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DIGIT Deal Roundup: October 2019

Dominique Adams


DIGIT Deal Roundup October 2019

DIGIT’s Deal Roundup column for October 2019 features new partnerships and funding from companies such as arbnco, JP Morgan, Care Sourcer and Modulr. 


Abertay University

online gamesAbertay University has partnered with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA), with the goal of protecting children in the UK from being targeted and sexually exploited in online games.

Led by Dr Darshana Jayemanne at the University’s School of Design and Informatics, the partnership will focus on improving age-appropriate design standards for the games industry, as well as looking into how developers can improve the safety of products used by young people across the country.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Jayemanne said: “Improving young people’s safety and privacy while playing digital games is something we have been researching at Abertay for several years, and it’s fantastic to now be taking this forward with such a wide range of partners.

“There are a number of complex issues around child safety in gaming, and it is important that we work together.”

Andy Burrows, head of child safety online policy at the NSPCC, commented: “We know that children are at risk of being sexually groomed while playing games online, so the opportunity to work with other experts and those in the gaming industry on these issues is extremely positive.

“To protect children from coming to harm on these platforms, it is vital that safety measures are built into the games when they are designed – something we hope that can be achieved by working together.”

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


FinTech Scotland Strathclyde BusinessFor a second time, Proptech firm arbnco has teamed up with the University of Strathclyde’s Energy Systems Research Unit to form a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The KTP will primarily involve the development of an Internet of Things (IoT) system to help reduce building energy use and improve maintenance with a comprehensive building management system.

This will require the deployment of sensors, or use of existing sensors, to collect building data. Cloud-based software will process the data from the sensors to the cloud giving users real-time data on energy use.

The system is being developed in Glasgow and piloted in buildings across the city, including a number of University of Strathclyde buildings. The project will be led by arbnco’s KTP associate, Agnieszka Bachleda-Baca.

Professor Joe Clarke, director at the University of Strathclyde’s Energy Systems Research Unit (ESRU), said: “A KTP project is a most effective way to transform research outcomes to practical application as demonstrated in our previous collaborations with arbnco addressing new approaches to building performance tracking.

“The present KTP will build on past achievements by establishing a building management product based on the ‘Internet of Things’ concept, which is able to provide real-time notification of issues and make available essential data to support decision-making. An important aspect of the new project is the involvement of end-users as a means to ensure the applicability of the envisaged estate management product.”

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

JP Morgan

JP Morgan ScotlandFinancial services giant JP Morgan has teamed up with Digital Xtra Fund to help tackle the technology skills gap in Scotland.

The company has signed up as a Gigabyte Partner with the charity, which funds extracurricular digital activities such as coding and robotics clubs for youngsters across Scotland.

Robbie Robinson, global co-lead of Tech for Social Good Youth Programmes at JP Morgan, said: “There is currently a huge IT skills gap in Scotland, and the only long-term solution is to encourage more youngsters to become interested in computer science and STEM subjects in school so they will consider a career in technology when they leave.

“This is the key reason why JP Morgan has become a Gigabyte partner with Digital Xtra Fund. All businesses need to invest in tomorrow’s workforce now otherwise the skills gap is going to persist. Young people need to be inspired by technology and made more aware of the fantastic career opportunities that are available.”

Kraig Brown, partnerships and development manager at Digital Xtra Fund, said: “JP Morgan’s support is vital in enabling us to make a real impact on the lives of young people around Scotland.

“Our partners not only provide financial support but their staff can also volunteer to speak with young people about careers in tech, putting a personal face to the variety of roles these skills can lead to. Bringing together industry and young people is a key element to what Digital Xtra Fund is trying to achieve.”

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

Smarter Grid Solutions

Soar Glasgow Credit UnionGlasgow-based clean energy technology company Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) and SSE’s Distributed Energy business have announced they will partner to develop a new “Energy as a Service” platform. The new system will incorporate SGS’s distributed energy generation, EV infrastructure, private electricity networks and heat networks under a single platform.

By aligning their tech under one platform, they hope to optimise energy usage to generate more revenue, deliver enhanced security of supply and meet reduction targets.

Graham Ault, director at Smarter Grid Solutions, said: “The partnership with SSE Enterprise is the culmination of a significant investment to enhance our DERMS platform to manage diverse energy assets, deliver flexibility and provide multiple market interfaces, adding to our already proven distribution network management capabilities.

“We have exciting projects already underway to manage EV charging, renewable energy, and flexible loads and look forward to developing these opportunities much further with SSE Enterprise and so enable a wide range of energy consumers and generators to benefit from the low carbon transition.”

Stephen Stead, director of Digital Services and Strategy for SSE Distributed Energy arm, said: “This exciting new SGS-SSE partnership is a huge step in our ‘smart cities’ vision and will support local authorities, large energy users, and building and estate owners to deploy and manage low carbon technologies in order to meet the UK Government’s net-zero target by 2050. It will also help consumers to minimise both energy costs and exposure to energy price uncertainties while maximising security of supply.”

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


Care Sourcer

Care Sourcer EdinburghEdinburgh-based healthtech startup Care Sourcer has acquired two leading social care consumer websites as it looks to further expand its services. The two websites, Good Care Guide and Care Home Advisor, will complement and enhance Care Sourcer’s current offering.

The firm provides the UK’s first comparison and matching site for elderly care – enabling users to make enquiries and receive offers from care providers who have immediate availability.

Andrew Parfery, CEO and co-founder of Care Sourcer, commented: “This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to becoming the UK’s marketplace for quality care for the elderly.

“Finding the best care for loved ones can be a stressful time for families and we want to ensure we can provide them with the highest quality information they can access quickly and easily to help them find the care team that’s right for their specific needs.”

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


Lothian Buses ContactlessEdinburgh battery technology firm, Dukosi, has been 100% acquired by California-based investment group KCK. Following the acquisition, the company will look to boost global expansion while building on its current Edinburgh activities.

The Edinburgh firm works closely with a range of partners, including XALT Energy, Aston Martin, Cosworth and University College London.

Commenting on the deal, Dukosi chief executive Nat Edington said: “The team and I are delighted to announce this exciting development for the company, as we move to bring our groundbreaking technologies to market.

“KCK shares our vision and ambitious plans for the business, and I very much look forward to working with them to ensure Dukosi technology is at the forefront of the next generation of batteries.”

Dr Nety Krishna, KCK’s head of industrials and emerging technologies group, added: “Dukosi represents a key module for next-generation battery systems. We are looking forward to working with the team to accelerate the development of commercialisation plans to meet the massive market needs.”

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



Student Loans Company GraduteScottish firm arbnco has been awarded phase-one funding for government-led innovation competition, Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency (BASEE). arbnco said the cash injection will help it to develop a Digital Energy Efficiency Platform (DEEP) to improve energy efficiency across the 5.7m SMEs across the UK.

arbnco’s digital platform, DEEP, will generate a bespoke list of energy efficiency measures for SMEs, including costs and finance options, and a business case for implementing energy efficiency.

The platform will also allow potential aggregators to build portfolios of energy efficiency improvement measures across local regions, sectors or improvement types.

It is hoped that projects could be grouped together to achieve economies of scale and favourable financial terms for SMEs. arbnco will work with manufacturers and specialist financial firms to develop strategies for aggregating energy efficiency projects.

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


Scotland Unicorn CompaniesFollowing a £20m investment package, digital payment company Modulr has announced plans to create more than 50 new jobs and invest in developing innovation in financial services. Modulr said that it will also use the funding to develop innovative financial products and solutions.

The company has matched its recent £10m funding award from the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund, which was established to stimulate competition in the banking sector and part-funded by state-owned RBS.

Myles Stephenson, CEO of Modulr, said: “Scotland is packed with fantastic technology talent, world-renowned universities and businesses, so we’re tremendously excited to be growing our presence in Edinburgh and investing to raise the profile of Scottish fintech.

“Our base here will be absolutely critical as we work to drive innovation and competition in our sector, and to make money flow more efficiently through the economy.”

Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, said: “I welcome the announcement of this award of £10 million, which is both great news for Modulr and great news for Scotland’s fintech sector.

“This award will enable Modulr to create more than 50 additional jobs at its Edinburgh operation by accessing the pool of highly-skilled people available in the surrounding area. This is further evidence of the strength and attractiveness of Scotland’s fintech sector and Edinburgh in particular which now has over 100 fintech companies established.”

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


e.fundamentalsEdinburgh-based analytics firm e.fundamentals has secured £5.3m investment to drive its ongoing international expansion. The investment will enable the firm to deliver services in more key e-commerce regions and globally; including a launch in North America with a US-tailored version of its platform. The Edinburgh firm already operates in 10 countries worldwide.

e.fundamentals’ fundraiser was led by private equity firm Maven Capital Partners and supported by long-term investment partners Downing Ventures and Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

John Maltman, chief executive of e.fundamentals, said: “We’re delighted to have secured the support of Maven Capital alongside long-term partners Downing, Scottish Enterprise and our inspiring private backers.

“The investment gives us the financial resources to expand our business internationally. I’m particularly excited about the huge bank of experience and resources our institutional investors bring to the business.”

Maven Capital investment director, Gareth Price, commented: “e.fundamentals has developed a sophisticated, yet highly intuitive, insights platform, which is already playing an important part in developing and influencing the e-commerce sales and marketing strategies of many high-profile, blue-chip brands.

“Maven is excited to help the senior management team achieve their ambitious growth plans by supporting the company with its continued expansion into the US and Europe.”

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


TopolyticsEdinburgh-based data analytics business, Topolytics, has been awarded a £500,000 contract to build the UK’s first digital waste tracking system. Short-term the system will provide an up-to-date view of the UK’s waste movement, in the long-term it could help drive improvements to the UK’s waste management systems and support efforts to counter waste crime.

The contract will be administered by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under the UK GovTech Catalyst programme. Topolytics has once again team up with the Ordnance Survey, as well as new partners Google Cloud and SAP, to develop a working version of the data-driven tracking system. This will be based around the company’s WasteMap analytics platform.

Topolytics founder and CEO, Dr Michael Groves, said: “This is a truly ground-breaking project and one that we are proud to be working on. It will transform waste regulation and the industry in the UK and has significant international potential.

“It further validates our use of machine learning, mapping, sensor systems and cutting-edge software to enable the waste industry to maximise the utility of materials and enable the circular economy.”

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

Scottish Enterprise 

Scotland Subsea TechnologyCompanies in Scotland and Japan are set to receive £9m in funding to collaborate on the development of innovative subsea technology. Funding will be provided by Scottish Enterprise alongside the Nippon Foundation. The funding was announced by Scottish external affairs secretary, Fiona Hyslop during a visit to Japan. The partnership will see 12 Scottish firms partner with Japanese counterparts on six projects.

Commenting on the funding announcement, Hyslop said: “I am encouraged by the continued collaboration between Scotland and Japan in marine resource development and subsea technologies. In Scotland’s Climate Week, it’s good to see that a number of these projects contribute directly to reducing long-term CO2 emissions.

“The Scottish Government is committed to retaining our position as a global leader in subsea engineering – investing in our innovation infrastructure to grow Scotland’s market share and supporting opportunities in other sectors.”

Combined with investment from the companies themselves, nearly £21 million in total will be dedicated to industrial research and development.

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





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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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