CoDE at the VHive Launch: Important digital partnerships

Surrey Business School’s Centre for the Digital Economy (CoDE) was out in force at the recent launch of A New Global Venture in Digital Innovation and Animal Health — “vHive”, the Veterinary Health Innovation Engine — at the impressive main building of the new School of Veterinary Medicine – which is the hub of so much innovation at the moment that it’s hard to keep up.

V-Hive Gif

Professor Alan Brown chaired the afternoon panel on ‘The Digital Economy applied to Animal Health’, directing the presentations towards ‘how great science becomes great business’, and the closely interconnected future of business and animal health in the Digital Economy. As the panel’s Simon Doherty, of UK Trade & Investment, pointed out, ‘Innovation is flat, without an application to Society.’ Dr Ben Shenoy also spoke with his usual insight on ‘The Future of Business in a Digital Economy,’ and CoDE’s supporting members included Dr Phil Godsiff, Professor Roger Maull, Megan Beynon, Fran Lumbers, and Kris Henley. CoDE’s Dr David Plans’ BioBeats company was ably represented at its stand by Rufus Hall, and illustrated another angle of the cutting-edge interplay between wearables, health, and digital.

This joint initiative between the University of Surrey and global animal health company Zoetis will bring together experts from the University’s 5G Innovation Centre, School of Veterinary Medicine, and Centre for the Digital Economy, working together to harness the benefits of the digital age for the health and welfare of animals — and all the speakers agreed that partnerships are the key in this venture. After all, it’s not a case of business being ‘simple’ in the face of ‘complicated’ science – business is becoming just as complicated as scientific endeavour, and just as reliant on true innovation. As Professor Alex Cook observed, it’s now a case of ‘All Data, Great and Small.’ Surrey’s excellence on all three fronts – engineering, medicine, and business – were and are its winning hand.

This was also an important milestone for CoDE, as it was a particularly critical illustration of the cross Faculty support we’re providing to our colleagues, as well as of essential industry support for our work and ideas.  Through this centre we will be working on a number of innovation projects, and we have outline approval for several Zoetis-funded PhD studentships.

Business experimentation will feature at the physical and figurative heart of the Vet School, with the new innovation lab as a kind of ‘sister’ initiative to Surrey Business School’s ground-breaking Business Insights Lab. The CoDE team is particularly strong on members who bring an engineering background to their business and entrepreneurial roles.

All the feedback from the event was very supportive and recognized CoDE’s integral role in investigating the business model and digital platform challenges being faced in areas such as animal health. We’ll be central in this synthesis of medicine, technology and business – pushing forward innovation, as well as adoption.

We can’t wait to see what further opportunities will arise as a result of this activity – we made some great contacts on our stand at the Launch. Would you like to know more? Get in touch.

Kris Henley, CoDE Project Officer