EIT Digital has gained financial backing to boost business and university growth in Scotland through its offices in Edinburgh.
The European digital education organisation, whose satellite office was opened in Edinburgh in April 2019 by Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee, has “maintained strong progress,” gaining a €6-million (£5.3-million) investment boost.
EIT Digital will use the money to “commercialise innovative new digital products and fresh collaborations” between international business and Scottish universities through three new programmes focussed on fintech, privacy, and 5G.
Commenting on the funding, McKee said: “EIT Digital’s investment in Scottish businesses commercialising innovative new digital products is helping drive forward Scotland’s digital economy.
“EIT Digital also plays a key role in connecting academia and industry via their doctoral programs. I’m pleased to see their work is helping the Scottish digital sector to achieve its economic potential and increasing overall economic resilience by fostering EU partnerships in the face of Brexit and Covid-19.”
Morgan Gillis, EIT Digital’s UK director, commented: “EIT Digital is very pleased with the take-up of its programs in Scotland and delighted to be deeply involved in the international development of Scotland’s digital economy across a range of sectors.
“We much appreciate our close collaboration with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council as strategic partners in making this success possible.”
Several young Scottish enterprises have been selected for investment, including Uhuru United, a company bringing new technology-driven intelligence and commercial performance to the fish farming sector, which is working in conjunction with Softbank Telecom Europe and Signify Netherlands BV.
Uhuru is joined by Waire Health, an Edinburgh-based company which develops and markets an advanced wearable device for Covid-19 diagnostics and monitoring; together with others in the fintech and augmented reality sectors. Each leverages “unique Scottish assets and has strong potential for global market reach,” says EIT Digital.
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Akihiro Kato, Managing Director of SoftBank Telecom Europe Ltd., said: “We are highly excited to be working in Scotland to bring advanced digital solutions to market with the aim of transforming the fish farming sector in Scotland and internationally.
“EIT Digital and the fantastic Scottish ecosystem have worked tirelessly to ensure that Scottish fish farming leads this technology and directly benefits from its wider commercial deployment.”
Inward investment in EIT Digital-backed Scottish companies is set to double on a year-on-year basis and will forge new international channels for collaboration and commerce for the Scottish digital sector.