editor’s note:-Â The currency industry is comprised of relatively few governmental and corporate participants and therefore has limited representatives to attend events for the purpose of accessing relevant industry information. Conferences and Seminars present some of the only opportunities to learn and build an industry network. In the world of knowledge sharing andÂ knowledgeÂ gathering events, the currency supply chain industry has limited annual opportunities for peer to peer interaction.
The Currency Conference, The Banknote Conference, High Security Printing, The Coin Conference and regional International Commercial Cash Operations SeminarsÂ (ICCOS)Â principal amongst others) focus on providing a relatively intimate setting for a solution exposition, topical presentations and peer networking.
Joining this elite group is the newly minted Currency Supply Chain Institute, which counts Currency Supply Chain Solutions as its corporate entity. Counting On Currency is pleased to be invited as a Media Sponsor for their inaugural conference, “Follow the Cash 2015” to be hosted at the University of West England (UWE) in Bristol, UK. Mark the dates from September 2nd and 3rd 2015 so that you may attend this unique solution exhibitionÂ and plenary session event devoted to the currency supply chain.
Many thanks to Astrid Mitchell, Editor of Currency News for allowing us to republish her first-hand experience meeting the founders of Currency Supply Chain Institute and Currency Supply Chain Solutions for a personal introduction to the institute and UWE related facilities.
University Backs Cash Management
While it is something of a trend for universities to become more directly involved with industry, with benefits to both parties, it may still surprise many in the currency industry that a new university-backed organisation has been established to provide consultancy and development services covering cash in circulation as well as educational programmes.
Currency Newsâ„¢ was invited to the University of the West of England (UWE), based in Bristol, England, to meet some of those involved in the new organisation and to review the enterprise.
Currency Supply Chain Solutions (CSCS) and the Currency Supply Chain Institute (CSCI) are the two entities that embody this new independent organisation for the cash industry.
They cover the whole banknote life cycle from the birth of a banknote, or coin, to destruction, but (as of now) it is not their intention to cover currency design and production, other than aspects which directly relate to currency in circulation.
The organisationâ€™s claim is that it will present a neutral and bias-free resource for the cash industry for improved efficiency through problem solving and product and process development.
It will work with all sectors of the industry from component suppliers and cash handling companies to central banks by partnering with them with the intent of creating and leading innovation in the cash cycle. As this knowledge base builds through projects, it will combine this â€˜coal faceâ€™ experience with existing industry knowledge in offering specific industry related degree courses and executive education programmes.
People and resources
The man behind this initiative is Dr David Finnegan, CEO of CSCS. As well an MBA, he has over two decades of broad business, multi discipline commercial experience and specialises in Strategic and Thought Leadership, Strategic Transformation and Change.
Two members of his team with hands-on currency industry experience but from different vantage points are Ian Crook, Chief Operating Officer, with over 20 yearsâ€™ experience in all aspects of cash handling in companies such as CSI, De La Rue and G4S, and Dr Kevin Wills, Strategic Director, who recently retired from his role as Senior Manager Anti-Counterfeiting Strategy at the Bank of England.
However, a key differentiating factor for this organisation is the resource provided by the university. All of its technical departments are there to support the venture, as demonstrated by the other members of the CSCS Operating Team. They include Dr Noel Burchell, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean with a business and law background; Lyndon Smith, Professor in Computer Simulation and Machine Vision; Dr Abdul Farooq, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology; Kim Chang with experience in business partnership development; and Stephen Batty who is responsible for Professional and Executive Development at UWE.
In addition to this team in the UK, there is a business and industry-experienced global team, confirming the intention of CSCS/CSCI to become the world independent solutions and educational specialist in this field.
CSCS offer services on all aspects of currency management including audits, investigations, problem solving and next generation developments. It involves whichever resources from within UWE it deems necessary, thus providing a unique holistic or multidisciplinary approach to projects (the Bank of England is one of CSCSâ€™s Strategic Partners); already, UWE has several departments such as Robotics, Machine Vision and the Fine Print Laboratory involved in projects.
Currency News was given a guided tour of the extensive UWE facilities at the disposal of CSCS and given an overview (non- specific due to confidentiality) into some aspects of current work. During the tour and in discussions, words and phrases that came up routinely were â€˜automation, interoperability, disruptive technologies, vision, proof of principle, prototypes, feasibility studies, 3D and 4D imaging, image capture at ultra-high speed, cross referencing (other UWE projects in fields such as medicine) and leveragingâ€™.
For medicine, two cross referencing examples were given â€“ how robotics will change both fields and, in medicine, how the approach to keep the patient out of medical care (and effectively in circulation) could be applied in principle for currency. The tour and discussions were sufficient to verify that a new way of approaching the issues of cash management had emerged.
Bank of England provides first test
The Bank of England was CSCSâ€™s first central bank customer. Although unable to give specific details, Kevin Wills indicated that during a visit to the UWE facility, opportunities were identified to exploit UWE technologies. The initial discussions led to a two year project which resulted in the Bank of England becoming a strategic partner to CSCS.
â€˜I was very impressed with their work for the Bank and convinced that this new, independent, university-backed interdisciplinary approach was just what the industry neededâ€™ he noted. â€˜All central banks are under pressure to reduce the cost of currency, and the cost of cash management is a big element of the total. There is a very strong case to maximise efficiency, and although some of the requirements may differ from country to country, many aspects are common, not least the need for interoperability, common standards and automation.â€™
CSCS is expecting to develop new processes, products and technologies in its problem solving and project work. When asked how intellectual property would be treated, David Finnegan, said that â€˜our approach will be flexible. Normally we would expect to share any IP developed, especially if a patent was involved, with our partner in the programme, and we would expect to licence others to use it. But we are prepared to enter into exclusive arrangements too â€“ the main thing is we establish these parameters before we start any project. Overall, however and wherever possible, we wish to see the dissemination of information that will lead to increased efficiency in cash management.â€™
CSCS/CSSI is organising a conference, â€˜Follow the Cash 2015â€™ in the Exhibition and Conference Centre at UWE, Bristol to launch its global initiative. This takes place September 2-3, and will comprise an exhibition along with two days of plenary sessions.
â€˜With a low entry fee we want to welcome as many delegates as possible from all touch points in the cash life cycle including central banks, commercial banks, financial institutions, cash accepting/dispensing/processing suppliers, printers, retail and fraud audiences and law enforcementâ€™ said David Finnegan.
A more detailed programme will be released in the near future. However itâ€™s worth noting that Victoria Cleland, Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, will provide the keynote address. Currency News will be a media partner and will report on the event.
More information can be foundÂ by visiting Currency Supply Chain Solutions website.