Packed with sessions, informative keynotes, and practical workshops, the Data Innovation Showcase will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to connect with their peers, learn from our experts, and gain hands-on experience of the latest tools and techniques. 

Keynote Speakers

Data in Public: Engaging the Public for Better Innovation
Dr Mhairi Aitken, Ethics Fellow, The Alan Turing Institute

While data-intensive innovation aims to bring benefits across diverse fields including healthcare, housing and urban planning, these benefits are often not fully realised because projects are designed for the public, not with or by the public.

Drawing on more than fifteen years’ experience of public engagement with science and technology, Dr Mhairi Aitken will explore the importance of public involvement to inform responsible and beneficial data-intensive innovation.  Through examples of previous public engagement, she will demonstrate that involving the public is key to increasing the value, benefits, acceptability and overall success of projects. The talk will map out paths forward to expand the role of the public in shaping the future of data-intensive innovation, moving from innovating for the public, to innovating with the public.

How Might We … turbocharge the impact of the social sector by leveraging data, technology and human connection? 
Hannah Underwood, Data4Good Maven

As a region we already have most of the ingredients needed to tackle our wicked social and economic problems. But we need to create new recipes. 

Join Hannah on a journey exploring interconnected, cross-sector ideas emerging from that wonderful place where data, technology and human connection overlap. Simple innovative ideas we can evolve and deliver together to tackle social injustice and drive inclusive growth for the North East and beyond.

Data-Driven Success Stories

Hear from speakers representing diverse organisations as they share real-world stories of successful projects leveraging data science. Discover the power of data in driving growth, improving operations, and sparking innovation. Uncover hidden insights and witness the transformative impact of cutting-edge analytics. Be inspired by these examples of success and gain valuable insights to propel your own organization forward. Explore the intersection of data science and business innovation, unlocking new opportunities. Don't miss this unique opportunity to harness the potential of data for your business.

AI Bluffers and Experts (and how to live happily together)
David Baillie, Founder, Seascape Systems

Seascape is a small local start-up who had a hunch that AI might be able to solve a key problem facing the offshore renewable energy industry. But that was all we had, a hunch, plus a bluffers knowledge of AI gleaned from a largely bluffing media. But to move forward we needed to be told by experts in no uncertain terms what AI actually was, and what it could and couldn’t do. 
So this is a story of how we made that journey under the TLC of NICD. We’re still bluffing a little (or maybe even a lot!) when we talk to our investors and clients. But thanks to our work with the real experts at NICD, our bluffing is now at least factually based. And that means we’re closer to solving that problem.

Intelligent and Sustainable Heritage Management
Roxana Montazerian, CEO and Founder, ROXID

Roxana's presentation will cover how ROXID revolutionises heritage management through innovative data management techniques. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and advanced methodologies, ROXID has transformed the way we preserve and maintain our cultural heritage. She will delve into the specifics of these innovations and demonstrate their impact on the field.

Furthermore, Roxana will explore how the structured approach of 'Project Scoping' has allowed us to clearly define our objectives and identify key areas for improvement. The 'Arrow Program,' backed by the National Innovation Centre for Data, has provided essential resources and expertise, enabling us to tackle complex data science problems effectively. This collaborative effort has not only enhanced our problem-solving capabilities but also paved the way for future advancements in heritage data management.

Debt Data Discovery
Nick Lamb, Service Design Lead, Gateshead Council

An overview of how Gateshead Council have been supported by NICD to make use of data science to better understand the impact debt is having on its citizens and how data is improving policy and operational delivery.

Innovating the Home Buying and Selling Process
Simon Priestley, Partner, Home Sale Pack

Designed to revolutionise the home buying and selling process by providing as much information as possible prior to the sale of the property, Home Sale Pack is an upfront information provider,  providing all the information needed to sell a property at the beginning, including title documents, property forms, supporting documents, searches, EPC and a property health check.  

In collaboration with the National Innovation Centre for Data, Home Sale Pack started exploring the usage ofGenerative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) models to build prototypes of question-answering systems capable of extracting, verifying and generating novel responses based on user queries related to the aforementioned legal documents. By leveraging GenAI-based solutions, Home Sale Pack is expected to considerably speed up the conveyancing process.

Home Sale Pack has made an impressive start since launching on February 5, it already has more than 200 registered estate agents nationally and is actively preparing packs for sellers.  Home Sale Pack vision is to be the market leaders in providing upfront information which is backed be innovative technology that speeds up the home buying and selling process.

Teacher Coach - an AI-supported coaching solution for beginning teachers 
Liz Maxwell,  Director of Partnerships, Teacher Success Platform

Since the launch of Chat-GPT in November 2022, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has quickly become a, if not the, hot topic in education and other fields. Much of the commentary, however, is focused on the potential threats posed by AI, with less attention focused on its positive, transformative possibilities. 

We share the aims and development of Teacher Coach, an AI supported coaching solution for trainees and beginning teachers. This technology has exciting possibilities, especially for educators in rural and remote communities where access to professional support can be limited. 

Using AI to supercharge complex data extraction
Dr Paul Hands, Chief Technical Officer, Parallel-51

There is a lot of value held in legal contracts between financial firms, and a lot of legal contracts between these firms can be decades old, and still held in the paper they are written on. A huge hurdle in the legal world is digitising these documents as quickly and efficiently as possible. It takes many hours of time (and hence has a large price tag) to convert from a paper based system to a more digital one.

Parallel 51 has embraced the cutting edge capacity of AI to help streamline and optimise this process, using the newest methods and techniques to let machine learning models do the heavy lifting. In collaboration with NICD we had a goal to improve our model to extract from multiple page length documents data that was prevalent to legal companies.

Exploring newest techniques such as retrieval augmented generation we were able to refine and improve our system, which we will talk about more in depth today. 

Accelerating innovation: data driven advancements for edge AI
Jordan Burnard, Lawyer and Co-Founder, VA-Code

Discover how VA-code, founded by JB and Tom, is revolutionising personal cybersecurity with their AI-driven, privacy-first solution. Learn about the challenges they faced, including the complexities of implementing edge AI, data compression, and locally run AI technologies. Understand how these new technologies compare to traditional machine learning methods in terms of efficiency and privacy. Explore the pivotal role of the ARROW programme and how data is driving the future of digital trust and security. Dive into the data-driven innovations that powered eGUARD and the transformative impact it has had on preventing cyber fraud.

Details coming soon

The Conference Tracks

Track A: Data Mastery

What is the Data Mastery Track?

Immerse yourself in our Data Mastery Track, where interactive workshops and practical hands-on sessions unveil the latest tools and techniques in data science. Dive deep into trustworthy machine learning, large language models and prompt injections, semantic search, generative AI, real-world AI case studies, machine learning for wildlife conservation and MLOps. In just 90 minutes per session, you will learn how to harness these powerful methods to achieve innovation, drive data-driven decision-making, and propel your business forward. Whether you're a business leader, data scientist, or decision-maker, this track will equip you with all the skills necessary to leverage data effectively. Join us on this empowering journey to unlock the potential of data, master new techniques, and revolutionise the way you make decisions and drive innovation within your organisation. 

Why sign up?

  • Cutting-edge knowledge: Gain access to the latest tools and techniques in data science, ensuring you stay at the forefront of industry advancements and innovation. 
  • Practical workshops: Benefit from interactive workshops and hands-on sessions that provide practical experiences and real-world applications, allowing you to immediately apply your learnings to deliver results. 
  • Innovation focus: Explore how data science can be harnessed to achieve innovation within your business, enabling you to uncover new opportunities, optimise processes, and stay ahead of the competition. 
  • Data-driven decision making: Learn how to leverage data effectively to make informed decisions. By understanding statistical analysis, machine learning, and visualisation techniques, you can drive data-driven decision-making processes that lead to better outcomes. 
  • Skill enhancement: Develop your skills in areas such as computer vision, automated reporting, coding, and more. Acquiring these in-demand skills can enhance your career prospects and make you a valuable asset in an increasingly data-driven business landscape. 
  • Networking opportunities: Connect with like-minded professionals, industry experts, and thought leaders in data science. Engage in meaningful discussions, share insights, and build valuable connections that can support your professional growth. 
  • Business transformation: Gain the knowledge and expertise to transform your business by leveraging data effectively. Discover how data science can optimise operations, enhance customer experiences, and drive innovation, leading to long-term and sustainable business success. 

Who is this Track for?

  • Data professionals, business leaders and decision-makers 
  • Professionals seeking to unlock the potential of data science 
  • Individuals interested in driving innovation in their organisations 
  • Those looking to enhance their data science capabilities 
  • Entrepreneurs and start-ups aiming to leverage data for business success 
  • Professionals interested in understanding the impact of data-driven tools and strategies 
  • Individuals seeking networking opportunities with experts in data science 
  • Aspiring data scientists and students

Trustworthy Machine Learning for Data-driven Decision Making 
Dr Matt Edwards, Senior Data Scientist. National Innovation Centre for Data

Deploying a machine learning model into production often requires trust from stakeholders. This trust can come from developing a trustworthy model that aligns with your goals, can achieve and continue to achieve your goals and can explain its own behaviour. In other words, trustworthy models should be aligned, competent, reliable and open. 

In this masterclass, we will explore these four key dimensions of trustworthiness in the context of data-driven decision making and discuss practical strategies to help utilise them. Topics will include accuracy, fairness, privacy, robustness and explainability. 

Searching for Meaning with LangChain: Intro to Semantic Search 
Dr Fergus McClean, Data Scientist. National Innovation Centre for Data

Recently, semantic search has become very popular as organisations seek to use LLMs to answer questions about their data through Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG). In this interactive workshop, we will explore what semantic search is and how you can use it to find the information you’re looking for in your own text data.  

Join us to discover some practical tips and tricks and get the opportunity to experiment with building your own miniature search engine! 

AI in the Wild
Peter Michalák, Senior Data Scientist, and Prof Barry Hodgson, Director of Strategy, National Innovation Centre for Data

Discover the latest trends in applied AI and learn how it can benefit your organisation. This masterclass offers an overview of AI use cases with real-world applications, including LLM for information extraction, object detection, classification, natural language processing, and more. Additionally, you will learn about NICD’s paid and fully funded service offerings.

Prompt Injection - The No.1 AI Security Risk
Doro Hinrichs, Associate Developer, and Kira Clark, Test Engineer, Scott Logic

With the tremendous opportunities that AI offers come significant security risks that you need to be aware of and be able to manage. In this interactive workshop, you will learn about the challenges of Prompt Injection Attacks and try out hacking an AI chatbot yourself.

From Noise to Nuance: Exploring Image Generative AI Models 
Dr Antonia Kontaratou, Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

If the world of image generation seems blurry, join our interactive workshop to uncover how AI models work their magic! Explore the inner workings of diffusion models as we journey through the process of transforming random noise into diverse images. Through a blend of theory and hands-on practice, you will gain insight into this process where no text prompts are used!  

Large Language Models (LLMs) for Natural Language Processing (NLP) Tasks
Louise Braithwaite MSc, Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

Join us for our Large Language Models (LLMs) workshop focused on Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. Through a blend of theory and hands-on practice, participants will delve into the core concepts of prompt engineering, gaining practical experience in applying these techniques to real-world scenarios using the LangChain framework and Python.  

If you would like to learn more about LLMs or sharpen your NLP skills, this session is for you! 

MLOps: Deploying Models into Production 
Myles Mitchell, Data Scientist, Jumping Rivers

Join us for an insightful workshop on MLOps, where we'll explore the crucial steps of deploying machine learning models into production. This workshop will cover practical techniques and best practices for ensuring your models are not only functional but also robust and scalable. We'll start with a brief introduction to MLOps and its importance in the machine learning lifecycle.  

By the end of this workshop, you'll have a solid understanding of the end-to-end deployment process, enabling you to take your models from development to production efficiently. This workshop is ideal for data scientists, ML engineers, and anyone interested in learning about production-ready model deployment. 

Applications of Machine Learning in Wildlife Conservation
Dr Georgia Atkinson, Data Scientist, National Innovation Centre for Data

Discover the transformative role of machine learning in wildlife conservation in this masterclass designed for enthusiasts and professionals alike. We will explore how advanced technologies are being applied to monitor and protect wildlife, with a focus on audio analysis. 

Experience a live demonstration of using low-cost hardware to monitor wildlife and discover practical ways to implement these tools in your own backyard! 

Track B: The Art of Innovation

What is the Art of Innovation Track?

Discover how to deploy data-driven innovation for business success in 'The Art of Innovation' Track. Gain insights from success stories of businesses harnessing data's power to drive growth. Acquire strategies, tools, and expertise to enhance data science capabilities. From decision-making basics to high-level performance improvement concepts, equip your business to thrive in today’s increasingly data-driven landscape. Our real-world case studies will offer actionable insights for transformative impact. You will also learn how to detect growth opportunities, optimise processes, enhance customer experiences, and foster innovation. Explore available support for data and digital journeys. Engage with experts and access resources to build your data science programme. Don't miss this unique opportunity at the intersection of data science, innovation, and business success. Join 'The Art of Innovation' and discover how data can be a game-changer for your organisation. 

Why sign up?

  • Gain valuable insights into the world of data science and its impact on business success
  • Enhance your data science capabilities through access to strategies, tools, and expertise 
  • Learn from real-world case studies of successful data-driven transformations 
  • Enjoy networking opportunities with experts and like-minded professionals 
  • Explore available support and resources for data and digital journeys 
  • Empower strategic decision-making by leveraging data as a game-changer for your organisation

Who is this Track for?

  • Business leaders and decision-makers 
  • Professionals seeking to unlock the potential of data science 
  • Individuals interested in driving innovation in their organisations 
  • Those looking to enhance their data science capabilities 
  • Entrepreneurs and start-ups aiming to leverage data for business success 
  • Professionals interested in understanding the impact of data strategies 
  • Individuals seeking networking opportunities with experts in data science 
  • Those looking for up-to-date insights and resources to support their data and digital journeys 

10:45 - Beyond the Hype
Colin Eberhardt, Chief Technology Officer and James Heward, Principal Architect, Scott Logic

In this session, we strip away the buzzwords and delve into the reality behind the hype. We will dissect the trending topics of facial recognition, autonomous vehicles, AI, and more. Our expert speakers will demystify each buzzword, exploring their practical implications and separating fact from fiction. Discover the true impact of these technologies on our daily lives, job roles, businesses, and society. Gain valuable insights and prepare yourself for the future with a grounded understanding of the potential these buzzwords hold. 

13:15 - Data 101: the absolute beginning of data
Richie Ramsden, Technical Director and Dr Paul Goodman, Innovation Lead, National Innovation Centre for Data

How do we collect and can use data? And what is data anyway? What does the language that data people use really mean? In this hands-on workshop we will start from scratch, dispel myths, and give you the power of the concepts and language that you need in a modern data role. Consider this an induction into the world of data.

10:30 - Data Transformation SAGE
Details coming soon

11:15 - Harnessing Data for Strategic Innovation and Value Creation
Rebecca Casey, Lecturer in Information Systems Management, Newcastle University Business School and Tom Shanks, Director, Blueline Group

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, data has emerged as a critical asset for driving innovation and achieving strategic goals. This presentation will delve into the transformative power of data, illustrating how it can be leveraged to create value across various sectors. Drawing on insights from the Realising Digital Value (RDV) framework, we will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with data-driven projects. 

Participants will gain an understanding of how to harness data for strategic advantage, overcome common obstacles, and implement effective strategies to realise the full potential of their data assets. Through compelling case studies and practical examples, this session will equip practitioners and academics with the knowledge and tools necessary to drive innovation and deliver measurable value from their data initiatives. 

Join us to discover the keys to unlocking the strategic value of data and turning it into a powerful catalyst for innovation and growth. 

13:00 - Innovating in the Open
Adnan Shroufi, Senior Data Scientist and Matthew Wilson, Statistical Publication Lead, NHS Business Services Authority

The NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) are responsible for delivery services that account for around £43 billion of NHS spend annually. As a result, the NHSBSA collect and process some incredibly rich and diverse NHS datasets. The NHSBSA has been on a journey to increase access and maximise insight into this data. We have worked toward this by openly publishing various Population Health Data Science projects and Official Statistical Publications, including all underlying code and methodology. In our case, innovation has been generated and fostered through open working and the goal to engage with a broad audience. 

13:45 - Newcastle Building Society
Jack Pattullo, Lending Commercials and Data Manager, Newcastle Building Society

Details coming soon