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DIGIT Deal Roundup Column | May 2021 Edition

David Paul

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DIGIT deal roundup
The May edition of our Deal Roundup Column sees funding and partnerships from firms like Sharktower, Pawprint, the Scottish Government and Boundary Technologies.

Funding and Investment

R3-IoT

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A consortium of research partners in Scotland has been awarded a £250,000 funding package to “revolutionise” Scottish fish farming.

Led by Glasgow-based satellite comms start-up R3-IoT, the group will develop a software system that automatically captures large volumes of continuous sensor data across aquaculture sites securely in one place, where it can be processed, stored, and actioned.

The digital platform will be developed in parallel with the start-up’s satellite communications tech, which brings connectivity to remote and rural areas helping firms to digitise business operations across multiple sites and locations.

Allan Cannon, CEO and co-founder of R3-IoT, said: “Aquaculture has ambitious plans to deliver sustainable growth and data can be a key enabler for the sector. But having data is only the first step – you also have to unlock its potential, which is what the digital platform we are developing through this project will deliver.

“The technology will help fish farmers understand operations across different sites and locations wherever they are, providing them with increased visibility, improved quality of, and access to, timely information. It will also allow them to remotely and quickly respond to data-driven insights to improve business performance.”

Cannon added: “The concept behind our data platform has been informed by the research we conducted as part of the initial feasibility study, interviewing more than 30 senior members of the fish farming sector – it will closely reflect what the sector has told us it needs.

“We have a great consortium working on this project, taking in a range of expertise and skills, and – having demonstrated the high reliability of the platform during a trial with a major salmon producer – we believe the results could be very high-impact.”

Funding for the project is being provided by the Seafood Innovation Fund, the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), the Data Lab and CENSIS, along with a host of other investors.

To find out more, read our full article here.


Boundary Technologies

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Smart home security start-up Boundary Technologies has secured £3.7m in funding to scale up following the successful launch of its first product.

The investment, which includes £1.5 million from Skyscanner co-founder Gareth Williams, will be used to expand the fast-growing business over the next 18 months.

Boundary Technologies will now be able to expand its team while further developing its home security product and tech capabilities.

Commenting on the investment, Robin Knox, CEO of Boundary, said: “This is hugely exciting news and is a change of trajectory from our original, more modest ambitions – we are now set on the path for Boundary to become a top-tier European home security business.

“To have someone with the calibre of Gareth giving our product his backing and mentorship is incredible; we have massive plans for the future.”

The £1.5m investment from Skyscanner’s Gareth Williams represents his biggest angel investment to date, while the remainder of the funds were granted from existing Boundary shareholders, Scottish Enterprise and Equity Gap.

Founders Robin Knox & Paul Walton and Chairman, Richard Lewis, also revealed they will invest a substantial sum of their own money in this investment round.

Scottish Enterprise has been a supporter of Boundary from an early stage, providing the company with advice and grant support in addition to investment.

Jan Robertson, interim director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Bringing Gareth on board is a boost for Boundary’s founders whose proven entrepreneurial track record has been a major factor in the remarkable growth enjoyed by the business already.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the company as it develops its products, attracts further investment and breaks into new markets.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Estendio

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Glasgow-based EdTech start-up Estendio, which initially launched with an investment of £50,000, announced this month that it has secured additional funding of £450,000 to help more students across the country.

Estendio said the funds will enable it to extend its reach to more students with disabilities through its presentation support app, Present Pal.

Notably, the funding boost follows a period of rapid growth for the firm, which has expanded its support to more than 3000 new students in the last year.

Estendio has turned profits over the last two financial years, has seen company revenue triple and the team expand from four to 17 staff members despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

Commenting on the funding, founder Chris Hughes said: “I am hugely proud to secure this funding. The drive and determination of my board and leadership team over the last year has been monumental in what has been a hugely successful year.

“I am incredibly grateful to Scottish Enterprise and our consortium of private investors for the opportunity to continue on to the next chapter of the journey,” he added.

The latest funding boost will support rapid expansion at home and Estendio’s entry into the North American higher education and school markets.

According to Estendio chairman Owen O’Donnell, the latter of these plans will further establish the company’s position as an industry leader in helping to drive accessibility in education.

To find out more, read our full article here.


Broker Insights

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Insurance technology start-up Broker Insights says it is gearing up for expansion following a successful year of trading.

The Dundee-based firm announced in May it had doubled revenue to £2.25 million in its second year of trading.

Founded by former Aviva senior executives Fraser Edmond and Iain Crole, Broker Insights also revealed it has doubled its platform’s gross written premiums (GWP) to £1 billion.

Broker Insights is backed by Chroma Ventures, the investment arm of Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns’ 4J Studios.

The firm’s platform connects leading insurers, including AXA, Hiscox and Zurich, with over 150 brokers across the UK.

Fraser Edmond, CEO and co-founder of Broker Insights, said: “We have experienced accelerated adoption of the platform in the UK over the last twelve months as the industry has seen the benefits of this new digital route of engagement between insurers and brokers.”

Over the last twelve months, headcount has increased from 17 to 30 at Brokers Insights, with new positions added in software development, data science and the firm’s growing commercial team.

In April, the firm also revealed the appointment of Kevin Ord as Chief Operating Officer. He has been brought on board to guide the insurance tech start-up as it prepares for expansion into North American markets next year.

Looking ahead, Fraser Edmond said the company is currently focused on “rapid scaling” and intends to add a host of new product features to the platform.

Chris van der Kuyl, Chroma Ventures Principal and Broker Insights chairman, said: “Broker Insights is one of the UK’s fastest-growing tech businesses with an opportunity to transform the global commercial insurance market.

“The next phase of major growth will be expansion into the US market.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Datactics

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Data management specialists Datactics has received £2 million of funding through an investment round led by Par Equity.

Scotland-based Par Equity, which focuses on young, high-growth technology companies in the North of England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, originally invested in Datactics in 2019.

The current investment round, which is also supported by other existing investors, Kernel Capital and Clarendon, will see Datactics grow to beyond 50 employees and into profitability. The company will use the new funding to accelerate its growth by investing in sales resources focused on London and New York.

Datactics CEO Stuart Harvey said: “It’s clear that in 2021 businesses are stating that data quality has never been more important. We are seeing major investment in data governance worldwide, with firms investing heavily in data management tools for governance.

“Our core strength in the area of self-service data quality and matching is an essential requirement for many firms wishing to identify broken data and fix it. Our platform allows companies to centralise the controls necessary for data management but, crucially, federate out the fixing of broken data to subject matter experts – the people who know what good looks like.”

Investment Manager at Par Equity Aidan MacMillan said: “Datactics has an extremely strong technology platform and some great clients. Its revenues have more than doubled in the last two years and we are confident this growth trajectory will continue.

“Data management tools are increasingly important across all industries. The growth opportunities are very attractive. The Datactics AI solution is designed to be easily explainable, which makes risk-averse clients, like banks, more comfortable with adopting the technology.

“We’re very pleased to continue to our support of Datactics.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Recast

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Edinburgh-based sports video content platform Recast secured $8.2 million (£5.9m) in funding as part of a series A investment round this month.

The series A saw funding secured from a host of high-profile investors, including West Indies batsman Chris Gayle and Simon Bax, former Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President at Pixar.

Other investors in Recast include Riva Technology and entertainment and private equity firm Visor International.

This investment round saw Recast’s valuation grow to $29m (£20.9m). The firm said the money raised will primarily be used to further develop its platform, which is currently in beta in the UK.

Recast said it will also invest in “expanding its geographical footprint” as an increased appetite from rights holders indicates “significant demand” to reach a global audience.

Commenting on the investment, Recast CEO and founder Andy Meikle said: “The calibre of this investment group reflects the response from the rights holders around the world and Recast’s major potential, particularly as we’re just getting started.

“We’re often congratulated on how ‘disruptive’ our model is, but in our view the industry has already been disrupted and we’re providing a revolutionary solution.”

Simon Bax added: “The speed at which Recast has developed its product offering and garnered global interest from rights holders since inception, especially in the last six months, is incredibly exciting.

“This round and those involved will both support and accelerate Recast’s trajectory.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Scottish EDGE Winners

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The Scottish EDGE Awards Round 17 has provided £1,175,000 to 29 winning businesses from across Scotland.

Held on May 25th, the online ceremony revealed the winners of the funding competition and the amount of money they received.

The final brings the total pot of money awarded through Scottish EDGE to support early stage, high growth businesses to around £17.8 million in the 17 rounds now completed.

As well as awarding businesses with funding, Scottish EDGE also provides a business support package that includes mentoring, support, and signposting to alternative finance. Its funding is awarded as 50% grant and 50% loan which is paid back to help fellow entrepreneurs on their pathway to success.

Scooping £100,000 in funding was Dyneval, an Edinburgh-based firm providing portable technology for cattle semen analysis designed to help boost conception rates.

Dyneval CEO and co-founder Dr Tiffany Wood said: “The team at Dyneval is absolutely delighted to have won a Scottish EDGE award. This award will accelerate our market readiness and growth to build a Scottish business that will have a strong and positive impact on the profitability and sustainability of dairy farming, worldwide.”

Managing director for entrepreneurship at the Royal Bank of Scotland Gordon Merrylees said: “We are proud to support Scottish EDGE who share our passion and commitment to Scottish entrepreneurship, and a purposeful business community.

“This year’s winners are a testament to the quality and innovation that exists across the country’s start-up and high growth businesses.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Scottish Government

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The Scottish Government announced a £3.75 million investment to improve digital connectivity and mobile coverage in Scotland’s rural communities in May.

A further nine masts have been announced for the Highlands, the Angus and island communities and the Scottish Borders, along with plans to replace several masts removed earlier this year.

The masts will provide more rural homes and businesses with 4G mobile connectivity for the first time as part of the latest phase of the Scottish 4G Infill (S4GI) infrastructure programme

It takes the total funding package for the programme, being delivered by WHP Telecoms, to £28.75 million.

The S4GI programme is backed by £17.48 million of Scottish Government funding and £11.27 million from the European Regional Development Fund.

Commenting on the investment, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “Digital connectivity is crucial to Scotland’s economic recovery and this latest investment in rural areas furthers our commitment to tackling the nation’s mobile ‘notspots’

“Extending the programme’s reach brings lasting economic, social and environmental benefits. As we move out of lockdown, increased mobile connectivity will help bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas, allowing people to work more flexibly and sustainably while keeping communities safe and connected.

“This, in turn, advances the Scottish Government’s wider green development goals in the run-up to COP26 in November.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Sharktower

Deal Roundup

Sharktower, the Edinburgh-based AI-driven project delivery platform, has raised significant investment in a £400,000 seed round led by Equity Gap and backed by Scottish Enterprise.

This new funding will enable Sharktower to expand across additional sectors in the UK, and further expand globally.

Sharktower is the product of “first-hand experience,” with co-founders Craig Mackay and Lynsey Taylor both having witnessed “unnecessary project waste” and “failure rates” when delivering large scale transformation and change programmes throughout their careers.

Fraser Lusty from Equity Gap commented: “Equity Gap is delighted to conclude this seed investment round in Sharktower.

“Sharktower is redefining project management, bringing innovation to well-established sectors and markets. By blending intuitive project collaboration with AI-driven analytics and real-time reporting, Sharktower gives teams the tools to deliver better outcomes.”

The company also announced the appointment of Gordon Cooper as chairperson this month to help guide the next stage of growth.

Commenting on his appointment, Cooper said: “I’m delighted to be appointed as Chairman of Sharktower. The ability for organisations to deliver better, faster outcomes is even more vital as the economy recovers, and data and AI are the game-changers.

“Sharktower is at the forefront of AI-driven project management and has solid growth potential in various markets.”


Heriot-Watt University

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Heriot-Watt University will help develop methods of quantum encryption thanks to six figures of funding from Innovate UK.

The work is part of a BT-led project, called AIRQKD, and will develop practical quantum key distribution (QKD) transmitter and receiver modules for short-range terrestrial applications.

Heriot-Watt’s work will support BT and its other project partners to create an ultra-secure link between connected 5G towers and mobile devices. The ambition is to create the world’s most secure fixed-mobile communications link.

The technology will form a central component in a world-first trial of end-to-end quantum-secured communications for 5G and connected cars.

The trial, which will run for 36 months, will see the development of a wide range of quantum-secured scenarios in which the security of data transfer is especially important.

Dr Ross Donaldson from Heriot-Watt University explains: “Our focus is on how to create a core to this system that will still operate in very tough conditions.

“Up to now, most quantum communication research has concentrated on the integrity of long-range signals, but this is about delivering a constant service at short distances through the broad range of weather conditions which can cause connection issues.

“As our connected world becomes increasingly complex, the security of systems must keep pace with technological developments. Automated vehicles in the future will have their own connected systems with software updates being supplied from a central source.

“It is essential that these updates are sent securely without the risk of hacking or malicious tampering. Quantum-enabled technology provides a greater level of reassurance to manufacturers.”

The full trial is funded with £7.7 million by the Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research and Innovation.

To find out more, read our full article here.


University of Aberdeen and TotalEnergies

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The University of Aberdeen received £240,000 from energy firm TotalEnergies to fund research and teaching in areas related to the energy transition in May.

Funding will help create an integrated hydrogen lab to investigate the generation, storage and conversion of hydrogen as a clean energy source, providing greater opportunities for collaboration with industrial partners on UK and international research projects, as well as for teaching.

With the university launching its Centre for Energy Transition, the money will also help the institution research areas including hydrogen, biomass, solar and wind energy, carbon capture and utilisation, and offshore energy systems integration.

It will also be used to develop systems for the simultaneous measurement of methane and hydrogen to convert energy from biomass, and for biogas separation processes, such as Carbon Capture and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).

Meanwhile, academics will also develop a hybrid renewable energy system to create a flexible, cost-effective and reliable solution for generating renewable electricity and supplying heating load for rural and off-grid communities.

Head of the university’s School of Engineering Professor Igor Guz said: “This portfolio of projects funded by Total offers the school an incredible opportunity to increase research and teaching capacity in the field of energy transition.

“This will provide students and academics with essential resources with which to learn, teach and continue world-leading research while strengthening our industrial and research collaborations.”

The sum has been made available as part of a package that also includes funding for scholarships in the University’s MSc in Energy Transition Systems and Technologies and MSc in Renewable Energy Engineering programmes.

To find out more, read our full article here.


PINEAPPLE

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The Glasgow Academy has launched its new PINEAPPLE innovation fund to support teachers develop new tools and resources.

One of the only privately backed innovation funds in Scottish education, PINEAPPLE is available to teachers across the country. With the aim of encouraging innovation in education, the fund will help teachers get their projects off the ground.

As well as delivering funding, The Glasgow Academy will provide strategic support, offering guidance and access to the school’s established network and contacts.

Rector of The Glasgow Academy Matthew Pearce said: “The world of education is changing. The past year may have been incredibly challenging but it has also created an opportunity to develop new ways of working and shape the landscape of Scottish education for the better.

“Schools and teachers are innovating all the time, and PINEAPPLE has created the infrastructure to make these ideas a reality. Our purpose is simple; we want to make Scotland’s education sector better, by supporting the development of good ideas and by ensuring that innovation is not lost or discouraged.

“As a partner in the project, we hope we can uncover and develop revolutionary new practices which will improve learning and education in schools across the country.”

Pearce added: “We want to hear from any teacher or educational professional who has an idea for improving or transforming the way we interact with young people in a school setting. It can be something as simple as designing new posters for the classroom to setting up a programme that gets parents and carers more engaged in learning.

“All ideas will be thoroughly considered and, if successful, we will work closely with the teachers to make their vision a reality.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Odro

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Glasgow-based video interviewing software company, Odro, has secured £5.2 million in funding from investment firm, BGF.

BGF has acquired a minority stake in the business to support a global expansion plan that will see the company opening offices in Australia and North America, as well as adding over 20 staff within the next two years.

Alongside the cash injection, Rob Crossland has joined as chairman. Former founder of the Optionis Group, Crossland is an award-winning entrepreneur turned advisor who grew revenues in his staffing industry service group from £1 to £350m.

Rob’s appointment is the result of an introduction from BGF’s Talent Network, a pool of non-executive directors. An advocate of digital transformation and scalable process delivery, he brings with him a wealth of experience to help the company realise its international expansion plans.

In addition, Dougie Loan has been promoted to CRO (Chief Revenue Officer). Dougie was the company’s first salesperson and will play a key role in building revenue generation and driving sales in the next stage of Odro’s growth.

Odro CEO Ryan McCabe said: “Until now we’ve grown organically, reinvesting profits back into the business to help us scale. I am extremely proud of that journey and what we have achieved, and now is the right time for us to take on investment. We have built a solid foundation and are primed for international expansion. With BGF’s backing, we can really accelerate that plan.

“Crucial for me was taking on the right partner. I met with upwards of 20 investors but decided to proceed with BGF due to the strong level of alignment with the team there. I am really excited to have BGF’s backing and to welcome Rob to the board.

“Considering where we are now, I can only imagine the journey we’re about to go on with their support.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Deals and Partnerships

DataVita and Fortis

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DataVita, Scotland’s largest data centre and multi-cloud services provider, has completed the acquisition of the Fortis data centre.

The purchase, which is supported by £45 million in funding from HFD Group, will see DataVita take full ownership of the facility from a syndicate of private investors.

DataVita has operated the data centre since 2016 and was the facility’s first occupier, providing data centre and cloud services to businesses and public sector organisations.

Based in Lanarkshire, the Fortis data centre is Scotland’s only purpose-built, Uptime Institute tier III certified facility. The centre provides critical IT services for an estimated two million people across Scotland.

DataVita said the acquisition concludes the first phase of its strategy for the facility, which when complete will see it valued at £160 million. The purchase will also support the firm’s drive to enhance the data centre’s green credentials.

Commenting on the acquisition, DataVita managing director Danny Quinn said: “The deal for Fortis has been enabled by DataVita’s success over the last few years, from more or less a standing start.

“We can now accelerate our plans to drive the data centre’s environmental and wider ESG focus, open up new opportunities with our existing clients, and support our market competitiveness and ability to work with larger users of IT services across the UK.”

Quinn noted that that acquisition will also support DataVita’s – and the wider HFD Group’s – growth and further broaden the scope of its service offering. He added: “From a wider HFD Group perspective, it underlines our support for, and investment in, IT services for our existing and prospective occupiers.

“Property and IT are becoming intrinsically linked and our strength on both fronts – and ability to offer everything from businesses space to connectivity and cybersecurity – is a powerful offering to businesses and public sector organisations alike.

“As the disruption caused by Covid-19 continues and our economy and society rely more than ever on digital infrastructure, DataVita is in a strong position to support the IT and data needs of businesses and public sector services in a secure and sustainable way.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Peterson and Pawprint

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International energy logistics provider Peterson has signed up as an early member of the Pawprint Pioneer Programme.

Peterson will make the carbon footprint reduction app available to all their UK employees, enabling them to use the tool to understand and manage small changes in their lifestyle that can help to fight climate change.

Erwin Kooij, CEO at Peterson, commented: “We are proud to be part of the Pawprint Pioneer Programme.

“It’s important to us that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our clients, supporting them as they look to deliver their carbon reduction objectives. Across our business, we are challenging each and every action we take to ensure we are doing everything we can to minimise our emissions.

“An important element of this is engaging with our employees to challenge their own behaviours around sustainability and giving them the ability to measure, understand and reduce their footprint. We believe Pawprint is the ideal tool to enable that.”

Christian Arno, CEO at Pawprint, added: “Peterson is a company that has long been renowned for being innovative and their commitment to taking the lead in fighting climate change by engaging all of their employees on sustainability really highlights this.

“Pawprint combines the latest in technology, behavioural science and carbon data making it possible for all employees, no matter their role, to find ways of reducing their own carbon footprint that works personally for them.”


Forth Ports

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Plans to create Scotland’s largest renewable energy hub at the Port of Leith were unveiled by the project’s leader Forth Ports in May.

A £40m private investment will help create a 175-acre site featuring a bespoke, riverside marine berth capable of accommodating the world’s largest offshore wind installation vessels.

Group Chief Executive of Forth Ports Charles Hammond said: “Leith’s proximity to the North Sea, which is set to become home to many more offshore wind developments, coupled with the natural deep waters of the Firth of Forth, makes this an ideal location to support not only those developments already planned, but the pipeline of projects that are sure to follow.”

The project will support Scotland’s net zero carbon emissions targets. The Scottish Government aims to reach net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. Additional goals include meeting 50% of the country’s electricity, heat and transport demand from renewables by 2030. Scotland is currently less than half-way to meeting this goal.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: “The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets to increase offshore wind capacity to 11 GW of energy installed by 2030 – enough to power more than eight million homes. This commitment, which will support our transition to a net-zero economy by 2045, capitalises on the fact that Scotland’s seas have some of the best offshore wind resources in the world.

“This significant investment from Forth Ports to develop the Port of Leith places them in an ideal position to harness the offshore wind opportunities in the North Sea, creating good green jobs and supporting a just transition to net-zero – not just for the city of Edinburgh but the wider area and beyond.”

Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables Claire Mack added: “Scotland is at the start of its offshore wind journey, with plans to increase capacity tenfold in the coming decade. Ports and harbour infrastructure have an enormous role to play in the growth of that multi-billion-pound sector which, with support from government and industry, is likely to grow much more quickly than it has to date.

“The announcement of such significant activity by Forth Ports is hugely welcome and will act as a signal to draw other, wider private and public sector investment to grow the skills, expertise, innovation and supply chain we need to make the most of this exciting next phase of the renewable energy industry’s development.”

To find out more, read our full article here.


Ofgem

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Energy regulator Ofgem has announced a multi-million-pound project to increase the number of electric charging stations on UK roads.

Ofgem said the funding will triple the current number of ultra-rapid charge points to 1,800, as well as adding further 1,750 charging stations in towns and cities.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said: “This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.

“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to.”

Ofgem’s new investment aims to encourage more drivers to “make the switch” from petrol and diesel to electric but says Britain’s current infrastructure requires “a massive upgrade” to support demand.

Commenting on the news, Lisa Barber, Which? Home Products and Services Editor, said: “Millions of people in the UK are expected to switch to electric cars over the next decade.

“However, the UK’s public charging infrastructure is fragmented, difficult to access and can be a major barrier to ownership for those who don’t have a private charger.”

Research carried out by Ofgem revealed that around 36% of households say they won’t buy an electric vehicle due to a lack of charging points near their home.

To find out more, read our full article here.


The Crichton

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Business and academic campus The Crichton, based in Dumfries, is set to host Scotland’s first rural 5G connectivity hub.

The new hub will bring together technological expertise, academic research, and local businesses to accelerate the potential of 5G to ‘transform’ communities and economies throughout the south of Scotland.

The S5GConnect Dumfries hub, part of the S5GConnect programme, is being equipped with a dedicated 5G network with capabilities including a testbed that will enable SMEs to test products, services, and solutions.

Some of the projects set to get underway include the development of agritech solutions, where sensors and drones are used to measure crop growth, animal behaviour and wellness; and remote healthcare initiatives including the use of 5G technology to support assisted living.

Commenting on the announcement, Paul Coffey, CEO of The Scotland 5G Centre, said: “Our S5GConnect programme will equip businesses and entrepreneurs across Dumfries & Galloway with the skills they need to understand how 5G can benefit their business.

“It is planned over three levels – kicking off with raising awareness of the scope of 5G; followed by more detailed evaluation of the business possibilities; culminating in months of in-depth support to scale up and test using our dedicated 5G private network.”

The news marks the third S5GConnect hub, following the establishment of hubs in Forth Valley and Dundee. The choice of Dumfries for the first rural hub, part of the Scottish Government-funded £4 million programmes to establish 5G hubs across the country, reflects “the longstanding commitment to deliver enhanced connectivity across all areas of Scotland”.

To find out more, read our full article here.


DATAMIND

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Scientists from the University of Edinburgh will help create a new data hub for mental health research.

DATAMIND aims to help scientists perform research faster, helping to improve the lives of people with mental health problems.

According to the experts involved, DATAMIND will overcome some of the key challenges of mental health research, such as the inclusion of the worst-affected patients. It also has the potential to improve diagnosis, treatment and wellbeing for people experiencing psychiatric conditions.

The digital resource will operate across the four nations of the UK, bringing together expertise from the NHS, universities, charities, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Professor Andrew McIntosh from the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Psychiatry said: “The University of Edinburgh is proud to be a partner in this initiative, which will focus on including disadvantaged and excluded groups of people affected by mental disorders. In other words, the most severely affected people and in greatest need of help.

“This investment in mental health data science will strengthen our capacity to support mental health research, building upon previous UKRI mental health data science investments and MQ’s early work in bringing the UK’s mental health data science community together.”

Backed by a £2 million investment from the UKRI Medical Research Council, DATAMIND will join an established network of Health Data Research Hubs, led by Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK) and funded through UKRI’s Industry Strategy Challenge Fund.

Co-Director of DATAMIND, Professor Ann John from Swansea University, noted: “We’re really excited about DATAMIND. By working together with the public, patients, researchers, industry and the NHS we will transform both our understanding of mental health and the lives of people experiencing mental health problems.

“We will create a Hub where researchers and others can find and use mental health data to benefit patients and the public and improve care.”

To find out more, read our full article here.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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