« February 12, 2020 - March 13, 2020 »
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Start: 18:45
End: 20:00

Venue: OVO Energy Ltd. 1 Rivergate Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6ED map

Speakers: Julie Pierce, Director of Openness, Data and Digital, Food Standards Agency

6.45pm Refreshments
7.15pm Main Talks

Please register for this event here

The UK food system is important to all of us, actively participating 3 times a day. It is also critical to the UK economy. Half the food we eat is imported, and supplied to us through very complex supply chains. The actors include huge multi-nationals like Unilever through to hundreds of thousands of micro businesses – people who probably don’t realise they are a food business as they sell their home made cupcakes on Facebook, or the prisons and hospitals who feed us when in troubled times.

So, how can we predict the risk through all of that? Whether looking for issues happening here and now in the kebab shop down the road through to predicting the impact of climate change on food. We are using data, much of it open data, and open algorithms, to produce valuable insights and predict where the risk lies. We have taken a very agile approach: We take real life business questions and run the question through a standard 10 week sprint. We progressively build up the level of sophistication, linking more and more data sets together, and working in nearer real time. We have been using machine learning. We are now investigating AI to predict which food businesses pose the greatest risk to consumers and so the authorities need to pay them greater attention.

Julie PierceJulie Pierce joined the FSA in September 2015. She has previously been the Chief Information Officer for Defra and Director of Corporate Services for the Animal and Plant Health Agency). In these roles she has driven new digital and data solutions to business problems.

Most recently Julie has delivered on the FSA’s principle to be open through the publication of c70% of their data as Open Data. She has created a data enabled surveillance capability that provides long and near term view of new and changing food safety and adulteration risk. She has worked with other government partners and the food industry on the exploitation of modern digital solutions such as sensors, blockchain.

Julie spent a number of years consulting and leading IT enabled change programmes for both central government and the private sector. She spent over 10 years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, culminating in her partnership in 2002. Her projects ranged from financial services to aircraft maintenance, and from Warsaw to Malta. However, she started her professional life as an oceanographer working in oil exploration and then went on to use satellite imagery in anti-submarine warfare for the UK Admiralty.

She has remained interested in the application of science and new technology throughout her career.

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