EIT Digital has opened an Edinburgh satellite office which will aim to foster closer ties between Scotland and the European Union.
The EU-based digital innovation organisation will aim to increase innovation and investment in R&D through its new office while boosting university-industry knowledge exchange and skills development in Scottish businesses.
The company operates at physical ‘co-location centres’ where most of its activities are carried out. It brings together talents, ideas, technologies and investments that turn the co-location centres into vibrant hot spots where students, researchers, engineers and business developers cross-pollinate to succeed in the market.
Funded by Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Funding Council, EIT Digital and hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre, the Edinburgh office will champion Scottish business innovation to investors and talent across Europe.
EIT Digital is one of eight Innovation Communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, with 10 co-location centres across Europe. The Scottish office is the first satellite office to be opened in the UK.
Innovation Minister Ivan McKee was present at the opening ceremony on 3rd April, where he underlined the importance of developing closer ties between Scotland and the EU.
“Our vision is for a Scotland where innovation is an intrinsic part of our culture, our society and our economy,” he said. “For decades, Scotland has participated in European projects, led strategic partnerships and welcomed people from across the EU and around the world.”
“Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, Scotland will continue to be an outward-looking, open and welcoming country. This project will allow academia and businesses to work together to drive innovation,” McKee added. “It also enables Scotland to raise the profile of its digital assets across Europe, helping to attract both inward talent and investment while connecting Scotland’s businesses to experts and potential collaborators.”
EIT Digital CEO Willem Jonker echoed McKee’s comments on fostering closer ties between Scotland the EU and insisted that the opening will enable the organisation to “deepen” its connections with Scotland’s digital technology sector.
“This new Edinburgh satellite will allow EIT Digital to deepen the connections with the Scottish innovation ecosystem and to intensify our relationship with the Scottish Private and Public Sectors,” he said.
EIT Digital invests to accelerate the market uptake of research-based digital technologies, focusing on Europe’s strategic, societal challenges: Digital Industry, Digital Finance, Digital Cities, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Tech.
The Edinburgh satellite will host a new Doctoral Training Centre, focusing specifically on fintech and cybersecurity through a new programme supported by the Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Unit and ScotlandIS.
Students will be supported by universities across Scotland, with the first students expected to start toward the end of this year.