Science & the Risks and rewards of fracturing for shale gas
Marieke Beckmann, Research Lead National Physical Laboratory, CCM, Emissions measurement in fracking
Dr Tony Smith, Technical Director SLR Consulting Separating Myth from reality – Fracking and the social licence
Joel Price, COO San Leon Energy, Experiences of shale development in the EU
Michael Bradshaw – Professor of Global Energy Warwick University Keynote: The impact of the US shale gas revolution on UK gas security
Panel with moderator Professor Woods CU BP Institute

Lunch networking & exhibition of products & services

Session 3 Energy markets: competition & pricing
Mike Wilks, Director Smart Energy Poyry, Energy market structure: could do better?
Hen Cooke & Emilia Melville Buro Happold, TSB-funded case study: domestic demand response & smart grids
Doug Stewart, CEO Green Energy UK, The role of alternative suppliers of energy
Ashleye Gunn, Programme Director Which? , Consumer policy and market solutions
Neil Pennington, Programme Director: Smart, rwe nPower, Keynote: Vertical integration, other structures and the real effects on energy supply prices
Panel with chairman

Coffee networking & expo of products & services

Session 4 Plenary Policy debate grids and energy: innovators | funding | regulation & reforms
Dora Guzeleva, Head of Network Policy Ofgem, How regulation can be a win-win for stakeholders
Ian Ellerington, Head of Innovation, DECC, The key role of innovators in changing the energy industry
Steve Dawson, VP / Dr Mark England, EVP Smart Grid, Sentec, Routes to market for energy innovators
Pilgrim Beart, Founder, AlertMe, Keynote: UK energy management innovation in global markets
Panel with Chairman – followed by Chairmen’s summaries

Drinks networking

VENUES
Murray Edwards College, Buckingham House Conference Centre, Cambridge, England, CB3 0DR – state-of-art tiered auditorium, excellent, light networking & exhibition spaces, meeting areas, great food, plentiful coffee. CIR invites you to become one of the best business delegates in the world, nurturing your business development and personal and corporate success by leaning into the value network & having fun at the same time. And the Roundtable Dinner is at King’s College, Cambridge. It doesn’t get better than that!

My take on ARM Holdings plc

ARM is growing up and has considerable brand value to add on as it matures, on top of the value it adds as it grows by revenues and profit.

The April 2014 multiples were fairly high, then there was a correction of 12.5% below 5 year trend line.

But my target for ARM’s share price in 4 year’s time is £25-£30+, hitting these levels in at least one pre-emptive spurt before that time, given the typical volatility of the price.

Why, in summary?

I assume conditions remaining roughly the same in the longer run in terms of attitudes to financial ratios. The company will likely grow at least 20% a year given the market outlook for the current and new areas it sells into. On top of all that, it will add intangible value like better-known global electronics and ICT brands have done (see E&T Magazine April 2014 for brand value increases in electronics and IT). This intangible brand value will affect the share price directly, but may also help maintain or increase royalty and licensing fee rates that ARM can command.

Top 6 reasons:

ARM…
1. has a beautiful business model involving tech licensing and royalties in high barrier, deep tech.
2. is yet fully to exploit its brand and go confidently shoulder to shoulder with the big guys who have the big, rapidly growing brand values in electronics and ICT. But it is beginning to do this through market diversification, corporate marketing, supply chain management and internal cultural development: remember Apple was its first customer!
3. has a beautiful strategy to push further into the markets it currently dominates (smartphones, which Analysts at IDC say is growing at 28.9% p.a.) – because those markets are still growing and the number of chips per phone is increasing while the phones get priced cheaper for global emerging markets.
4. is consistently growing itself on average at 15-20% a year, and has been for at least 4 years.
5. new markets are amazing, pretty much exponential, such as IoT (MCUs, radio, sensors, embedded) and ARM is better placed than anyone to exploit them and benefit from their general take-up.
6. any competitors that threaten are more likely to drive up the ARM share price if they succeed, as they might for a time be in a position to buy ARM, but it more likely that ARM will grow and become a feisty global brand, an icon of the knowledge economy in the next decade.
7. ARM’s price rose an order of magnitude in the past 5 years; these targets represent a considerable slow down in those timescales.
8. is investing not only in great R&D staff, but is also expanding its global marketing campaigns: innovation AND marketing.

So I am not moved by this little bump has happened because of a regrade by an investment bank and by a general forum about tech share levels. They bear no resemblance to 1999 in absolute financial ratio terms; and ARM bears no resemblance to a revenueless, USP-less dotcom.

In the big picture, you have a superb business, and the medium-term is looking excellent.

About CIR

Cambridge Investment Research (CIR Strategy) is an independent consultancy trading since 2002. Its Company Director, Justin Hayward MMath MBA PhD is invested in ARM. Justin Hayward, 45, is a former Hawking PhD student (early 90s) and a former Deutsche Bank quant relative value analyst (late 90s).

This note is not a recommendation to buy or sell a security.

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HVM Graphene+ 2014: from research events to a grounded applications business event

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The Oxford 15 May edition of HVM Graphene+ 2014 is looking a delicious lineup of highly interesting and grounded talks by a dozen entrepreneurial and large player speakers.

There will be less hype about graphene and less naiveté about its automatic dominance. It will be challenged by the full gamut of functional materials, their pricing strategies, manufacturing utilities and applications.

So join us on 15 May – we are already more than half full, bookings are flowing in from senior and eminent guests, and the event is set to bring together some really interesting people.

Book now – speaking roles are complete. But places & exhibition stand positions in great positions for this conference are now limited & continue at lower cost!

Best wishes

CIR Team 2014

01223 303500

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Once upon a time, there was an old power grid…

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Once upon a time, there was an old power grid.
Every day, the grid creaked under more strain and got older, less reliable and more stretched.
One day, people said – we want more renewable power on a grid that enables demand response so it doesn’t fall over, and wherein energy is affordable for consumers. This set of requirements caused even more problems. They then said: but we can fix this. We can make it better, more robust, affordable, smarter and cleaner.
Because of that, people who understand how they might improve things for this complex problem got together in conferences, briefings and workshops.
Because of that – they talked through issues and solutions and prioritised the plans for getting there safely.
Until finally, the Smart Grid became a reality!!!
6th Smart Grids & Cleanpower 2014
An excellent 2-day conference in Cambridge 3-4 June. The first day is an executive briefing day with experts giving in-depth talks, with private meetings, drinks, and culminating in a dinner roundtable at King’s College Cambridge.
The second day is a two-stream business conference with short talks and long panels, amid great speakers and businesspeople and entrepreneurs. One stream on smart grids and the other on smart energy, including fracking and energy trilemma sessions.
Don’t miss out!

The value of small, focussed conferences & referrals

A snippet from academia…

We ended the week looking at the optimal strategy for improving your centrality.

Centrality is how close to the center of the graph you are.

An application of this is how close you are to the center of your social network.

The initial simplistic model has an interesting conclusion…

there is more value in introducing two of your contacts than there is in meeting someone new in terms of your centrality.

This means that creating triads is more valuable than meeting new people. The other advantage of introducing people is that it does not reduce your distance to the edge of the network, i.e. it does not increase your visability to people you do not know. Introducing people does not mean a commitment on your part. It also means that  social brokers are increasing their own value by making introductions.

So far the model is very simplistic , I want to explore weights (the impact of other people’s centrality) and the distance they are from you in the graph. For example, if someone is a long distance from you, it may be more valuable to meet them than introduce people (i.e. Never commit early unless you know why).

If we can extend the proof on this it would mean that small focused conferences based on a group of very close friends would be shown to be more valuable than a larger one with weak links.

- IC PhD student linked to CIR

Economies of agglomeration

Very interesting programme with Evan Davis about London’s success last night, did you see it?

‘Economies of Agglomeration” was the key phrase.

Pack people into local clusters and they are more productive and more creative. Tech cities like Cambridge show this. King’s Cross is being developed with this in mind, by the likes of Google.

And people still love being together despite the technology as this seems to enable greater productivity.

This seems to vindicate my blogpost about high productivity at conferences where you can collar a good number of people in one day whilst learning and updating yourself and working.