South Yorkshire Internet of Things Meetup: Tuesday 8th November 2022

By Lauren Shale

Last week, members of the Internet of Things (IoT) community were welcomed to Gatsby Bar in Sheffield for a night filled with excellent speeches, plenty of networking and – of course – some delicious Mexican food! Although the meetups have been themed in the past, with the topics of IoT in Space, or in Food and Agritech for example, this event was focussed on a more general theme to celebrate and showcase just how broad all of the IoT activity in the region is.

 

The evening was hosted by Mark Davies, CEO and Co-founder at Sheffield-based cybersecurity company Ioetec. Welcoming regular and new faces, Mark stressed the importance of these meetups for creating moments of serendipity, building strong networks and bringing people together.

He then introduced our first speaker: Paul Ridgway from The Curve, a general technology consultancy based in Sheffield. Paul braved a live demonstration using a raspberry pi, showing the benefits of Alpine Linux, which he described as the ideal operating system for single board computers in IoT due to its lightweight distribution and potential for full system updates over-the-air. His talk was insightful, and the attendees definitely learnt something new from the demonstrations!

Taking back the mic, Mark shared the fact that 5 million homes in the UK are at risk of flooding, demonstrated perfectly with a photo of him chest-deep in water in his back garden! This was all to highlight the importance of our next speaker, Gerbren Haaksma from the Flood Defence Team at Andel Ltd. Andel is an environmental service company, focussing on sensor based monitoring to solve issues for clients across the nation. Gerbren talked us through Andel’s Flood Defence end-to-end solution, including a Flood Alert system which measures surface and ground water levels as they rise and sends alerts when needed. Andel also provide various solutions in response to flooding, including flood barriers and pumps – which Mark may need to make an investment in!

Last to speak was Ben White, of Sheffield Tribology Services, a start-up based in Sheffield focusing on friction wear testing of railways. STS are working with TEAM SY’s IoT Engine pre-accelerator programme to build a prototype of their portable tribometer (friction testing device), which is the first of its kind to be designed for widespread industry adoption. Currently, the reaction between leaves and the steel on the rail costs the UK £350million a year and industry workers have a total lack of suitable test equipment. With their tribometer, STS will be able to optimise friction measurements to help prevent damage, reduce safety incidents and decrease delays – which the audience were particularly happy to hear. IoT connectivity will be integrated into the device with centralised sensors measuring contamination, temperature and humidity, and LoRaWan networks automatically uploading this data to inform decision makers of the environmental conditions, ultimately helping to create a safer, faster, and more efficient rail industry.

As always, the meetup closed with the chance for attendees to share any relevant IoT activity or interests. Sam Jones from the IoT Tribe stood up to speak about their new equity-free programme ‘DECARBONISE SY’ which they are running with TEAM SY. The programme is for outstanding startups and scaleups with a product or service built around the Internet of Things (IoT), helping cities and industries achieve a net zero future. Applications to the programme close on November 18th. For more information, and to apply. Visit: Decarbonise SY

Lauren Shale reminded attendees that for those with early-stage IoT ideas, their pre-accelerator programme, the IoT Engine, can support SMEs and start-ups to adopt, integrate and develop IoT through 1:1 mentoring, prototyping and proof-of concept support. Applications for the programme are open on a rolling basis, and you can find out more here: IoT Engine – TEAM SY (weareteamsy.org)

She also invited attendees to the South Yorkshire Tech Summit, taking place at Cineworld in Barnsley on Thursday 24th November from 12-6pm. This will bring together industry expertise, business leaders and senior decision makers from across South Yorkshire and beyond to hear from a range of thought leaders and experts about the importance of a vibrant tech and digital economy in the region. You can find out more, and register for a ticket here: South Yorkshire Tech Summit Tickets, Thu 24 Nov 2022 at 12:00 | Eventbrite

Finally, Ceri Batchelder from TEAM SY stood up to speak about their latest support programme, the AI Academy, which is taking place on 29th and 30th November at Sheffield Tech Parks, which will support businesses to introduce artificial intelligence and grow their business. Applications are open until 22nd November, and you can find more information here: AI Academy – TEAM SY (weareteamsy.org)

Ceri also extended an invitation to the TEAM SY Christmas Showcase, taking place at the DMC in Barnsley on Thursday 8th December from 5-8:30pm. This will be an amazing evening celebrating all programmes across TEAM SY, including the IoT Engine, with ‘market stall’ style exhibitions and plenty of chances to network over festive food, drink and entertainment. You can get your tickets here: TEAM SY Christmas Celebration Event Tickets, Thu 8 Dec 2022 at 17:30 | Eventbrite

The event finished with further networking opportunities over Mexican tacos, nachos and cocktails – the perfect end to the evening!

Resources and Staying in Touch:

To join the regional IoT community, please sign up to the South Yorkshire IoT Meetup newsletter, which will keep you up to date on IoT news and activity. Follow this link and select ‘SY IoT Meetups’

You can also join our Meetup Page: South Yorkshire Internet of Things Meetup (SY IoT) (Sheffield, United Kingdom) | Meetup

Acknowledgements: Thanks to the team at Gatsby for hosting the event, Barnsley DMC and TEAM SY for sponsoring, and the brilliant You & Us Events for managing all the logistics.