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SPARKIES shortlist focus: individual contribution to tech

Through their careers, their personal passions and their various groups and networks, these shortlisted entries in the ‘Individual Contribution to Tech’ category have gone out of their way to further the tech sector.

Our judges were looking for entries that had given their own expertise and enthusiasm to further the overall success of the tech sector and had made significant contribution to the forward movement of technology.

Shortlisted for this award, sponsored by Bath and North East Somerset Council, are the following individuals:

Stuart Farrimond, a medically trained doctor who’s health prevented him from continuing in the profession, is the founder and driving force behind digital ‘science lifestyle’ publication Guru Magazine, a free, crowd-sourced digital publication that looks at scientific issues in a way that can be understood by the masses. Not only has the magazine gained a worldwide readership, but it has already served as a launch-pad for a number of young science writers. Stuart has been shortlisted for the extensive efforts that he has made throughout the past year to use technology to bring science to the masses.

South west entrepreneur Paul Kane is one of just seven people in the world chosen to be an ‘internet keyholder’ – looking after a key that will ‘restart the world wide web’ in the event of a catastrophic event. In the event of a security breach – such as a terrorist attack – Paul will be required to travel to a secure location in the US, meet other keyholders and and recover a master signing key. Mr Kane was chosen for the role after being recognised as a leading internet security specialist.

Professor Phil Willis from the University of Bath’s Department of Computer Science was nominated for his work on developing a new vector-based video codec over the past 10 years, which is expected to lead to the death of the pixel within the next five. Professor Willis’ new codec was released at the CVMP 9th European Conference on Visual Media Production held at Vue Cinema in Leicester Square, London, and has since attracted worldwide attention from leading organisations in the world of digital imaging, including Warner Bros. Willis’ significant breakthrough has the potential to revolutionise the way visual media is produced.

All three shortlisted entries have put the region on the map for their digital expertise and the contribution they have made to the digital and technology sector. This award highlights quite how significant the work being carried out in our region is to the wider digital community. The winner of the award will be announced at The SPARKies on 20 March at Komedia.

About Katrina

Founder of Pepper PR & Marketing, a company specialising in marketing and event management for the digital and tech sector. On the BathSPARK organisation team and involved in running the SPARKies, the south west's best tech awards.

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