DIGIT Deal Roundup November 2018
Welcome to the November edition of the DIGIT Deal Roundup. This month we cover new partnerships, funding, and contracts from companies such as CENSIS, Scottish EDGE, CodeClan and STV.
CENSIS has received a five-year funding package worth more than £9 million to develop Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in cutting-edge, emerging technology.
The investment will be provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, and will be supplemented by an additional £3m in third-party income.
CENSIS Chief Executive Ian Reid said the funding would allow the organisation to “build on the foundations set in place over the past five years” and that it will enable CENSIS to move forward with a renewed sector focus in a number of areas.
Ivan McKee, Scottish Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, said: “This investment will allow CENSIS and Scotland’s thriving technologies sector to continue to grow.”
Scottish startup Cyan Forensics has closed a £900,000 investment round led by Mercia Fund Managers. The cash injection brings its total funding to nearly £1.5 million since it was founded in 2016.
This latest funding round saw American private investor Don Macleod, a director of Broadcom and former CEO of National Semiconductor, join existing investors, Mercia Fund Managers and The Scottish Investment Bank, which both provided funding following their initial investments.
Ian Stevenson, CEO of Cyan Forensics, said: “This latest round of investment will enable us to take full advantage of the market opportunities here in the UK and start developing our business internationally, as well as exploring other opportunities for our technology in cyber security. The whole team is excited about the success we’re seeing in our first operational deployments and the opportunities in front of us to contribute to public safety.”
Paul Devlin, Investment Manager at Mercia, said: “We’re delighted to continue to support Cyan Forensics. This is the latest seed investment, having first backed the team as a spinout from Edinburgh Napier University, they are making excellent progress as they begin to scale up.
“We believe the business has the potential to make a real difference to the speed at which agencies are able to investigate highly sensitive crime using its innovative forensic technology. The customer base of government and law enforcement agencies is highly impressive and places the company in a great position for future growth.”
The University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow’s Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) has been granted £5 million in funding to continue its pioneering data research.
The centre works on a number of projects, including the development of pioneering methods to improve social, economic and environmental well-being in cities.
Glasgow University and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) will jointly fund the centre for the next five years, ensuring closer ties between government, industry and academia.
Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes, said: “I am delighted to celebrate the University of Glasgow receiving £5 million in funding to continue the highly successful Urban Big Data Centre. This funding will enable the continued delivery of world-leading urban research over the next five years.
“The Scottish Government recognises the benefits that data-driven innovation can bring and the use of ‘Big-data’ to address the challenges we face, both locally and globally, is a real opportunity we must truly embrace. Together with Scotland’s academic community, we are building on the investments being made in Scotland, and working collaboratively to deliver outcomes that save time, save money and save lives.”
Saughton Park Green Energy Project
The park’s green energy project has been awarded funding £482,107. It will be put towards the delivery of the Micro Hydro Scheme as part of the Saughton Park restoration project.
The project will see a micro hydro-electric system established on the Water of Leith, which will power two ground source heat pumps and generate energy for the park’s light and building once their refurbishment is complete.
Funding for the Micro Hydro Scheme has been awarded from a share of the Scottish Power Energy Networks’ £20 million fund. Established earlier this year, it recognises initiatives that support Scotland’s green energy plans and local economic growth. It is expected work will begin on the micro hydro-electric scheme in March next year.
Shona Nelson, Chair of the Friends of Saughton Park, added: “The Friends of Saughton Park are thrilled that the Micro Hydro Scheme has been awarded the funds to proceed. This will turn what is already a fantastic project in Saughton Park into a truly green development – so appropriate for a public park!
“The fact that the park will be showcasing the use of renewable energy will, we hope, engage the many local children who are already enjoying our new facilities.”
A Glasgow-based biotech business, Scot Bio, has raised more than £2 million as part of a private investment funding round. The firm, which is based at BioCity Glasgow, raised the funding as part of a follow-on deal with an investment syndicate including Oghma Partners, Investing Women and Kelvin Capital, which has more than 180 angel investors.
Private investors from the US and the UK were also involved in the funding round. The funding will enable Scot Bio to scale up production while expanding its existing team. The company said this will allow it to maintain pace with a rapidly expanding international market for natural colourants.
Commenting on the announcement, Scot Bio’s Chief Executive Officer, David Van Alstyne, said: “This is exciting news for Scot Bio and a demonstration of the high quality of our product and the exceptional team behind it.
“Our ambition is to be the world leader in the production of phycocyanin and other functional food ingredients and with our experienced board, technical and management staff and the support from our friends in academia, I am confident we will do it.”
Scottish EDGE, a business competition aimed at helping to develop promising startups, has received an additional £1 million in funding from Scottish Enterprise.
The fresh funding will be used to add an additional day of pitching to accommodate the increased number of finalists.
David Shearer, chairman of Scottish EDGE, said: “While this enables us to double the number of winners we will only do so where the quality of the applicants meets our rigorous funding criteria. We remain resolutely committed to ensuring Scottish EDGE is both a sustainable business and a force for entrepreneurial good.”
Linda Hanna, managing director of Scottish Economic Development at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scottish EDGE’s excellent reputation attracts some of the most exciting Scottish entrepreneurial talent to pitch, and that’s why we’re collaborating with them and offering an additional £1 million in funding. With this funding, we can double the number of businesses Scottish EDGE supports and help drive Scotland’s future economic prosperity.”
Scottish tech company, Sunamp, has landed £2.2 million in funding from backers, which includes Japanese energy utility company Osaka Gas. Sunamp plans to use the funds to expand its business internationally and to further scale its operations.
The company’s seed funding round saw it secure further funding from existing investors including the Scottish Investment Bank, Equity Gap and Par Equity. Sunamp has said that this funding will help pave the way for a ‘series A’ funding round early next year.
Sunamp founder Andrew Bissell said: “We’re delighted to have the continued support of our existing investors and to welcome new investors at this round as we power ahead to grow our business and address climate change in partnership.”
Incremental Group has secured a £1.2 million regional service assistance (RSA) grant to create 110 high value jobs. The grant will allow Incremental to continue its rapid development and follows an initial RSA £500,000 grant in January 2017 that helped create 48 new jobs.
Scottish Enterprise Director of Economic Development Rhona Allison said: “Scottish Enterprise has worked with Incremental through its journey from pre-start through growth stages and it’s a real pleasure to see the company reach this milestone and create another 110 high value jobs in Glasgow.
“This is a company with a strong focus on building a culture and structure which supports its rapid growth ambitions, and we look forward to supporting the Incremental team as they enter the next chapter in their growth journey.”
Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Companies like Incremental are vital to the success of the Scottish economy. The fact that the company has come such a long way is testament both to the ambition and leadership of the company and to the network of support provided by our enterprise agencies.
“The £1.2 million RSA award from Scottish Enterprise will create 110 new high value jobs, generating real economic impact for Scotland. I look forward to seeing Incremental go from strength to strength in pursuit of its growth ambitions.”
Abertay University is to lead a new £11.7 million project to create a cybersecurity research and development centre as part of the Tay Cities Deal.
Based on the Abertay campus in Dundee and run with core partners the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, the city’s new ‘cyberQuarter’ will be a cluster of academic and industry activity, offering expertise in applied research and access to a range of public-sector support for local businesses and public bodies.
The project will tap into this sector-leading expertise while linking up with the digital industries ecosystem of Dundee and offering wider business-focused engagement through key partners. The signing of the Tay Cities Deal saw the Scottish Government commit £6 million to the cyberQuarter project, with the UK Government investing £5.7 million.
Mandy Haeburn-Little, Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre said: “Today is a milestone day for Scotland. I am delighted that our partnership vision with Abertay University has been recognised through this very significant investment which will be of benefit to every citizen in Scotland and of course to a much wider international audience also.
Head of the Division of Cybersecurity at Abertay, Dr Natalie Coull said: “The cyberQuarter will help position Dundee as a key player in the UK cybersecurity industry and will play a crucial part in retaining the skills talent that we produce here. We are delighted to be leading on this fantastic opportunity for the area.”
Leading digital media brand, STV, has announced a new partnership with global sports provider Eleven Sports. The partnership will see STV act as exclusive digital sales agent for Eleven Sports across all digital platforms and sponsorship as they grow their subscription sports service in the UK.
STV will bring its expertise in providing marketing solutions around premium digital content to the new partnership, which will ensure advertisers can target their products and services to Eleven Sport’s viewers across the UK.
Peter Reilly, STV’s Commercial Director, said: “Eleven Sports is a fast-growing digital broadcaster, and our new partnership will provide a fantastic opportunity for advertisers. STV has extensive experience in serving premium content on the STV Player and we are delighted to enter into this venture with Eleven Sports as our first partner receiving digital sales representation.”
Richard Young, Commercial Director, Eleven Sports UK, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with STV to leverage our channels’ outstanding content with innovative digital advertising and sponsorship opportunities.”
CodeClan has announced that it will establish the CodeClan Highland Academy, which will commence its inaugural course in spring 2019. With capacity for 15 students in its first intake, the new academy will provide industry-led training for a new generation of software and web developers.
The Highland Academy will be offering the Professional Software Development (level 8) course, an internationally recognised qualification. It will be managed by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) as part of the Northern Innovation Hub on behalf of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal Partnership.
Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, CEO at CodeClan said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as the delivery organisation for this HIE initiative. CodeClan has seen success in central Scotland and it is time to engage with other parts of Scotland.
“Inverness will be our next location and we are proud to be part of the initiative. We are also launching our new Partner Programme to better service the needs of the tech industry, helping address the digital skills gap across Scotland.
“We will bring a highly successful delivery model to the Highlands, which will be given a local twist to ensure the course meets the requirements of businesses in the area. We hope to develop strong relationships with local businesses, collaborating with them in the development of the course as well as helping them to build relationships with students to aid recruitment.”