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DIGIT Deal Roundup February 2019

Dominique Adams


DIGIT Deal Roundup May 2019

Welcome to the February edition of the DIGIT Deal Roundup. This month we cover new partnerships and funding from companies such as City Fibre, thinkWhere and Spoonfed. 


Edinburgh Futures Institute

O2 5G EdinburghEdinburgh Futures Institute (EFI), a world-leading teaching and research institute based at Edinburgh University, is set to receive £60 million in government funding from the City Region Deal, pending approval. With additional funding from the University and external partners and investors, the total investment in EFI will reach up to £189m.

The UK Government is investing £55.6m to fund the EFI as part of the City Region Deal, with additional funding coming from the Scottish Government, Edinburgh University and external partners and investors. Based at the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, EFI is one of five Data-Driven Innovation hubs to be apportioned funding as part of the £1.3 billion City Region Deal.

UK Government Minister Lord Duncan said: “The EFI will make an important contribution to the region, delivering growth, attracting investment and talent, and cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in innovation.”

“The many business opportunities and jobs created through the growth in the data economy will be an important contribution to Scotland’s economy. That is why the UK Government is investing £290m to support the sector in Edinburgh and South East Scotland, as part of our £1.3 billion commitment to Grow Deals across Scotland.”

Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson said: “I am delighted to see the Data Driven Innovation programme take another step forward with the approval of the Edinburgh Futures Institute business case.

“Using £300 million of Scottish Government investment, the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is designed to deliver inclusive economic growth, providing opportunities and distributing the benefits fairly across the entire region.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Raven Control 

Raven Controls Business AngelsGlasgow-based software resilience experts, Raven Control, have secured £300,000 in funding from business angels David Fletcher, Malcolm Jones and Clark Wilson. The firm plans to use the newly obtained funds to develop its in-house team and create new jobs.

Commenting on the investment, founder Ian Kerr said: “This investment will allow us to grow our in-house development team by hiring software engineers, including Scotland’s top PHP developer talent.

“Over the course of the year ahead, we aim to recruit a further five members of staff to grow our team. Taking on these members of staff will allow us to continue to grow our events business in the UK and in continental Europe during the coming months.

“We are also looking at international opportunities further afield, including the football world cup in Qatar, and are very much looking forward to attending the Stadium Managers Association in Miami, USA.”

Raven Control recently took up residence at Red Tree Magenta, a Grade-A-office building in the Clyde Gateway development in Glasgow, and recently appointed Gavin Dutch as its non-executive chief technology officer.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


Earthbound Games FundingGlasgow-based catering management software firm, Spoonfed, has secured £575,000 in development funding from private investment group, Equity Gap. The firm has announced it plans to use the funding to expand its operations in the US. Spoonfed already has an office based in Richmond Virginia, and now plans to add an additional office in Denver, Colorado.

The company also hopes to increase its workforce of 11 to 20 by the end of 2019, which the funding will facilitate. Spoonfed co-founder and MD, Willie Biggart said of the investment: “2018 was a great year for Spoonfed, with monthly revenues increasing by more than 140%. An increase of 300% in setup fees in the final quarter of 2018 indicates that this growth will accelerate in 2019.

“Our major focus this year will be on the US market. 2018 was the first year that our US revenues matched and exceeded those in the UK. This new funding will help us make further roads into a market that’s eight times larger than the UK.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


Broadex UK

Sub-Micrometer Laser Welding (UK) – KAIAMKPMG, administrators for Kaiam, have sold the part-collapsed computer firm’s Planar Lightwave Circuits (PLC) division to Chinese-owned tech firm Broadex UK, which was Planar’s biggest customer.

The acquisition will see Broadex UK, a newly formed division of its Shanghai-based parent company, take over sales processes and operations from the existing Livingston site.

As a result of the deal, 20 jobs will be spared redundancy. The Chinese buyer behind the acquisition has expressed confidence that the purchase will lead to further job creation, and hopes to make West Lothian a tech innovation centre.

Joint administrator Blair Nimmo, KPMG’s global head of restructuring, said: “We are very pleased to have concluded the sale of Kaiam Europe’s PLC division to Broadex UK – a sale which preserves 20 highly-skilled jobs and knowledge within Scotland.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.



Edinburgh University's Bayes CentreThe IT and networking behemoth, Cisco, has announced a new partnership with the University of Edinburgh to support Scottish startups. Based at the £45 million Bayes Centre, the university’s data-driven innovation hub for Science and Engineering, the union will see 20 Scottish startups supported through the university and Wayra UK’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain Accelerator.

Over the next three years, Cisco will provide support in the form of business development and technical support, mentoring and access to tools for the startups.

Tony Gribben, country manager, Cisco Scotland, said: “The insight that we can gain from data opens up an amazing opportunity for all industries – not least with its application in the field of AI.

“We’re delighted to be working with the University of Edinburgh to bring this to life in Scotland. The ambition to drive economic and inclusive growth for the region is something that we very much support, and we look forward to continuing to partner with industry, government and academia on initiatives towards that goal.”

Jim Ashe, director of commercialisation and industry engagement, University of Edinburgh, said: “Cisco is a valued partner within the Bayes Innovation Programme.

“As well as becoming a key supporter of our flagship AI and Blockchain Accelerator programme, the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding underscores our intention to work together more collaboratively across all areas of data-driven innovation.

“We look forward to collaborating with Cisco’s Networking Academy, research centre and wider innovation and investment teams on projects that will support innovative research, accelerate data adoption and fuel entrepreneurship across a wide range of initiatives.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


Full fibre cableCityFribre has announced that it plans to partner with Amey, a UK-based infrastructure and service provider, to help extend its fibre network across Edinburgh. The agreement is among one of CityFibre’s first strategic partnerships with construction companies. Work on the project is due to kick-off this week in Balerno.

Preparatory construction began in November last year, now Amey will now ramp up its recruitment drive. The company is seeking to hire team leaders, site supervisors, project managers, quantity surveyors, and operative administrators. Amey expects to create around 300 local jobs over the project’s lifespan. It will also provide a direct positive economic impact of over £50 million and unlock a vast, long term impact of over £4.3 billion to Edinburgh’s economy.

Greg Mesch, chief executive at CityFibre, said: “Amey has a formidable reputation in the sector and we are delighted to have them onboard for our flagship Gigabit City rollout in Edinburgh.

“This project represents a long, stable, city-wide build that will enable Amey to resource confidently and deliver at pace. This is expected to be the start of our partnership and that it will soon expand to cover further city builds across the country,” he said.

Andy Milner, chief executive at Amey, said: “We’re delighted that CityFibre has chosen Amey to transform the broadband provision in Edinburgh. As a trusted provider of utility services, we’re looking forward to working with CityFibre on this flagship project in a transparent and collaborative way, to deliver a service that adds value, benefits local residents and in turn, helps Edinburgh become a truly intelligently connected city.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

FinTech Scotland 

FinTech Scotland FinTech NorthFinTech Scotland has announced it will partner with FinTech North to collaborate on a number of initiatives this year to help support innovation and growth. Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland will speak at FinTech North’s events in both Manchester and Leeds.

In addition, the partnership will see the two organisations jointly host a conference in Scotland in Autumn of this year.

Director of FinTech North, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Stephen and FinTech Scotland to our first two major conferences of 2019.

“We have enjoyed a mutually supportive relationship since the creation of FinTech Scotland in 2018 and the progress made by Stephen and the team in that time is highly impressive.

“We look forward to developing even stronger links with FinTech Scotland over the coming months and are excited to run our first event north of the border later this year.”

The two organisations are already aligned, with both being chaired by HM Treasury FinTech Envoys, but this new partnership announcement serves to signal a strengthening of this connection. Chris Sier is FinTech Envoy for the Northern Powerhouse and chairs FinTech North, while David Ferguson is Scotland’s FinTech Envoy and chair of FinTech Scotland.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

The Royal Bank of Scotland 

Jobs Autistic AdultsTo help create more jobs for autistic adults in Edinburgh the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has partnered with social enterprise auticonUK. The partnership with RBS has enabled auticon UK to launch a new base in Edinburgh, its first outside of London, and it will now be able to offer full-time employment to three autistic consultants who will work on IT projects at RBS’ headquarters in Edinburgh.

auticon, which exclusively employs IT consultants on the autism spectrum, plans to expand its presence in Scotland by working with local firms and SMEs on a project basis, with the goal offering long-term, quality and sustainable employment for as many autistic people with a background in tech as possible.

auticon CEO, Ray Coyle, said: “Unemployment among autistic adults is a major issue in Scotland, so we are thrilled to be working with Royal Bank of Scotland to launch a new base for auticon in Edinburgh.

“Our goal is to offer sustainable, long-term employment to as many autistic individuals in Scotland as possible, and we are inviting any candidates with a background in tech to get in touch.”

Royal Bank of Scotland’s Chief Marketing Officer, and Executive Sponsor for the bank’s disability agenda, David Wheldon, said: “Royal Bank is committed to, and passionate about, building an inclusive bank for both our customers and our colleagues.

“We are here to serve customers well and this drives our commitment to a diverse and inclusive culture as we strive to make this a great place to work and a great place to bank. We are proud to be working with auticon to help bring new employment opportunities to autistic adults in Scotland.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.


Stirling-based tech company, thinkWhere, a specialist in mapping data and systems, will work alongside EuroGeographics as a part of the Open European Location Services (Open ELS) project.

thinkWhere will develop a web system that provides users access to geospatial data from public authorities across Europe.

Alan Moore, chief executive of thinkWhere, commented: “It is a real honour to be working with EuroGeographics on the Open ELS project, using open source technologies to remove barriers to use and promote the use of cross-border open data across the continent of Europe.”

Mick Cory, secretary-general and executive director at EuroGeographics, said: “thinkWhere has a proven track record within the not-for-profit sector having worked alongside organisations such as the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap team and People In Need and were a natural fit as technical lead on this element of the project.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Atholl Estates MapIn addition to the work with EuroGeographics, thinkWhere has also partnered with Atholl Estates create digital maps of the land holdings using the latest technology.

The firm will also provide specialised training for personnel, offering data capture and conversion exercises, and deliver ongoing technical support going forward.

Andrew Bruce Wooton, chief executive of Atholl Estates, commented: “Prior to the implementation of QGIS we had a standalone mapping tool which was only used for forestry applications.

“However, a new land registration process, being promoted by Registers of Scotland, and changing operational needs meant we needed to consider our use of spatial data and technology.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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