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Scotland 5G Centre Recruits ‘Big Hitters’ to Boost Country’s 5G Ambitions

David Paul


Udrafter Scotland 5G Centre

The new hires will provide advice and leadership to the Scotland 5G Centre as it supports the Scottish Government in its adoption of 5G policy and programmes.

The Scotland 5G Centre (S5GC) has recruited a number of tech leaders from across the UK to form a new Strategy Advisory Group.

The aim of the new team is to support the Scottish Government’s ambitions to put Scotland at the heart of UK and international use case developments and deployments in 5G.

A leadership focus will be provided for the Scottish high bandwidth internet connectivity ecosystem and, more widely, provide advice to the S5GC as it supports the Scottish Government in its further development of 5G policy and programmes.

It will be chaired by Claire Gillespie, Digital Technologies Sector Skills Manager at Skills Development Scotland.

She is supported by leading names from industry/enterprise, academia and the public sector, including:

  • Stephen Ingledew, executive chair of Fintech Scotland.
  • Simon Haston, CTIO Regions and Devolved Nations for BT.
  • Dr Mike Short, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Department of International Trade.
  • Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Head of the Institute for Communication Systems at the University of Surrey.
  • Martyn Wallace, Chief Digital Officer at the Scottish Local Government Digital Office.

Strategic Advisory Group Chair Gillespie commented: “To enable faster and wider 5G adoption across Scotland, one of the Group’s first priorities will be to engage with SMEs to understand their current challenges, raise awareness of how 5G can play a role in helping them grow their businesses.

“We also aim to bridge the technology and digital skills gap in business, supporting the transition to data-driven solutions and outcomes, and working with businesses and people to develop their skills to in this exciting sector.”

She added: “Crucially, each member of the Advisory Group brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to support the Centre’s governing board. We will draw upon our collective experiences to enhance sustainable growth and put Scotland firmly on the global 5G map.”

Julie Snell, Chair of the Scotland 5G Centre said: “The formation of the Strategic Advisory Group is another key step in our commitment to creating a world-leading hub for knowledge, expertise and innovations regarding 5G.

“Under Claire’s leadership, the Group will bring a dynamic perspective, innovative advice and external input on market needs. It will help shape our agenda and, through their extensive knowledge and networks, provide unbiased insight.”


The S5GC leadership recruitment comes off the back of the announcement last year of several new appointments at the organisation.

In May, it was announced that Julie Snell and Paul Coffey would join the organisation as it began plans for its next stage of delivery.

Snell was appointed as Chair, while Coffey took up the role of CEO. At the time Coffey said that Scotland was “in a great position to harness the potential of 5G”  and to “enable new industries and inject new innovation into the value chain”.

In December, S5GC made what it said was the first of several appointments to expand its team over the first quarter of 2021.

Brad McGuire was announced to take the position Programme Manager at the organisation, with plans to “maximise the benefits” arising from the three flagship 5G projects funded by the centre.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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