Meet Inavation Awards Industry Influencer finalists

Finalists of the inaugural Industry Influencer Inavation Award have been announced, highlighting individuals that have made an impact on the AV industry. Now it’s time to learn more about them.

The 2020 Inavation Awards Industry Influencer category finalists are: 

Ross Ashton - The Projection Studio
Ross Ashton edit

Ashton, creative director and owner of The Projection Studio, is an early pioneer of architectural projection mapping in the UK.

With over 25 years’ experience in large scale projection mapping, Ashton’s work has been seen by live audiences numbering millions and TV audiences of hundreds of millions. 

Starting his career in projection mapping in France in 1992, Ashton has worked on projects across the globe. A standout was designing a projection system 400m across, spanning the harbour at Valetta, Malta for the accession of new member states to the European Union in 2004. The mapping was seen by up to 120,000 people in Valetta, roughly a third of Malta’s population, with up to 1.2 billion TV viewers seeing the worldwide broadcast live. 

For the last 15 years, Ashton has worked as a projection designer in both a technical and creative capacity for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Edinburgh, UK, with a live audience of 250,000 and a TV audience each year ranging between 100 and 300 million over 40 countries. 

Ashton has also created the first permanent outdoor projection mapping installation in India, a heritage interpretation project for the Indian Tourism Development Corporation that is still running 10 years on. This led Ashton to build a second company in India, with permanent installations for central and local governments in the country.

Today, Ashton is also the curator and technical consultant to the Napa Lighted Art Festival in Napa, California, USA. 

Kevan Jones – SACIA 
kevan edit

Jones has racked up almost 30 years of experience in the AV industry, launching AV Specialist magazine into the African market in 1991. Jones subsequently relocated to Dubai to launch the Middle East edition of the magazine. 

Jones also established the Middle East Communications Industries Association (MECIA), working closely with AVIXA to promote the adoption of standards, training and industry certification throughout the Middle East which now boasts 214 CTS designated AV professionals in the GCC region.

With support from AVIXA, Jones established the Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA), with the not-for-profit company being funded primarily by Jones for the first few years of its existence. 

Under Jones, SACIA has operated over the last 10 years, growing to award several professional designations with three aimed at AV professionals and another three aimed at technicians in the technical production and live events industry. SACIA is also the primary author of SANS10366, the South African national standard for safety in the events industry. 

Jones also serves on the South African government’s Transformation Charter Council for the technical promotion industry, promoting broad-based black economic development programmes for young people who were denied opportunities by apartheid-era policies. 

Claudio Lastrucci – Powersoft

Lastrucci, as co-founder of Powersoft, pioneered Class D amplification in the analogue era. Lastrucci experimented in the hi-fi world, developing a method over two years in which switched mode technologies could be applied to high performance audio amplification, demonstrating a prototype of the DIGAM range of power amplifiers in 1996 at a Milan electronics show.

Lastrucci heads Powersoft’s 29 employee strong R&D department, developing Powersoft’s X-series and Ottocanali with the company investing at least 10% of its turnover into research and development of audio and mobility technologies since 1997. The R&D team, with Lastrucci’s vision, also developed the K-Series in 2004, featuring DSP and networking capabilities. 

In 2013, Lastrucci and his team developed Deva, a GPS enabled multimedia unit and ‘M-Force’ technology, with Lastrucci believing that many properties from switch-mode amplification are still to be discovered. 

Lastrucci went on to pioneer the development of the X-Series in 2014, the first amplifier range to feature on-board DSP, allowing the company to create new products for applications outside of the audio world, leading to the launch of the Mover in 2019, with Lastrucci applying the principles of M-Force technology to the movement-based product. 

Lastrucci said: ““What drives a company’s success is not just about having a revolutionary idea but those who contribute to making it real.

“The sum is greater than the parts, and without the enthusiasm for audio and technology that my friend Antonio, my brother Luca and I had put into developing these ideas, all that we have created would have been unattainable.”

Elena Novikova – Polymedia
Elena Novikova

Novikova joined the AV industry in 1996, creating Polymedia in 1998 initially as a distributor before launching a systems integration business line in 2001. 

Under Novikova, Polymedia brought SMART interactive whiteboards to the Russian market and played a role in the wider adoption of the product and technology in the Russian educational system. 

In 2005, Novikova oversaw Polymedia’s transition to becoming a member of the Infocomm International Association, translating the AV essentials course to Russian to raise awareness of AV industry standards in Russia. 

Novikova has also actively promoted Infocomm in Russia, working closely with Integrated Systems Europe and becoming a member of the European Council Committee, with Novikova also publishing a series of articles about command and control rooms implementation.  

Under Novikova’s leadership, Polymedia has helped to grow tens of AV engineers and professionals, some of which have gone on to launch their own companies and undertake projects that have won at the Inavation Awards. 

Between 2012 and 2013, Novikova oversaw the growth of Polymedia internationally, launching representative offices in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and its newest office in Kyrgyzstan.

Polymedia also established a representative company in Dubai in 2018, becoming an international systems integrator outside of the CIS region. 

The winner will be announced at the Inavation Awards ceremony and dinner on February 11 in Amsterdam. For more information and to book your seat now head to

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