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Ellie Coyte

Ellie Coyte is Founder and Head of Marketing at Haelu, a start-up which builds software to support health and social care.  She  joined the Alacrity Foundation after graduating in 2020 and that provided her with mentors and enabled her to develop the concept behind Haelu’s product. It also introduced her to the fellow students with whom she set up the business.

Haelu’s tool empowers social care workers without clinical training to record signs and symptoms, and alerts them when a health professional is needed. “The aim is to help meet people’s needs earlier so that they can live happier and healthier lives,” she says. ”Because while people are tending to live longer they are not necessarily healthier.”  She also hopes it will help social care workers be more valued by giving them a means of sharing much of the knowledge they already have about people they work with.

It is early days and the tool is still under development. However, Ellie believes it has the potential to be adopted in health authorities across Wales and the rest of the UK and Haelu is going through an intensive growth period which she finds stimulating and rewarding. “The best thing about this situation is having room to grow,” she says. “It’s so exciting to be always learning something new that you didn’t know yesterday.

Dr Angus Cheong

In the early 2000s, Angus Cheong saw the potential to use real-time structured and unstructured data analysis to improve the quality of insight from data mining. Angus was a lecturer focused on developing techniques to take public opinion research beyond conventional surveys and polling and after 13 years in academe, he left university life to set up a consultancy focused on data analysis for industry and government using advanced techniques such as AI and machine learning. 

In 2017, this became uMax Data Technology. Angus is still the company’s chief executive, and the business now has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore and clients across Asia. He calls their approach “DiVo” (data in value out) in contrast to many previous “GiGo” systems (garbage in, garbage out).  

Iain Johnston and Chris Hurst

Iain Johnston and Chris Hurst are the top team of Blackwired, which brings a military philosophy to defending nations and enterprises against threats from the Dark Web. Chris brings a lifelong interest in computers and lessons learned as CSIO in BT, while Iain contributes the experience of a military career more recently applied to Cyber.

In this interview they describe the fundamentals of the Dark Web and the activities within its industrial complex before moving on to illustrate its significance to the critical activities of commerce and Government. The interview illustrates, with examples, the potency of the threat from the Dark Web and what the emerging industry of cyber countermeasures can do to protect us all.

Dr. A. Michael Noll

Dr Noll has been active in the Internet and Computing industries for over 60 years and a theme of this conversation is that there is nothing new under the sun. Michael is an entertaining speaker and a great communicator: I am indebted for his kind and clear explanation that his birthplace of “Nork, New Jersey” is not be linguistically confused with our town of “New-Ark on Trent.”

He started his career with an incisive paper in 1961 about the opportunities and dangers that computers might bring and has seen much of it come to pass. Michael’s career has spanned a huge range of technologies and it is fascinating to see that many big ideas were conceived in the very early days of commercial computing but had to wait to realise their potential. Michael, for his PhD, built a haptic or force-feedback device (and patented the concept) 50 years ago and still has a vision of how more could (and will) be done with the technology. He can cite at lease two false starts to the realisation of what we now know as the Internet, to which he made his own contributions as well as being an acute observer of its potential and use.

Michael is an outstanding scholar, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, an enthusiast for the Arts, including his own role in them, and a world-renowned pioneer of Digital Computer Art.

Ben Wood

As a graduate trainee at Vodafone in 1985, Ben Wood little realised the significance of the industry he was joining. “Who would have thought the mobile phone would become the most prolific electronics device on the planet?” he says.

In 2020, Ben set up the Mobile Phone Museum, which has hundreds of handsets ranging from the earliest devices to collectors’ gems such as the Huawei KFC phone, emblazoned in red and engraved with an image of Colonel Sanders.

Although currently virtual, the aim is for the museum to have a physical pop-up exhibition by 2025, in time for the 40-year anniversary of the first mobile phone call made in the UK.

Ben is also chief analyst and chief marketing officer at CCS Insight, a consultancy focused on connected technology, which he has helped grow from three people in the UK to a global team of 30.

Ben was not hugely academic at school, but flourished at university, especially during a year’s work placement at Texas Instruments in the south of France. “I had a luggable laptop, desktop computer and an email address, which was quite exciting at the time,” he says, “a trigger for making tech part of my life.”

Working for an American multinational proved a “wonderful immersion” in the way IT was evolving. It also taught him how to build empathy with people and maximise business relationship. He worked his way up through the industry until, in 2001, he became the youngest ever research VP at Gartner.

Still a consultant, Ben has never lost his love of gadgetry, and changes his phone every three to five weeks. This keeps him up-to-date with the latest in foldable phones, wrap-around screens, 5G, and connectivity with smart-watches, smart-glasses and headphones. He even wears a ring that functions as a credit card.

Such devices will play an increasing role in healthcare over the next few years, he says, perhaps measuring blood sugar and body temperature as well as heart-rate and sleep patterns.

In 2020, Ben set up the Mobile Phone Museum, which has hundreds of handsets ranging from the earliest devices to collectors’ gems such as the Huawei KFC phone, emblazoned in red and engraved with an image of Colonel Sanders.

Although currently virtual, the aim is for the museum to have a physical pop-up exhibition by 2025, in time for the 40-year anniversary of the first mobile phone call made in the UK.

Ben is also chief analyst and chief marketing officer at CCS Insight, a consultancy focused on connected technology, which he has helped grow from three people in the UK to a global team of 30.