Data-driven innovation has the potential to deliver great benefits to Scottish businesses and the economy more widely, said Nicola Sturgeon.

The First Minister was addressing delegates today in Edinburgh on the first day of Data Summit, the two-day international conference that forms part of the two-week long data innovation festival, DataFest19.

The conference kicked-off with a keynote speech from Facebook-Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower, Christopher Wylie, one year on from when the scandal first broke.

The First Minister attended Data Summit in the afternoon, addressing some of the world’s most renowned and respected data science leaders, before participating in an on-stage question and answer session with The Data Lab’s Chief Executive, Gillian Docherty.

“Data-driven innovation has the potential to deliver great benefits to Scottish businesses and our economy more widely,” said Sturgeon.

“Scotland has a highly skilled workforce with great strengths in areas such as data and digital, and investors are increasingly seeing us as an attractive location for growing their business.

“I’m very pleased that DataFest is bringing these opportunities to people across the country and bringing an international audience to Edinburgh for another successful Data Summit.”

Gillian Docherty, chief executive of The Data Lab, commented: “We were thrilled to welcome the First Minister to Data Summit this year to discuss Scotland’s leading position in a rapidly changing and growing sector.

“The impact of data innovation and the benefits it brings to Scotland both socially and economically is being felt nationwide, and Nicola Sturgeon’s presence at Data Summit today highlighted how Scotland is participating quite literally on an international stage.”

Hosted by Maggie Philbin, host of Tomorrow’s World and chief executive of TeenTech, Data Summit speakers include Liberty Vittert, of the Harvard Data Science Review, researcher and broadcaster Stephanie Hare, Rob McCargow, director of AI at PwC, and Cassie Kozyrkov, chief decision scientist at Google.

The theme for DataFest19 is collaboration and doing #datatogether. It is a celebration of the groups, collectives, communities and teams who together have envisioned a path for the future of data and are taking steps to implement it.