FS Fives: Wednesday, May 18

Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.

First up, Glasgow has been ranked fourth in an index of UK ‘smart cities’, behind Birmingham, Bristol and London. The first Huawei UK Smart Cities Index measured how well urban centres are using digital technology to improve everything from their transport infrastructure to their refuse collection. “London and Bristol stand out from the crowd for combining technical innovation with a broader strategy for city development. But there are a number of cities close behind them with strong smart city programmes”, said Eric Woods, research director at Navigant Consulting, which compiled the index in conjunction with Huawei, one of the largest Chinese inward investors in the UK.

We also bring you news of plans for a new digital festival to be incorporated as part of the annual summer festival season in Edinburgh. The Digital Entertainment Festival, which runs from 4 to 28 August, takes place at the Assembly Rooms and will ‘celebrate the intersection of new technology and arts entertainment’. That roughly translates as using virtual reality, gaming and a host of other digital tools as performance media for theatre, opera and the arts. Visit here for a full programme of talks, screenings, workshops, interactive exhibition and live performance.

Interested in big data and football? Well today could be your lucky day. Edinburgh analytics firm BarrachD has put together a very cool data visualisation of how Leicester City won the Premier League. As well as applying analytics to match day data, the Midlands minnows also studied insights from the performance data of prospective transfer targets prior to any business being completed. BarrachD says that might explain why a squad that was assembled for under £55million swept aside the far more extravagantly assembled squads of Tottenham (£161m), Arsenal (£252m) and Manchester City (£419m).

Grants ranging from £500 to £50,000 are being made available for organisations delivering extracurricular computer science and digital skills courses for young people. Skills Development Scotland has launched a £250,000 Digital Xtra fund to ‘broaden the talent pipeline’ and make Scotland a ‘world class digital nation by 2020’, in line with a Scottish Government commitment. The funding is available from June 2016 for projects that will be completed by 31st March 2017, and can be accessed through the Public Contracts Scotland website.

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