A Scottish tech company has been selected to join the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Innovators Community for the first time.
Falkirk-based Obashi Technology will join both the Innovators Community and the WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As well as becoming the first Scottish company, Obashi Technology is only the sixth UK-based firm chosen to join.
The Global Innovators Community is a select, by-invitation-only group of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups that are at the forefront of technological and business model innovation.
According to the WEF, this provides a platform to engage with public and private sector leaders and to contribute new solutions to overcome current crises and build future resiliency.
As part of the Global Innovators Community, Obashi will help define the global agenda on key issues with a particular focus on shaping the future of technology governance – artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Commenting on the announcement, Obashi CEO Fergus Cloughley said: “We’re delighted to be the first Scottish company to begin collaborating with the World Economic Forum and other technology leaders as part of the Global Innovator’s Community.”
He added: “Dataflow underpins every industry on the planet, and it’s exciting and heartening to now see it being recognised as a vital global utility and a key component part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain, Digital Assets and Data Policy at the WEF, said: “We are delighted to have Obashi join our Global Innovators Community.
“We are excited to work with Obashi within the Data Policy Platform given their focus on data flows as a key to accessing the opportunities of the new global data economy.”
The WEF acknowledges that understanding dataflow is fundamental to shaping and advancing the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In a recently-published white paper, the organisation suggested that nations will struggle to harness the social and economic benefits of the fourth industrial revolution if they do not understand their data flows.
Increasingly, organisations and governments are acknowledging that the flow of data must be treated like other basic utilities, such as water, electricity or oil and gas.
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Obashi Technology has been working closely with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to develop dataflow units in its Higher National qualifications in Computing, Cyber Security and Business.
The units introduce learners to a methodology of mapping digital dataflow in a business environment and are currently being delivered across colleges in Scotland.
Obashi is also working closely with the University of Glasgow on various projects including simulating socio-technical behaviours within large-scale complex systems, and with the University of Strathclyde on global regtech and fintech challenges.
Jane Morrison-Ross, CEO of ScotlandIS, hailed the announcement as a significant moment for Scottish tech and a positive step for raising the sector’s global profile.
She said: “Scotland has a strong reputation for education, innovation and now for technology. Data is at the heart of our future invention and growth. We are extremely proud that a Scottish company is at the heart of this.”
Nicola Anderson, CEO of FinTech Scotland, added: “We’re delighted that Obashi will join the WEF Global Innovators Community. Data and dataflow sit at the heart of fintech innovation and will provide future opportunities to create new businesses, generate jobs and deliver greater financially inclusive outcomes for people.
“Obashi demonstrates the depth of expertise Scotland has in data and fintech. Its cross-sector collaboration has enabled a data flow framework that can support the emerging digital economy and future economic growth.”