Meet Your Neighbours at Salford Innovation Forum Roundup, 29th June


Meet Your Neighbours - Salford Innovation Forum, 29th June 

MSP has a thriving and diverse innovation community which is home to over 300 companies from across the science and technology sectors. Whether it be at our Central Campus, located in the heart of Manchester’s Innovation District, or our other unique sites such as Alderley Park, a dedicated Life Science Enterprize Zone and home to the Medicines Discovery Catapult, we love to shine a spotlight on the great things our customers are currently working on.

This month we visited Salford Innovation Forum to hear from two MSP customers - Defendza, a cyber security consultancy with a mission to protect our online data, and  Upside Energy who are rethinking how humans use energy and leading the way in creating a greener energy store.

First to present was Arjun Pednekar from Defendza, a dynamic cyber security consultancy that is set on protecting and securing our data across the web. Defendza explained that our ever increasing uses of technology and the internet mean cyber security is more important now than ever before. Today we use the internet for activities like our shopping, online banking, managing bills and booking holidays, all of which include entering details and data that are at risk of being hacked. The consequences of hacked or stolen data can result in data loss, identity theft, device theft and subsequent loss of trust with companies that rely on the internet to provide services.

Defendza work with businesses and individuals across all sectors by using a simple integrated solution which can solve the most pressing challenges of data loss and theft. With over 10 years of experience, Defendza has grown through creation, invention and innovation by supporting the security community and sharing knowledge and ideas. Defendza often quote the famous computer privacy and security expert, Bruce Schneier, who said “people don’t understand computers. Computers are magical boxes that do things. People believe what computers tell them.’’ Luckily, Defendza do understand these magical boxes and are able to offer their knowledge and expertise to protect the way we enter personal information and data online.

Next to present was Matt Potts from Upside Energy, an innovative start up company who are leading the way in creating more cost efficient and greener ways to consume energy. Upside Energy reminded us that every time we flick a switch, something has to happen. It is easy to take for granted that each flick needs to be supported by a vast complex network in order to deliver the energy we need, springing to our command whenever we need it. Not only does this put a huge stress on the electricity grid, but it also extracts millions of tonnes of fossil fuels and emits greenhouse gases and other pollutants in the process of giving us energy.

To combat this problem, Upside Energy is developing a cloud service that aggregates energy stored in UPS systems, solar panels, electric vehicles and domestic heating systems. This creates a Virtual Energy Store which can sell to the grid to help balance supply and demand at peak times, distributing 75% of the revenue back to original equipment owners. By initiating a time shift for when energy is used, less energy is consumed at times when the grid is under most stress. The result of this is a cheaper rate for energy, a reduction in CO2 emissions and a grid which runs more reliably. Upside Energy was created in 2013 as one of the five finalists of the NESTA dynamic demand hackathon in London. Since then, Upside Energy has secured funding from Innovate UK, DECC and private investors to help them bring their industry-leading ideas to life.  Upside Energy are currently looking for new UPS pilot sites who are willing to provide balancing services. Please contact

It is these aspirational and new solutions that perfectly captures the innovative work that happens here at MSP, and why it is always exciting to catch up with our customers.

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