News in brief
Staff Writer, July 17, 2020 76 min read
FutureScot’s round-up of what’s happening in Scotland’s digital and public technology sectors. Updated daily with news from FutureScot and other trusted sources.
Government 21/08/2020 Connecting Scotland The Scottish Government’s ‘Connecting Scotland Programme’ will help around 23,000 low income households gain proper access to the internet with £15 million of funding. The programme will prioritise disadvantaged families with children and young people leaving care. It will provide households with a device, 12 months of unlimited data and technical help to keep them safe and secure online. Source: Scottish Government Cyber 21/08/2020 Fortinet and IBM join forces on cyber security training A new programme will help candidates kickstart a career in cyber security regardless of their background or education, combining Fortinet’s Network Security Expert training and certification system with IBM’s digital platform ‘SkillsBuilder’ Source: ITPro.co.uk Education 21/08/2020 University receives over £600,000 to help tackle Scotland’s skills gap Hundreds of free places for short online courses have been made available by The University of Aberdeen. A fund of over £600,000 made available by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) as part of an upskilling initiative that will offer short, flexible courses that will take between take 8 to 12 weeks to complete. Source: ABDN.ac.uk Health 21/08/2020 Scottish Universities at forefront of €78 million anti-Covid effort The Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh are playing key roles in a €77.7 million pan-European consortium seeking to accelerate the development of therapies for Covid-19 and future coronaviruses. Source: Dundee.ac.uk Local Government / Innovation 21/08/2020 Planning permission clears Spacehub Sutherland for lift-off Highland Council has given permission to Space Hub Sutherland to install a launchpad on land owned by Melness Crofters Estate. The planning approval means small commercial satellites and launch vehicles designed and manufactured in Scotland could be taking off from the region within the next few years. Source: Insider.co.uk Health 21/08/2020 Two or more long-term health conditions linked to a positive Covid-19 test The presence of two or more long term health conditions – known as multimorbidity – is linked to a 48% higher risk of a positive COVID-19 test. While it is well recognised that the risk of a severe COVID-19 infection is linked to certain long-term health conditions, little is known, so far, about the effects of multimorbidity and polypharmacy (taking multiple medications) on the risk of a serious coronavirus infection. Now, a new study led by the University of Glasgow and published today in research journal PLOS ONE, is the first to link both multimorbidity and polypharmacy with the risk of having a positive COVID-19 test. Source: PLOS ONE Education 21/08/2020 VR shows the way forward for university learning As the ongoing impact of Covid-19 continues to disrupt classrooms and lecture theatres worldwide, education institutions are scrambling to find suitable alternative methods of learning which can be adopted at scale to deliver effective results. Source: HeraldScotland.com AI 21/08/2020 Understanding the UK artificial intelligence (AI) labour market The UK Government is carrying out research to understand and measure the UK AI labour market. This will help inform future policy and strategy. The government is undertaking a survey of UK businesses and charities to help understand the UK AI labour market. The research will inform Government policy to promote AI-related skills. Source: Scotlandis.com Government 21/08/2020 Voucher scheme to ensure superfast broadband access for all The Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme will provide funding of up to £5,000 to help homes and businesses not in scope of either Reaching 100% (R100) contracts or planned commercial investment to obtain superfast broadband where providers may not ordinarily go. Source: gov.scot/news Cyber 21/08/2020 Abertay ethical hacking course achieves full NCSC certification The university was the first in the world to offer courses in both computer games and ethical hacking. The MSc Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity course helps students develop the necessary skills to combat computer hackers and covers a broad range of subjects, including digital forensics, penetration testing and malware analysis. Source: Scotlandis.com Cyber 21/08/2020 IT firm Converged hires Police Scotland cyber crime expert as chief security officer Converged Communication Solutions has appointed former Police Scotland cybercrime expert Robbie Ross as its chief security officer. He moves to the Aberdeen-based IT company after nearly 22 years with the police to replace Gerry Grant, who has joined NHS Tayside as its cyber security manager. Source: Insider.co.uk Asset 21/08/2020 Edinburgh breaks down asset data silos for coordinated approach to place making City of Edinburgh Council is finding a way to look at the big picture in its operations and strategic planning for place management. It wants to develop a ‘place making approach’, managing its physical assets as a whole rather than in silos, with a view to harnessing the internet of things (IoT) and adapting the city to a post-Covid world. Source: UKAuthority.com Health 21/08/2020 Identifying care home risks earlier A new web-based tool, commissioned by the Scottish Government, will allow care homes to monitor coronavirus (COVID-19) trends and identify risks quicker. The Turas Care Management tool was launched last Friday and will allow all private and public sector care homes across the country to record in one place information including COVID-19 infection rates, demand on services and staff testing. Source: Scottish Government Health 14/08/2020 NHS Lanarkshire deploys Patientrack across entire board Alcidion has signed an enterprise agreement with NHS Lanarkshire for a five-year term, enabling the health board to deploy Alcidion’s Patientrack electronic bedside monitoring system across its entire regional health network. Source: Alcidion Built Environment 14/08/2020 VR remote building inspection platform trialled by the University of Strathclyde The project seeks to carry out defect detection through a combination of ‘deep learning’ algorithms, traditional image processing techniques and VR interfaces. The University of Strathclyde team will trial the VR platform on the University of Strathclyde’s new Learning & Teaching building, which is under construction on the campus. Source: The Construction Index
Infrastructure 14/08/2020 Scotland’s largest electric vehicle charging station opens The largest electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Scotland has been officially opened this week in the heart of one of the country’s most important economic areas. The £1.4m facility at the Falkirk Stadium, which has capacity for 26 electric vehicles – 30% more than the second-largest EV station in Scotland – was officially opened by Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. Source: Falkirk Council Cyber 14/08/2020 Recent cloud security report highlights concerns over public clouds Misconfigurations, unauthorized access and account hijacking named as leading threats in public clouds, while traditional security tools only deliver limited protection in complex cloud environments. Source: Checkpoint
Skills 14/08/2020 The UK is facing an AI skills gap that could leave companies struggling to compete with rivals from across the world, a new report has revealed. The report also found that businesses in this country use less AI than firms overseas, and when they do it tends to be less advanced. Source: Microsoft Justice 14/08/2020 Facial recognition ruled unlawful Use of facial recognition technology for law enforcement purposes has been deemed unlawful because it violates the fundamental right to privacy, according to a landmark legal ruling. The Court of Appeals has declared that the technology which is capable of scanning 50 images a second and matching them with a ‘watchlist’ that can hold up to 2,000 images of individuals, violates human rights and equality laws. Source: ITPro Smart Cities 14/08/2020 £11m funding for Innovative Dundee Urban Foresight helps local government and business to use technology, data and new ways of working to transform local services and infrastructure. The Company are working in partnership with Dundee City Council to develop strategies and projects to promote electric vehicles and sustainable transport locally. Source: The Courier Energy 14/08/2020 Harnessing geothermal energy contained in disused and flooded coalmines Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have won early-stage funding to develop plans to tap into the geothermal energy contained within disused, flooded coal mines in Scotland. The HotScot project is one of 17 shortlisted submissions across the UK chosen by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund to develop a full-stage bid that could lead to significant economic growth. Source: University of Strathclyde
Agritech 14/08/2020 Scots firm improves the efficiency of OZ farmers A Glasgow-based digital analytics specialist has secured work on a $1.6 million (£1.44m) European Space Agency project that will provide insights and ultimately improve the efficiency of the farming industry in Australia. And it is hoped the work can ultimately be applied to the operation of large-scale infrastructure in other sectors, such as power, rail, and flood defence. Source: Glasgow Herald Cyber 14/08/2020 GDS commences document checking service pilot The Government Digital Service (GDS) has begun a pilot scheme for the extension of its Document Checking Service. It enables approved organisations to digitally check a person’s passport data to verify their identity. Announcing the pilot, the Cabinet Office said the pilot is aimed at testing the market for the service, which could be used in checking identities in processes such as online mortgage applications, financial services and recruitment. It believes the service could provide significant savings in time and costs. Source: UKAuthority Space 14/08/2020 UK’s first rocket launch lifts off from Shetlands The island of Unst is one of the North Isles in Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the northernmost inhabited British island and the third largest island in Shetland next to the Mainland and Yell. This largely grassland and coastal cliff island will become the location for the United Kingdoms’ first commercial rocket launch in 2021 when Lockheed Martin will put a small satellite into the orbit. Source: The Science Times Education 14/08/2020 First entirely new school to be built in Scotland for 25 years Commissioned by Perth & Kinross Council and delivered with development partner East Central Hub, the school is one of only 17 in the world to form part of the Microsoft Flagship initiative. Specialising in delivering learning digitally, the school has been designed with a collaborative environment in mind, with spaces that could also be used by the community of Bertha Park, an expanding residential part of Perth. Source: Architects Journal Skills 14/08/2020 Scottish Power opens stem returner programme ScottishPower has opened applications for a new “returner” employment programme to support people from diverse backgrounds who have taken a career break or lost their job in the STEM sector due to Covid-19. Source: The Glasgow Herald Health 14/08/2020 The eyes have it Funding boost for software that detects life-threatening conditions. Software that can detect life-threatening conditions from a simple eye examination could be one step closer to high street opticians. Source: University of Dundee Health 14/08/2020 Young people tackle lockdown loneliness in older generation To address isolation and loneliness in the over fifties a new project run by young people aims to close the digital divide and connect people online. Students from the University of Glasgow Adam Smith Business School are spending Summer developing and running an intergenerational mentoring programme to increase digital accessibility and confidence in Glasgow. Source: University of GlasgowHealth 07/08/2020 Scottish Government develops test and protect app A contact tracing app to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system is now in development. The Scottish Government is working towards having proximity tracing app available in the autumn via Apple and Google app stores. It will focus on using Bluetooth technology to anonymously alert users if they have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for COVID-19. This will complement existing person to person contact tracing which will remain the main component of NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect system. Source: Scottish Government Smart cities 07/08/2020 Street smart putting the citizen at the centre of smart city initiatives People around the world are unhappy with the city life and the many social, environmental, and infrastructure challenges it brings. Smart cities offer solutions to many of these challenges. But what, exactly, do citizens hope for and want from a smart city? Source: Cap Gemini Health 07/08/2020 Inclusion Scotland urges employers to use technology to support disabled employees The disabled people’s organisation is urging companies to continue using technology to access untapped talent through more inclusive employment practices and also to support employees as lockdown is lifted. Source: Microsoft Energy 07/08/2020 Peoples energy to create 100 jobs in Selkirk People’s Energy is a social enterprise providing gas and 100% renewable electricity to UK domestic and SME customers, and aim to return 75% of the profits to their members. Source: Business Insider Government 07/08/2020 New platform for Scottish procurement helping public bodies’ covid-19 response A new platform developed by Scottish software developers Horisk Leslie for Scottish Procurement is helping Scotland’s public bodies embed sustainability requirements in their procurement processes. The Sustainable Procurement Tools platform optimises the economic, social and environmental outcomes of their procurement process. Source: Horisk Health 07/08/2020 Heriot-Watt University develop mathematical model to predict the spread of airborne diseases A new mathematical model is helping develop the current understanding of how airborne diseases such as Covid-19 can spread during breathing and aerosol-generating procedures. By using simple formulas, the team were able to determine a droplet’s maximum range. Source: Heriot Watt Higher Education 07/08/2020 Demand from Scottish students remains strong and gives universities the best reason yet for optimism Figures published on August 4 by UCAS, show the number of students accepting undergraduate places to study in Scotland’s universities, starting this autumn, has defied expectations, with an increase in the number of Scottish-domiciled applicants accepting places, and a tentative indication of continued demand from international students, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Universities Scotland Higher Education 07/08/2020 RGU launches online support for businesses RGU is launching two new online initiatives, ‘RGU Knowledge Bites for Business’ and a suite of upskilling online short courses, to support businesses as they deal with the economic challenges of The platform will share expertise from the university community, comprising of free-to-access short videos, articles, mini-courses and live interactive webinars designed to provide practical support for businesses now, as well as sharing how RGU’s services can support in the future. Source: RGU Infrastructure 07/08/2020 Stirling becomes CityFibre’s first completed gigabit city project CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, has announced that its main full fibre build in Stirling is now complete, passing more than 17,500 premises across the city. This brings the vast majority of the city’s homes, businesses, public sector sites and mobile masts within easy reach of the Gigabit-speed network. The milestone marks the completion of CityFibre’s first network-build project committed to in its strategic partnership with Vodafone. Source: CityFibre UK Government 07/08/2020 Crown commercial service and IBM sign MoU for cloud services Crown Commercial Service and IBM have negotiated a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make it easier and more affordable for public sector organisations to use IBM cloud services. The MoU aims to remove barriers to the adoption of cloud-based services and allows eligible public sector organisations to obtain preferential commercial terms to IBM’s published list prices for cloud services. These discounts are available for any new cloud contracts and for the term of those contract. Source: Crown Commercial Services Further Education 07/08/2020 College meets skills demand in financial sector The Scottish financial sector is the second largest in the UK despite the economic challenges created by COVID-19. With opportunities for people to move into the sector, the City of Glasgow College is introducing new courses and adapting others to meet the demand. The flagship college is currently the only one in Scotland offering HNCs and HNDs in financial services. Source: City of Glasgow College Higher Education 07/08/2020 Creating pictures by measuring time A new method of imaging which harnesses artificial intelligence to turn time into visions of 3D space could help cars, mobile devices and health monitors develop 360-degree awareness. In a new paper published today in the journal Optica, researchers based in the UK, Italy and the Netherlands describe how they have found an entirely new way to make animated 3D images. Source: University of Glasgow UK Government 07/08/2020 Bank of England selects Accenture Accenture has been selected to work with the Bank of England to renew the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service to support resilience and innovation in payments and settlements in the U.K. In this role, Accenture will be the technology delivery partner for the RTGS Renewal Programme, working with the Bank of England to deliver the critical national payments infrastructure. Source: Accenture Health 07/08/2020 Intersystems supports healthcare providers worldwide Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, InterSystems has been both implementing and enhancing its InterSystems TrakCare® unified healthcare information system to help its customers in the fight against the global pandemic. Responding quickly to customer needs InterSystems has brought new systems, equipment and even hospitals online. Source: InterSystems UK Government 07/08/2020 MHRA creates synthetic datasets to assist Covid-19 research The Medicines and Healthcare products Agency (MHRA) has announced the creation of two innovative synthetic datasets which will support the development of cutting-edge medical technologies to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) and cardiovascular disease. Source: UK Government Higher Education 07/08/2020 O2 trials 5G-powered Covid-19 clinic-on-wheels A trial Covid-19 ‘clinic-on-wheels’ testing facility is being launched in Glasgow. The Connected Mobile Health Clinic (CMHC) is designed to provide remote testing and tracking of care home residents and workers in the city, as well as the delivery of essential medical supplies. It will track coronavirus at six premises, capturing the data of 550 people over three months. Source: 5G.co.uk Cyber 07/08/2020 Microsoft tripled bug bounty payouts to $13.7m last year Microsoft paid out US$13.7 million (c. £10.5 million) across 15 bounty programmes during the last 12 months, more than three times the amount paid out to researchers in the same period during 2018/19. The company rewarded 327 researchers for identifying bugs and flaws in Microsoft software during the last year, with 1,226 eligible vulnerability reports being filed during the period. Source: ITPro Justice 07/08/2020 Cinemas in Scotland may be used for jury trials A jury was able to watch a mock trial unfold on the big screen at the Fort Kinnaird cinema in Edinburgh, which also allowed for social distancing between jurors. Cinemas in Scotland could be used for jury trials after a test involving an Odeon complex in Edinburgh “worked very well”. Brian McConnachie QC said a jury was able to watch a mock trial unfold on the big screen at the Fort Kinnaird cinema, which also allowed for social distancing between jurors. Source: The Scotsman Health 07/08/2020 British Dental Association members targeted by hackers Dental patient case notes and dentists’ bank details are feared to have been stolen in a hacking attack. The British Dental Association has admitted to its members that it is still not sure exactly what was accessed in the breach on 30 July. The BDA’s website has been offline since the hacking, and it is contacting those it thinks had data compromised. Source: BBC UK Government 07/08/2020 Home office drops ‘racist’ algorithm from visa decisions The Home Office has agreed to stop using a computer algorithm to help decide visa applications after allegations that it contained “entrenched racism”. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and digital rights group Foxglove launched a legal challenge against the system. Source: BBC Security 07/08/2020 Meetup security flaws exposed 44 million members to data loss Meetup, a popular community-building events platform with 44 million members was left open to attacks that could have resulted in data loss and, ultimately, the redirection of payments, security researchers have revealed. According to the Meetup media pages, there are currently more than 44 million members enrolled on the platform. Source: Forbes Data 07/08/2020 ICO launches guidance on ai and data protection Over the past few years, we have witnessed amazing uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in areas such as online retail, banking, and healthcare. The recent pandemic has driven innovation in the use of technology and data but some of the challenges for organisations using AI are constant Source: Source: UKAuthority Space 07/08/2020 Glasgow spacetech firm Spelfie named among world’s top innovators Glasgow-based space tech company Spelfie.com has been named among the top 100 of the world’s most innovative start-up and tech companies – the only Scottish start-up to appear on the list. Spelfie.com came 17th in the TechRound100, after judging from a panel including Mark Wright, a former winner of The Apprentice, and Adam Brodie of Ignition Financial. Previous finalists have included TikTok, Monzo and Revolut, while this year’s top-ranking companies included Zoom, Houseparty and Peloton. Source: The Scotsman Cyber 07/08/2020 NCSC appoints Lindy Cameron as CEO The UK’s lead national authority on cyber security has appointed Lindy Cameron as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), replacing Ciaran Martin. The senior civil servant will replace Ciaran Martin, who established the NCSC in 2016. Cameron will spearhead the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) response to several waves of cyber incidents each year, taking over at a crucial moment for businesses across the UK. Source: ITPro Data 31/07/2020 University of Edinburgh’s international data facility choose Hewlett-Packard enterprise Hewlett-Packard Enterprise has announced that it has been chosen to power the Edinburgh International Data Facility Europe’s first regional data innovation centre at the University of Edinburgh EPCC in Scotland. Read. Education 31/07/2020 Virtual work experience introduces pupils to the world of life sciences This week over 40 pupils from across Scotland will come together online to attend a virtual work experience week at the University of Dundee. Read. Infrastructure 31/07/2020 Openreach unveils largest ever ‘hard to reach’ full fibre build in Scotland Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in 60 Scottish towns, villages and rural areas will benefit as Openreach outline plans to make ultra-reliable and gigabit-capable Full Fibre broadband available to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Scotland. Read. Health 31/07/2020 Assistance for health and social care organisations A new online resource has been launched for NHS boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships to help them continue to engage effectively with local communities while COVID-19 restrictions remain. Read. Data 31/07/2020 Collaborative project uses genomic data to deliver precision stroke treatment The University of Dundee, in collaboration with NHS Tayside, has been awarded £100,000 by The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data and AI, to develop a new precision medicine care pathway for stroke patients with support from Storm ID, developers of the Lenus Digital Health Platform. Read. Education 31/07/2020 Aberdeen leads new research project to investigate Covid-19 and ethnicity The University of Aberdeen is leading one of six new projects to improve our understanding of the links between Covid-19 and ethnicity, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Read. Government 31/07/2020 NESTA IN SCOTLAND HAVE RELEASED NEW RESEARCH INTO HOW THE SCOTTISH PUBLIC FEELS ABOUT NEW AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES. The report entitled Shift+Ctrl: The Scottish public and the tech revolution offers in-depth analysis of the opinions, aspirations and concerns of people in Scotland in relation to the technologies driving the fourth industrial revolution. Source: Nesta in Scotland Justice 31/07/2020 VIRTUAL CUSTODY COURTS PILOT RAISES CONCERNS AMONG SOLICITORS Five virtual custody courts have been piloted in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow and Saltcoats, but a survey of Scottish solicitors has revealed issues with obtaining their clients’ instructions and apparent inconsistencies in the way the pilot courts are operating. Custody courts are held specifically to deal with people held by the police and are the first step in the prosecution process, when a person accused of a crime submits their plea. Source: The Law Society Infrasctructure 31/07/2020 DIGITAL SCOTLAND IN TOP GEAR More than 950,000 premises across Scotland are now able to connect to faster fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband infrastructure build. The highly successful, £463M partnership programme led by the Scottish Government has reached this critical mass as it starts to draw to a close in its seventh year of deployment. The total includes more than 110,000 extra premises which were not originally expected to benefit. Across the country, Openreach engineers have laid a whopping 16,730KM of cable – enough to stretch to the South Pole and beyond – including 400KM of sub-sea cable, while 5,078 new fibre street cabinets are now live. Source: Openreach Health 31/07/2020 NHS LANARKSHIRE TO DEPLOY ALCIDION’S EARLY WARNING SYSTEM An early warning system that helps busy doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to quickly identify when patients are at risk of deterioration is to be deployed across hospitals and community settings throughout Lanarkshire. Patientrack, which first hit headlines in Scotland for helping staff at NHS Fife to transform clinical practice and to significantly cut cardiac arrests, will now be deployed across the entirety of NHS Lanarkshire in a new five-year contract with the smart health technology provider ALCIDION. Source: Business Computing Health 31/07/2020 SCOTTISH TECH FIRM TO DEVELOP WORKPLACE CORONAVIRUS RISK MANAGEMENT TOOL intenseIT has formed an international collaboration to roll-out a pioneering AI-based solution, with the aim of helping workplaces minimise the transmission of Coronavirus. With seed-funding from Innovate UK, which was obtained with the help of The Data Lab’s External Funding Service, intenseIT have created the WorkSafeAITM solution to be used by businesses to decide which prevention measures are most suitable. Source: intenseIT Cyber 31/07/2020 MORE THAN 100 ORGANISATIONS HIT BY BLACKBAUD CYBER ATTACK The National Trust for Scotland and Sue Ryder are amongst those who have been affected by a cyber-attack, alongside universities and other firms. More charities have revealed they fell victim to an international cyber-attack. The National Trust and Sue Ryder have confirmed they have also been affected by an attack on cloud computing provider Blackbaud. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said so far up to 125 organisations have made a report in relation to the incident. Dozens of UK universities are said to be involved, and internationally the attack has also affected museums, foodbanks and churches. Source: Third Force News Cyber 31/07/2020 SBRC MAKE ANOTHER KEY APPOINTMENT SBRC has appointed Kirstie Steele as Cyber Resilience Community Lead. In this brand-new role, Kirstie will be responsible for developing a range of capacity building and engagement activities to help Scottish organisations become more cyber resilient. Kirstie said: “I’m excited to join the SBRC team in this new role. As we become more reliant on digital technologies, cyber security is more important than ever. I’m looking forward to engaging with organisations to help them become more cyber resilient. Source: SBRC HR 31/07/2020 NORTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL CONTRACTS NEW HR MANAGEMENT SYSTEM North Lanarkshire Council, one of Scotland’s largest local authorities, has announced a seven year with HR, payroll and analytics expert MHR in a partnership that claims to radically improve its workforce management and be a key driver in its digital transformation strategy. Education 24/07/2020 New web app makes pathways that exist across colleges and universities easier to understand A new Web App that allows students and school leavers to look up further and higher education pathways in one place launched this week. The advertising, promotion and understanding of learning options are often complex and difficult for pupils, students and advisers to find and navigate. Read. Cyber 24/07/2020 SBRC appoints ethical hacker to provide offensive security advice As part of its commitment to ensuring Scottish organisations better understand cyber security and can identify their weaknesses to avoid cyber-crime, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre has appointed an Ethical Hacker. Read. Education 24/07/2020 Technology plays a vital role helping “hidden youth” feel connected Dr Mark Wong, a lecturer in Social and Public Policy, has been looking at the so-called “hidden youth” phenomenon, where teenagers hid away in the bedrooms for months or years and communicate only online. Read. Data 24/07/2020 Time to take back control of our data To avoid data being concentrated in the hands of powerful corporations and governments, we need data unions (or data co-operatives) to empower communities to understand data and control its use. Read. Infrastructure 24/07/2020 Dundee expertise to drive UK construction efficiency The University of Dundee has been announced as a member of a £16 million consortium designed to drive innovation across major infrastructure projects in the UK. Read. Health/Education 24/07/2020 Aberdeen researchers tackle UK’s biggest health care challenges Data specialists at the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science which includes NHS Grampian and the University of Aberdeen will receive funding of up to £400,000 over two years to join a national network of experts who are working to address the biggest challenges facing health and care services nationally and in Aberdeen. Read. Health 24/07/2020 NEW E-LEARNING PROGRAMME WILL ENHANCE CANCER CARE An innovative e-learning programme developed by experts at the University of Stirling will educate and empower nurses to improve cancer care. The ‘Cancer Nursing Careers’ programme will provide learning opportunities for nurses who provide care to people affected by the disease in non-specialist cancer settings – including in primary, secondary, and community care. Source:University of Stirling UK PARLIAMENT 24/07/2020 REPORT ON MISINFORMATION IN THE COVID-19 INFODEMIC PUBLISHED The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee calls for Government is to appoint new Online Harms Regulator now. Online misinformation about Covid-19 was allowed to spread virulently across social media without the protections offered by legislation, promised by the Government 15 months ago. The Misinformation in the COVID-19 Infodemic Report details evidence on a range of harms from dangerous hoax treatments to conspiracy theories that led to attacks on 5G engineers. Source:UK Parliament Data 24/07/2020 UK GOVERNMENT ADMITS THAT NHS TEST AND TRACE PROGRAMME IS UNLAWFUL The government has admitted now it hasn’t conducted proper privacy checks on the system. A crucial element of England’s coronavirus recovery effort has been operating for months without fully taking into account how people’s data could be abused, the government has admitted. A mandatory risk assessment for how data is handled has not been completed for the Test and Trace system, which went live on May 28. Source: Wired Justice & Police 24/07/2020 SMART ALARM LAUNCHED BY EDINBURGH START UP Boundary Technologies have developed the only smart alarm in the UK accurate enough to provide an automatic police response, with its “smart” system meeting UK and European alarm standards. It is preparing for the official launch of its security system during August and will use the funding to complete product testing and back its post-launch operations. Source: The Scotsman Skills 24/07/2020 NEW CAREER RESOURCES IN DATA AND AI Skills Development Scotland has launched new guides and resources for careers in Data & Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Software Development, in partnership with ScotlandIS, The Data Lab and Scottish Enterprise. These resources highlight the variety of job roles that exist within these fields, as well as providing useful information on Data & AI and Software Development qualifications, and opportunities for professional development. Source: ScotlandIS BUILT ENVIRONMENT 24/07/2020 NEW SFT PUBLICATION TO PROMOTE INTERNET OF THINGS Schools, hospitals, and other buildings and estates that support our public services – plays a crucial role in supporting our country’s communities, wellbeing, and economic growth. Understanding and responding to the way public buildings perform in real-time provides many opportunities to increase efficiencies and improve the wellbeing of users while also reducing energy and carbon emissions. Source: SFT Data 17/07/2020 CJEU rules that the mechanism for transferring data to the US is invalid Yesterday’s decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will affect many UK businesses and other organisations that send personal data to the US. Read JUSTICE 17/07/2020 SCOTLAND’S STUDENT LOANS AGENCY USES FACIAL RECOGNITION TO CATCH FRAUDSTER The Students Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) used technology not even available to Police Scotland, to catch fraudster, but at the same time raising human rights concerns. The fraudster, who stole £5,500 in loans, is a Slovakian individual, was not named, and will be deported after serving a 12-month sentence. Read Justice 17/07/2020 CORONAVIRUS: HIGH COURT TRIALS TO RESUME WITH DISTANCED JURORS The first High Court trial in Scotland since lockdown will get under way in Edinburgh next Monday. Digital technology has been installed to allow the jury to watch the case from a different room within the court building on the Royal Mile. If successful, it could lead to juries operating from remote locations such as conference centres or even cinemas. The proposals were drafted by a working group which includes representatives from across the justice sector Source: BBC CYBER 17/07/2020 BUSINESSES HELPED TO KEEP HOME WORKERS SECURE WITH NCSC CYBER EXERCISE The National Cyber Security Centre launches exercise to help small businesses test their cyber resilience while staff work remotely. ‘Home and Remote Working’ exercise will form part of a series in the highly successful Exercise in a Box toolkit. Measure is latest in a range of support NCSC has offered for home workers since the coronavirus outbreak. Source: NCSC HEALTH 17/07/2020 12 SCOTTISH DIGITAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS TECH COMPANIES TO WATCH With growing demand for innovative tech solutions in telehealth, personalised medicine, assisted living and digital health systems, Scotland’s smartest health tech companies are rising to the challenge, supporting global healthcare providers and improving patients’ lives worldwide. Source: Scottish Development International Health 17/07/2020 CENSIS SUPPORTS PROJECT FOR NEW PROSTATE CANCER TEST A university spin-out is aiming to revolutionise the way men are screened for prostate cancer by providing more accurate testing at an early stage, leading to reduced patient anxiety and more efficient diagnosis. Source: Censis BUILDING AN UNDERSTANDING OF DIABETES WITH MINECRAFT 17/07/2020 The hugely popular virtual construction game Minecraft is being used to teach young people about diabetes by researchers from the University of Aberdeen. The team have built a human body in Minecraft, which users can move around to explore the organs, cells and molecules. Source: University of Aberdeen GOVERNMENT 17/07/2020 SOCIAL SECURITY SCOTLAND HANDS CONTRACT TO DELOITTE CONSULTING Deloitte Consulting has landed another major contract from the Scottish Government to help develop its Social Security Scotland programme. The contract worth over £9 million will see Deloitte help develop a low code digital solution aimed at integrating the devolved benefits organisation’s IT systems. Source: Consultancy.co.uk EDUTECH 17/07/2020 DIGITAL CASK FILLING SOLUTION COULD SAVE SCOTTISH WHISKY INDUSTRY MILLIONS Researchers at the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), a specialist technology centre within the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), have collaborated with industrial partners to devise a digital whisky cask filling process that could save Scotland’s £5.5 billion whisky industry millions of pounds each year in inventory costs. Source: University of Strathclyde EDUTECH 17/07/2020 TONTINE BASED EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE COMPANY SIGNS MAJOR DEAL WITH SCOTLAND’S LARGEST COLLEGE Klik2Learn founded by a former schoolteacher from the Isle of Skye has signed a collaboration agreement with Scotland’s largest college that will help students and tutors to exploit the benefits of online learning.READ EDUTECH 17/07/2020 VIRTUAL CLASSROOM TECH FIRM AJENTA SECURES £1 MILLION INVESTMENT Foresight Growth Fund makes Leith company behind educational video conferencing its fourth investment. Leith-based Ajenta has secured £1 million of growth capital to support development of its education video-conferencing software. The investment is the fifth by private equity firm Foresight Group since it was appointed to allocate the £20 million Foresight Scottish Growth Fund publicly financed by the Scottish Growth Scheme. Source: Insider THIRD SECTOR 17/07/2020 INVERNESS FIRM IN LOCKDOWN LINK-UP TO LONDON Young people from Inverness and London have linked up on a social entrepreneurial push made possible by the coronavirus lockdown.Extending the reach of virtual meetings means a group from the Inverness-based IT specialist the Apprentice Store has connected with young people in Tower Hamlets during the pandemic to help them boost their digital skills and get their businesses online. Source: ScotlandIS THIRD SECTOR 17/07/2020 BLOCKCHAIN WASTEAID TO BRING BLOCKCHAIN TO GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST PLASTICS POLLUTION Zumo, the Edinburgh-based cryptocurrency exchange and platform has joined forces with waste management charity WasteAid to support community-level action against plastics pollution across several developing markets. Source: Wasteaid THIRD SECTOR 17/07/2020 FINTECH OVER 65% OF SCOTTISH IT COMPANIES WORKING IN FINTECT ARE BASED IN THE CENTRAL BELT Company Connecting Insights publish repoprt on Scottish based IT companies that work and provide services to the Finance sector in Scotland. Not surprisingly 65% of the companies are based in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Source: Company Connecting CYBER 17/07/2020 IOT CYBER SECURITY ACCELERATOR: WINNERS ANNOUNCED The winners of CENSIS’s IoT cyber security accelerator programme have been announced. Each of the companies – PolyDigi Tech, Lupovis, Craft Prospect and Beringar – receive a bespoke package of support to create new IoT focused cyber security products and services, including up to 10 days’ engineering assistance and business development advice. Source: CENSIS DATA 17/07/2020 REGENERATION OF CANALS CAN IMPROVE COMMUNITY HEALTH A study led by Glasgow Caledonian University in partnership with Scottish Canals and facilitated by The Data Lab, revealed a faster rate of decline (3% annually) in mortality rates in urban areas close to canals that have undergone major transformation and regeneration, compared to areas further away. Source: Scottish Canals Local Government 10/07/2020 West Dunbartonshire Council choose VKY Intelligent Automation West Dunbartonshire Council has announced it has selected independent service provider VKY Intelligent Automation as its strategic partner for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) implementation with UiPath in a first for Local Government in Scotland. Read. Local Government 10/07/2020 Renfrewshire Council award Siemens mobility urban traffic control contract. Siemens Mobility Limited has been awarded a 10-year contract by Renfrewshire Council to upgrade and expand the council’s traffic control system. Read. Companies 10/07/2020 Scottish Tech Army gets off to a flying start The STA is off to a flying start since launch, recruiting more than 850 volunteers and kickstarting over 75 projects. Since its launch just over eight weeks ago, this 850-strong team of volunteers has helped over 70 organisations, many of them charities like the Govan Community Project in Glasgow which works with asylum seekers. Read. Health 10/07/2020 Edinburgh company develop technology for C-19 screening A Scottish based company has developed a track and trace system which they claim is fast and accurate. Read. Local Government 10/07/2020 Renfrewshire Council installs IOT sensors in thousands of homes Renfrewshire Council is set to install Internet of Things (IoT) technology in its social housing stock – a project that aims to improve the lives of tenants while cutting property management and repair costs. Read. Education 10/07/2020 Klik2Learn signs major deal with Scotland’s largest college An educational software company founded by a former schoolteacher from the Isle of Skye has signed a collaboration agreement with Scotland’s largest college that will help students and tutors to exploit the benefits of online learning. Read. Justice 10/07/2020 Police Scotland operations transformed by mobile devices The roll-out of mobile devices by Police Scotland has freed up more than 400,000 hours of officer time in just one year, transforming policing in communities across the country. Read. Education 10/07/2020 Boost to Scotland’s space tech sector Celestia UK, specialists in the advancement of state-of-the-art antenna systems used for tracking satellites, has announced that Heriot-Watt University’s Research Park will be its permanent base in Scotland. Read. Companies 10/07/2020 CodeClan team up with Lloyds Banking Group to drive diversity in the tech industry CodeClan’s Digital Diversity Group has teamed up with Lloyds Banking Group’s Women ConnecTech colleague network to help deliver their year-long program of events. Read. Companies 10/07/2020 Civtech 5.0 Launches The CivTech 5.0 Innovation Flow launches on Friday 10th July. There are ten Challenges, from a wide range of government directorates and public sector organisations, tackling a wide variety of problems the public sector would like to solve. Read. Justice 03/07/2020 Success as Police Scotland targets online child abuse One hundred suspects have been arrested in the past six months by Police Scotland in a crackdown on online child abuse. Read. Built Environment 03/07/2020 Scottish Futures Trust looks to boost BIM uptake across school building programme The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has launched a new Standard Information Management Plan (SIMP) which will enhance infrastructure delivery and performance within the Scottish government’s Learning Estate Investment Programme. Read. Data 03/07/2020 App boosts role of women in peace processes A mobile app has been launched to help embed women’s rights in peace negotiations in the Arab world and beyond. Read. Education 03/07/2020 Safe return for all students to college and university New guidance has been published to help Scotland’s colleges and universities prepare for a safe and phased return to campus. Read. Health 03/07/2020 First rollout of AI-based cancer detection for NHS patients LDPath will deploy Ibex’s Galen™ Prostate, an AI-powered solution to support pathologists in enhancing diagnostic accuracy and efficiency. Read. Education & Energy 03/07/2020 AI set to deliver safer offshore work environments A team of engineers from Heriot-Watt University’s, Smart Systems Group (SSG), say their ambitious project will protect lives and help prevent offshore disasters. Read. Health 03/07/2020 Heriot-Watt launches pioneering assisted living lab. Scientists from Heriot-Watt University are launching what is believed to be the world’s first open and remote access living lab to research and create solutions for Ambient Assisted Living (OpenAAL). Read. Education 03/07/2020 University of Glasgow’s receives £1m from the Wolfson Foundation for work on quantum and nanotechnology The University of Glasgow is to benefit from a £1m award from the Wolfson Foundation for its work on Quantum and Nanotechnology which will be a key focus of its new Research Hub in the Western campus. Read. Business 03/07/2020 Shaping Scotland’s sustainable recovery The Data-Driven Innovation initiative has contributed to a major Scottish government report on the economic recovery from Covid-19. Read. Infrastructure 03/07/2020 5G to support Scotland’s fourth industrial revolution. 5G can underpin the next revolution in Scotland’s manufacturing base, with the development of a first-of-its-kind, private testbed at a pioneering R&D facility acting as the initial step, according to industry experts. Read. Infrastructure 03/07/2020 Scottish Government backs 5g to boost Scotland’s economic recovery The Scottish Government says 5G technology is critical to Scotland’s prosperity over the next decade as we recover from the economic impact of Covid-19. Read. GREENHOUSE GASES IN GLASGOW’S AIR TO BE MONITORED IN REAL-TIME 03/07/2020 A network of sensors installed across Glasgow schools will monitor levels of the greenhouse gas (GHG) carbon dioxide (CO2) in the city’s air, which contributes to climate change. The network of 25 sensors will be installed by scientists from the University of Strathclyde as part of a trial to provide Glasgow City Council, for the first time, with real-time information on emissions of CO2 and various noxious gases in the city’s air. SOURCE: University of Strathclyde RoS and HM LAND REGISTRY TO SHARE INSPIRE DATA UNDER OPEN TERMS 03/07/2020 The datasets will together map over 23 million title extents across Scotland, England and Wales under new, less restricted terms from the beginning of this month (July). The new terms will broaden commercial use, creating opportunities and fuelling innovation in land and property, utility and infrastructure related industries. The news follows the Geospatial Commission’s April announcement of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA), including Ordnance Survey’s (OS) new freedoms for the publication of property extents. Source: Registers of Scotland FUNDRAISING ROUND SUPPORTS SCOTTISH DEVELOPER OF SOCIAL DISTANCING TECH 03/07/2020 Reactec, the Edinburgh-based tech company that recently launched its innovative SAFE-DISTANCE device to enable social distancing among workers, has completed a further £700,000 round of fundraising for the ongoing development of its innovative personal monitoring equipment and reporting technology. SOURCE: Scottish Enterprise PIVOTAL MEMBER OF THE DATA LAB’S TOP TEAM PROMOTED TO DEPUTY CEO 03/07/2020 A founding member of the leadership team at The Data Lab, Scotland’s innovation centre for data and artificial intelligence, who has been key in driving its growth has been given a new senior role. Brian Hills has been promoted from head of data to deputy chief executive and head of service design. He will deputise for chief executive Gillian Docherty, and lead the scaling of The Data Lab’s impact across Scotland through the growth of existing services and developing an “array” of new business opportunities. Source: The Scotsman UK GOVERNMENT HINTS AT U-TURN ON HUAWEI ROLE IN 5G TECHNOLOGY 03/07/2020 UK Culture Secretary tells defence committee US sanctions likely to affect Chinese firm’s viability The government may be close to announcing a U-turn on its controversial decision to allow Huawei to supply 5G technology, the culture secretary has hinted by saying US sanctions appear likely to affect the Chinese company. Oliver Dowden told members of a special defence select committee scrutinising Huawei that an emergency review ordered last month was close to running its course and that a change in policy would probably be necessary Source: The Guardian TSB ADDS 80 STAFF TO CAPITAL SITE 03/07/2020 TSB has recruited almost 80 of the 100 new staff that will work – flexibly- in its new technology centre in Edinburgh. The announcement comes after the bank in January said it was creating 100 high-skilled technology focused jobs as it unveiled plans for a new technology hub at its HQ in the centre of the city. Source: The Scotsman STRATHCLYDE TEAM INVOLVED IN QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT DEMONSTRATOR 03/07/2020 In a critical step toward creating a global quantum communications network, researchers have generated and detected quantum entanglement onboard a CubeSat nanosatellite weighing less than 2.6 kg and orbiting the Earth. The University of Strathclyde is involved in an international team which has demonstrated that their miniaturised source of quantum entanglement can operate successfully in space aboard a low-resource, cost-effective CubeSat that is smaller than a shoebox. CubeSats are a standard type of nanosatellite made of multiples of 10 cm × 10 cm × 10 cm cubic units. Source: University of Strathclyde Local Government 26/06/2020 Aberdeen City Council and Microsoft launch Chatbots Aberdeen City Council have worked with Microsoft Services to launch a chatbot that will respond to queries from employees, and questions from citizens helping to cut down on the number of calls coming into Council services departments. Read. Education 26/06/2020 Government investment of £100 million to tackle poverty attainment gap Schools will return full-time in August if Scotland continues to make progress on suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19), Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced. Read. Data/Education 26/06/2020 Data scientists assist NHS Lanarkshire manage intensive care bed demand Data scientists at the University of Strathclyde helped NHS Lanarkshire to predict and manage hospital bed capacity for COVID-19 patients during the most critical phase of the current pandemic. Read. Health 26/06/2020 Research highlights advantages of digital blood pressure system Patients who need a blood pressure test might not need to visit their GP thanks to a digital system that makes it easier to send results to their doctor. Read. Education 26/06/2020 Virtual field trip first for students Geology students at Heriot-Watt are participating in what is believed to be a first for the University – a fully virtual field trip. Read. Cyber 26/06/2020 Cyber Resilience Bulletin The Scottish Government’s Cyber Resilience Unit is producing a regular ‘Cyber Resilience Bulletin’ for private and public sector organisations, charities and the general public in collaboration with SCVO, SBRC and the Police Scotland Cyber Team. Make yourself Cyber Aware by checking out their latest bulletin here. Education 26/06/2020 Heriot Watt ‘future made for success’ programme launches Heriot-Watt University and leading businesses from a range of sectors have formed a unique global collaboration which aims to drive economic recovery while addressing the challenges faced by this year’s graduates. Read. Education 26/06/2020 Immersive technology for teaching and learning piloted via existing video-conference software The University of Glasgow and leading Scottish immersive technology company Sublime have combined virtual reality learning and video conferencing to help improve students’ remote teaching experience during the Covid-19 crisis. Read. Government 26/06/2020 Now in their 10th year, the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards recognise organisations and individuals who use digital technology to improve the lives of others and make the world a better place. If you know of any individual, start-up, charity, business, local authority, public body, school, college, university or any other organisation with a base in the UK that is doing great work with digital, be sure to nominate them today! Education 26/06/2020 125 students selected to join city of Glasgow college’s worldskills team The students selected are part of the WorldSkills National Training and Development Programme, preparing for the National Finals at WorldSkills UK LIVE. Read. Business 26/06/2020 Significant funding boost for Scotland’s fintech cluster The growing international role of Scotland’s fintech cluster was given a further significant boost today with the announcement of £22.5 million innovation funding for the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) to be established in Edinburgh and the Central region. Read. Education 26/06/2020 Collaboration underway between University of Dundee and Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc The University of Dundee and Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) have announced a strategic partnership, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. Read. Infrastructure 26/06/2020 CityFibre moves forward with inverness’ digital transformation Work is now well underway to build a future-proof full fibre network to reach almost every home and business in the city. Read. Education 26/06/2020 The Learning Passport As part of BT Skills for Tomorrow, The Learning Passport aims to help children and young people continue their education at home. Created by Unicef and Microsoft, it provides schoolchildren with online books and videos. There is additional support for parents of children with learning disabilities, as well as key resources for teachers and educators. Find out more about The Learning Passport by visiting the Unicef website here. Justice 26/06/2020 Lord Carloway calls for legislation to address court backlog The Lord President, Lord Carloway, said measures proposed so far had simply been “tinkering at the edges” of a major problem. He warned that if things continued as they had been, there could be a backlog of 3,000 jury trials in the high and sheriff courts by next March. Read. Health/Education 26/06/2020 Project to tackle loneliness using VR, apps and video games Abertay University has been awarded £276,000 as part of a ground-breaking international project aimed at using new technologies to tackle loneliness and social isolation. Read. Cyber 26/0/2020 International study shows near six-fold rise in cyber losses Cyber losses among businesses targeted in the past year have risen nearly six-fold, from a median US$10,000 (£7,990) per firm to US$57,000 (£45,546). But there are signs firms are responding with more rigorous security measures and higher spending, which increased 39%. These are among the findings in a study of 5,569 companies across eight countries, commissioned by insurer Hiscox. Encouragingly, while losses increased, the proportion of businesses targeted fell from 61% to 39%. SOURCE: HISCOX Connectivity 26/06/2020 Full fibre broadband appointment Openreach has appointed Aberdeenshire businesswoman Rosanne Moreland to lead its large-scale commercial build of ultra-reliable full fibre broadband in Scotland. Rosanne will also be responsible for the rollout of full fibre in parts of Greater Glasgow; Kilmarnock, Ayr and Stanecastle; Edinburgh; and Bathgate, Broxburn and Whitburn in West Lothian. Openreach is currently considering locations for further investment in Scotland. SOURCE: Openreach Government 26/06/2020 Thousands of hours in delays to be saved as UK’s first mainline digital railway introduced East Coast Main Line set to become Britain’s first mainline digital rail link thanks to £350 million of new investment. This huge cash injection – on top of £1.2 billion already earmarked to upgrade one of the country’s most important rail arteries – will fund the replacement of conventional signalling with a digital system that allows trains to talk to the track. SOURCE: Gov.UK Government 26/06/2020 The UK is set to launch a new digital strategy, again The digital secretary Oliver Dowden is set to launch a new digital strategy positioning the tech sector at the heart of the UK’s economic recovery following the coronavirus crisis. Speaking at the virtual UK Tech Cluster Group conference today (23 June), Dowden will announce that the new strategy will be published in autumn, marking the second such publication in just four years. SOURCE: ScotlandIS Business 26/06/2020 Government must invest in UK space programme or lose skills and risk security Unite, the UK’s leading union, is urging the government to commit to invest in the UK’s space programme in the interests of national security and to ensure that thousands of highly skilled jobs are not put at further risk. SOURCE: UNITE BUSINESS 26/06/2020 Edinburgh Airport selects Leidos antimicrobial security tray technology Leidos, was awarded a prime contract by Edinburgh Airport Limited (Edinburgh Airport) to upgrade the airport’s security tray return systems with antimicrobial tray technology. The implementation of antimicrobial technology complements other measures Edinburgh Airport is taking to minimize the spread of bacteria in the airport. This is Leidos’ first order of the antimicrobial security tray technology introduced to mitigate the spread of bacteria from person-to-surface contact. SOURCE:Leidos Health 26/06/2020 Edinburgh BioQuarter begins search for partner to realise expansion plans Edinburgh BioQuarter has issued a prior information notice (PIN) in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) signalling its intention to launch a procurement process to deliver a world-leading Health Innovation District for Edinburgh. A virtual bidders’ day for interested parties to learn more is planned for 1 September 2020. BioQuarter is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, one of the top 20 universities in the world, Scotland’s second largest health board, NHS Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Enterprise. SOURCE: Scottish Enterprise Business 19/06/2020 VR game promotes wind turbine safety A university-developed virtual reality (VR) game could help save the lives of wind turbine technicians who are at risk of fatal accidents or serious injury without regular refresher training. Read. Health 19/06/2020 Wearable technology that predicts health risks at home certified as medical device A wearable solution that identifies health risks, enabling people to live independently at home for longer, has been certified as an official medical device after conforming with EU standards. Read. Government 19/06/2020 9 common myths about service design Service designers are part of the community of professions who work together to bring user centred design approaches to build accessible and inclusive services for citizens and colleagues. Read. Business 19/06/2020 First ever rocket launched from the Shetlands The launch was completed for educational purposes, collecting meteorological data, measuring wind profiles, analysing the vehicles trajectory and providing critical training in support of Skyrora’s future plans. Read. Infrastructure 19/06/2020 Openreach calls for Scottish Government to prioritise digital economy Openreach chief executive Clive Selley is encouraging the Scottish Government to prioritise investment in the digital economy during recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Read. Health 19/06/2020 Chatbot provides new route for Scottish patients to access Covid-19 support People across Scotland who need help and information about coronavirus can now get help using an online chatbot from NHS 24, the organisation that provides Scotland’s 111 service. Read. Infrastructure 19/06/2020 Edinburgh castle 3d model give ‘visitors’ a virtual tour People can log on and discover 40 different historic areas of the Castle including the historic siege cannon Mons Meg with its 20-inch-wide barrel, the statue of Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig on the famous esplanade and St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. Read. Security 19/06/2020 As many as 1,200 covid-related domains are still registered each day Phishing campaigns related to COVID-19 are becoming more targeted and difficult to identify as the pandemic progresses, a new report from privacy advocacy group ProPrivacy suggests. Read. Infrastructure 19/06/2020 Commsworld makes history with completion of its own, unique £10m uk-wide optical core network Commsworld has taken a historic final step in its transformation from telecoms disruptor to the UK’s largest independent network provider. Read. Health 19/06/2020 VIDATEC works with university of Stirling on a carer support app Mobile app developer Vidatec is developing a new platform to support informal carers during COVID-19 pandemic. The company has partnered with the University of Stirling on the project aimed at ensuring carers have access to real-time information to help them limit the risks associated with the outbreak and access support during the crisis. Read. Data 18/06/2020 Edinburgh is Britain’s Biggest Bandwidth User From the kids watching Disney+ to DIY tutorials on YouTube, the UK’s broadband network has been under immense pressure during lockdown, but which city is the UK’s biggest bandwidth user based on how often they search for top online streaming services? Read. Business 12/06/2020 UK Tech Ecosystem Update A recent report published on behalf of the UK Governments Digital Economy Council shows the resilience of startups and growing tech companies in Scotland. Read. Education 12/06/2020 Creative Informatics Innovation Showcase 2020 To mark the first year of the programme, Creative Informatics is holding a CI Innovation Showcase event online, on Wednesday the 17th of June. Read. Education 12/06/2020 University of Glasgow set to launch Summer STEM Academy for lockdown learning. The Summer STEM Academy is a series of online science and engineering workshops aimed at school pupils and teachers which has been arranged by Dr Margaret Ritchie from The University of Glasgow School of Chemistry. Read. Justice 12/06/2020 The Scottish Police Authority publish £6m tender document. In a tender notice published this week, the authority is inviting bids from software and services suppliers to create a virtual analytics platform, acquire a metadata management product and data discovery solutions for compliance purposes. Read. Infrastructure 12/06/2020 National map of Scotland’s pavement widths. The map has already been taken up by over 30 local authorities, including Glasgow, Stirling and East Dunbartonshire. Read. Education 12/06/2020 City of Glasgow College bringing together the UK’s leading literacy experts and software developers. The college is developing a new smartphone app as part of its ground-breaking City Phonics programme for adult literacy learners. Read. Government 12/06/2020 The Digital Directorate has said that public cloud should be the default platform for user services. The Digital Directorate has said that public cloud should be the default platform for user services, with partner organisations considering cloud before other options. Read. Education 12/06/2020 £50 million to improve attainment Schools and local authorities receive funding boost. Pupils living in Scotland’s most deprived communities will benefit from targeted funding from the Attainment Scotland Fund to help close the poverty-related attainment gap. Nine local councils with the highest concentrations of deprivation in Scotland, known as “Challenge Authorities”, will share £43 million of investment from the Attainment Scotland Fund. Source: Scottish Government Infrastructure 12/06/2020 CityFibre announces 10,000 jobs boost Thousands of jobs, targeted at both skilled and unskilled people, service-leavers and unemployed, to be created across CityFibre’s network of construction partners. Read. Health 12/06/2020 Coronavirus: Ministers consider NHS contact-tracing app rethink Concerns about the risks of deploying a go-it-alone UK coronavirus contact-tracing app are causing further delays.A second version of the smartphone software was due to have begun testing on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday, but the government decided to postpone the trial. Ministers are considering switching the app over to tech developed by Apple and Google. SOURCE: BBC Justice 12/06/2020 CCTV systems in Edinburgh to undergo £650k upgrade programme Edinburgh’s ageing CCTV systems are likely to receive a much-needed spruce-up as part of a £650,000 investment programme, a recent news report in the local media has been able to suggest. The council is exploring the use of current technologies and data systems to turn Edinburgh into a “smart city” in the future. The city’s updated CCTV network will likely be a key component of that upgrade. SOURCE: CCTV Surveillance AI 12/06/2020 ‘Bat-like’ sensor could help social distancing as lockdown lifts A disruptive Scottish start-up company based in the Edinburgh Business School Incubator has developed a sensor which allows an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to understand the physical world around it. Read. Education 08/06/2020 8 Scottish education technology companies to watch With growing demand for innovative tech solutions in education, Scotland’s smartest ed tech companies are rising to the challenge, supporting schools and education providers worldwide. Read. Justice 05/06/2020 Criminals seek to exploit COVID-19 outbreak Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic and playing on the fears of businesses and the public, Scotland’s Serious Organised Crime Taskforce has heard. Read. Health 05/06/2020 Digital Pen that Detects Neuromotor Illnesses Gets Major Cash Injection Manus Neurodynamica, a medical technology firm based in Edinburgh, has secured £750,000 in funding for its digital pen technology which provides an early warning of Parkinson’s disease. Read. Health 05/06/2020 Yoti equips Volunteer Edinburgh with free volunteer digital ID cards Volunteer Edinburgh is harnessing Yoti’s digital identity platform to remotely issue volunteers with digital ID cards directly to their phone. This innovative solution marks their commitment to safeguard recipients of the charity’s support and comes as part of Yoti’s free Covid-19 Pledge to organisations tackling the coronavirus crisis. Read. Health 05/06/2020 Contact tracing information gathering Information used by NHS Scotland contact tracers will be safely and securely gathered as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Test and Protect approach. Read. Business 05/06/2020 Scottish Firm Utilising Technology to Make Ports Safer and Greener The company developed it’s the software with grant support from Scottish Enterprise and is using the Montrose Port Authority as a testbed to refine the technology. Read. Justice 05/06/2020 Impact of COVID-19 on crime An analysis of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown has shown a decrease in almost all areas of crime recorded by police. Read. Health 05/06/2020 Amazon Helps World Health Organization Launch Covid-19 App 12 Months Early The World Health Organization (WHO) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have exclusively told me how they have teamed up to create an app that helps health workers respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The app was designed around the needs expressed by 20,000 global health workers in a WHO Academy survey conducted in March. Source: Forbes Health 05/06/2020 Primary care is having its online banking moment GP appointment stats show rapid digital switch during the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics from EMIS GP clinical systems have confirmed a drop in face-to-face consultations with patients since COVID-19 – and highlighted the instant switch to digital working. Their software is used in 57% of UK GP practices and shows that in the two weeks between 2 March and 23 March, when the UK went into lockdown. Consultations dropped by a third. Read. Legal & Justice 05/06/2020 Edinburgh fintech firm Aveni secures £520,000 backing Scottish fintech Aveni has secured seed investment of £520,000 for its video conferencing-based AI technology, which aims to transform client interaction in financial and professional advice sectors in the new age of ‘digital client service’. The investment, will accelerate Aveni’s growth, initially focused on the financial services and legal sectors, while growing its team of specialist engineers. Health 05/06/2020 Coronavirus: France’s virus-tracing app ‘off to a good start’ StopCovid France is designed to prevent a second wave of infections by using smartphone logs to warn users if they have been near someone who later tested positive for the virus. But a last-minute launch delay led some citizens to download the wrong product. England has yet to confirm when its own app will roll out. Source: BBC Health 05/06/2020 Social media firms fail to act on Covid-19 fake news Hundreds of posts spreading misinformation about Covid-19 are being left online, according to a report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate. Some 649 posts were reported to Facebook and Twitter, including false cures, anti-vaccination propaganda and conspiracy theories around 5G. Source: BBC Health 05/06/2020 Canadian contact-tracing app tackles users privacy concerns and could address Scots adoption concerns. Mimik Technology Inc. a Canadian tech company with strong Scottish connections has developed a contact-tracing app it says will address privacy concerns. Read. Education 05/06/2020 ThingLink launches a MEC course on creating visual learning materials for blended learning Amanda Pickard, a primary teacher and MIEExpert from South Ayrshire in Scotland created this virtual classroom to make home learning simpler and engaging, and even enlisted the help of her trusty pooch to introduce tasks related to building sentences for her young learners. Explore the number tags to hear directly from Amanda and Travis! Read. Justice 05/06/2020 Innovative thinking needed to support justice in pandemic. All new trials across Scotland have been suspended due to the pandemic and many courts are closed, with cases before sheriffs taking place in 10 hub courts across the country. Read. Health 05/06/2020 Digital pen that detects neuromotor illnesses gets major funding boost. Manus Neurodynamica, a medical technology firm based in Edinburgh, has secured £750,000 in funding for its digital pen technology which provides an early warning of Parkinson’s disease. The company says it intends to use the funding to grow its business, grow its product list, expand its team and move towards US clinical trials. Manus Neurodynamica is aiming to use the new funding to take its pioneering device to new markets. Education 05/06/2020 Glasgow tech firm develops mobile game to help children prevent spread of coronavirus. A Glasgow-based technology company is developing a mobile game aimed at helping children prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read. Business 05/06/2020 Data and AI is key to supporting sector through the energy transition. The sudden requirement to work from home and therefore access data remotely has thrown many companies headfirst into digitalisation, whether they felt ready for it or not. Read. Infrastructure 05/06/2020 Commsworld Chair calls for UK Government to invest in digital infrastructure. The new chair of Edinburgh-based telecoms provider Commsworld says the UK must invest more in digital infrastructure to meet the challenges of a post-coronavirus world. Read. Business 05/06/2020 CivTech 5.0 to launch in July. CivTech are calling on government departments, NDPBs and the third sector to bring their problems, develop them into CivTech 5.0 Challenges and have them addressed by Scotland’s brightest innovators. Read. Local Government 04/06/2020 The City of Edinburgh Council launches online platform for walkers and cyclists The Commonplace mapping tool, has been designed for the Edinburgh public to input into the best routes for maintaining physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. Read. Education & Cyber 05/06/2020 Tycoon ransomware poses new threat to education, IT organisations A new Java-based ransomware strain dubbed ‘Tycoon’ is being deployed using an uncommon data format in an effort to evade security defences. According to research published by BlackBerry Threat Intelligence, in partnership with KPMG’s UK Cyber Response team, Tycoon is a multi-platform ransomware targeting both Windows and Linux devices. The malware, first seen in the wild in December 2019, is deployed in the form of trojanised Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and leverages an obscure Java image in an attempt to “fly under the radar”. Source: The Daily Swig Health 03/06/2020 Amazon is using its logistics network to support Government Amazon teams worldwide are working around the clock to ensure they continue to provide important services, while keeping staff safe. This includes a new effort with the UK Government where industry partners, universities and research institutes are lending expertise to boost testing capacity. Read. EduTech 03/06/2020 8 Scottish education technology companies to watch. This is particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic, where technology is providing a bridge to online learning and everyday communications. It can also help with issues such as teacher shortages, workload, pupil behaviour and improve factors such as inclusivity, mental health and children’s online safety and security. Read. Health 29/05/2020 Switzerland’s coronavirus contact-tracing app says it has become the first to have launched a product incorporating a technology provided by Apple and Google. Read Health 29/05/2020 Procurement Pathway for Digital Telecare launched to identify challenges and ensure a smooth, safe, transition to A digital service for citizens in receipt of telecare in their home environments. Read Business 29/05/2020 Scotland performs well in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and has a solid base from which to sustain its flow of FDI in a post-pandemic world. However, there has been a big shift in the sectors responsible for most FDI in Scotland, with digital and business services no longer the leading sectors. Read Infrastructure 29/05/2020 National connectivity infrastructure projects have been created by successful national policies but they need support from local bodies to deliver on promises. Read Education 29/05/2020 Launch Partnership Signed Between University of Edinburgh’s Asteria Student Satellite Group and Responsive Access A student-led satellite group from the University of Edinburgh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Responsive Access. Read Cyber 29/05/2020 New report reveals UK as world leader in online safety innovation A study published this week shows significant growth of ‘safety tech’ businesses and their importance in plans to make UK the safest place to be online. Read. Justice 29/05/2020 Morton Fraser has been appointed to deliver legal services to Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. The contract was awarded through a competitive tender process and will be delivered over the next two years, with two potential one-year extensions. Read. Cyber 29/05/2020 Cyber review may spell end for Huawei 5G deal The National Cyber Security Centre in the UK is expected to conclude that US sanctions against Huawei will make it impossible to use the Chinese company’s technology as planned for 5G networks. Read. Built environment 29/05/2020 New technology transforms how Scotland’s historic buildings are managed, maintained and repaired A new software tool, which allows surveys and fabric inspections of traditional buildings to be carried out digitally, has been developed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), The University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University. Read. Infrastructure 25/05/2020 Glasgow is Scotland’s busiest place on EE’s network for usage of apps during lockdown Glasgow was the busiest area in Scotland on EE’s network for usage of communication apps, including WhatsApp, Houseparty, Skype and Teams during the Covid-19 lockdown period. It came tenth in the UK overall. Read. Education 29/05/2020 Education Scotland praise local authorities for supporting learners Aberdeen City Council, Dundee City Council and North Ayrshire Council have received praise from Education Scotland. Read. Infrastructure 25/05/2020 5G Cybersecurity: Preparing a Secure Evolution The National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) is asking industry to demonstrate products and technical expertise to support its recently launched project. Read. Health 22/052020 The Faculty of Clinical Informatics announces Mahmood Adil as Council Member till 2022 Mahmood is Medical Director of Public Health Scotland, National Clinical Data & Digital Lead of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and a doctor with over 25 years of medical, public health, executive management & policy experience in the NHS and USA. Infrastructure 22/05/2020 Capita’s SWAN programme will see gigabit-capable connectivity installed across The Highland Region throughout 2020 and 2021 CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, is connecting 152 public sector sites in the Highlands to gigabit-capable full fibre broadband as part of a £7.5m contract to bolster digital services in the area through the SWAN framework. Read. Government 22/05/2020 SCOTLANDIS and the Scottish Government call on Scots tech firms to help build ‘digital nation’ ScotlandIS and The Scottish Government are calling on Scottish-based tech firms of all sizes to help increase the pace of Scotland’s digital progress and develop the critical national digital and data infrastructure the country needs. Read. Government 22/05/2020 Scotland joins the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement (PSGA) The Scottish Government and Geospatial Commission have agreed that from May 2020 Scotland will become part of the recently launched Public Sector Geospatial Agreement. Read. Infrastructure 22/05/2020 BT start talks to sell stake in Openreach BT has reportedly started talks to sell a multibillion-pound stake in Openreach, which runs the UK’s broadband network. Read. Cyber 22/05/2020 UK Manufacturing most attacked industry as cyber criminals innovate and automate attacks Cyber criminals are evolving their tradecraft with new innovations and increasingly automating their attacks. In the UK and Ireland, Manufacturing became the most attacked sector representing almost a third of all attacks, while Technology was the most attacked sector globally. Read. Health 22/05/2020 Location technology developed for concerts, sports events and transport hubs Statistics from the National Records of Scotland (NRS) show that more than half of the recorded coronavirus deaths in Scotland over recent weeks were in Wyld Networks is trialing a monitoring app with a company that promotes innovations in healthcare as a means of combating the spread of the coronavirus. Read. Infrastructure 22/05/2020 The evolution of telecoms during the COVID-19 lockdown As the world shuttered businesses and confined people to their homes in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, our private and professional lives moved online – and we are unlikely to see a full return to “normality” anytime soon. Read. Legal 22/05/2020 How should employers prepare for a return to work once lockdown lifts? How confident can we be that employees are able to safely get to, and into, their place of work? What are the obligations on employers and employees? And, for workers whose only option is to commute, is it feasible to socially distance on a bus or train? Read. Health 22/05/2020 Can NHS tracing app keep health data in shape? As the UK Government tests the long-awaited NHS contact-tracing app, the Scottish Government initiates its track, trace, isolate and support scheme and employers start to monitor health data and test results, the public is asking pertinent questions about the lawful use of health data. Read. Government 22/05/2020 The Scottish Government appoints Deloitte to support Social Security Directorate. In September 2018, the Scottish Government established Social Security Scotland, a new Executive Agency of the Scottish Government. Social Security Scotland’s primary responsibility is the administration of devolved social security benefits for people in Scotland. Read. Business 19/05/2020 SCOTLANDIS and the Scottish Government call on scots tech firms to help build ‘digital nation’ ScotlandIS and The Scottish Government are today calling on Scottish-based tech firms of all sizes to help increase the pace of Scotland’s digital progress and develop the critical national digital and data infrastructure the country needs. Read. Health 18/05/2020 Contact tracing technology piloted NHS Scotland Contact tracing technology will be tested in NHS Fife, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Highland from Monday 18 May. The pilot, which is expected to last two weeks, will allow the health boards to test out the software which contact tracers will use to collect the information that they need digitally. Read. Health 15/05/2020 Newly developed app built in 5 days provides latest NHS information on COVID-19 One of Scotland’s leading digital design agency’s has developed an app with Scotland’s national healthcare service NHS 24 to give users the latest information and guidance on Covid-19. Read. Health 15/05/2020 NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow gets digital boost Vodafone UK has boosted the capacity of its network to support the staff and patients of the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow. The enhanced networt will give patients and NHS workers the capability to video and voice call their families and friends. Read. Education 15/05/2020 UK First for Scottish Borders Council Over 96% of young people are accessing learning resources through SBC’s Inspire Learning programme. Read. Justice & legal 15/05/2020 What are the practical implications of online working for information security? No area of our life has remained untouched by the impact of COVID-19 and our information management practices are no exception. We are having to find new ways of working and adapt to the lack of face-to-face contact we are all used to. Read. Infrastructure 15/05/2020 Edinburgh-based Reactec has devised Safedistance to be used within construction, rail, manufacturing and other workplaces. Safedistance alerts workers if they have strayed to within two metres of a colleague. The device is also designed to inform employers of the frequency and severity of breaches of social distancing protocols and can help with contact tracing of those who’ve been close to employees who subsequently display Covid-19 symptoms. Read. Infrastructure 14/05/2020 Scotland’s R100 Boss Talks Future Broadband Plans The Programme Director for R100 (Reaching 100%) programme, Clive Downing speaks to ISPreview.co.uk. This is an excellent article which explains the current status of the R100 programme supported explanatory links. You can read the full interview on their website. Read. Infrastructure 14/05/2020 Broadband firms stand firm during pandemic. Average UK broadband speeds largely held up during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. This is according to recently launched Ofcom research, Home Broadband Performance Report, which shows how broadband speeds changed before and after the lockdown. Read. Health 14/05/2020 NHS Dumfries and Galloway launches messaging solution lowering Covid-19 test result times. NHS Dumfries & Galloway has adopted messaging technology from Netcall to support patients and staff communications on COVID-19 test results. Read. Education 13/05/2020 Museums Galleries Scotland continue their work online. Although unable to open during the lockdown, museums and galleries have continued their work online with exhibitions and activities to help lift spirits and educate people about history. Read. Health 13/05/2020 Historic Environment Scotland produce PPE for NHS Scotland staff. The public body has repurposed technology at its national conservation centre, the Engine Shed in Stirling, to manufacture visors, for Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) maxillofacial department staff. Read. Education 13/05/2020 A report has shed light on the extent of inequality still faced by women who work in STEM-related professions across Scotland. Equate Scotland has published the findings of a report looking at the experiences of more than 400 women working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) professions. Read. Built Environment/Infrastructure 13/05/2020 CSIC has launched a webinar events series as part of its i-Con COVID-19 support initiative for the built environment. The event, which will take place on May 19 from 12 to 12:45pm, is the first of a series of collaborative online events and will explore ‘What change is needed for reset and recovery in the Built Environment’. Read. Education 08/05/2020 Over 2000 primary and secondary school pupils in Scotland will have the chance to hear from Tim Peake Sharing his story of space exploration, including experiments he undertook which couldn’t be done on earth, Peake will also place a focus on STEM subjects, explaining their importance as we look to the future and the unlimited career paths that they could open up for students. Read. Education 08/05/2020 School fundraises to keep pupils learning Teachers at a Scottish secondary are seeking to raise £10,000 to ensure that all their pupils have access to a device and a reliable internet connection so they can access the school’s Digital approach to Learning, introduced as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Read. Health 08/05/2020 All NHS staff in Scotland to use Microsoft Teams NHS Scotland has rolled out Microsoft Teams to more than 160,000 workers, including health boards and those on the frontline in hospitals, NHS24, Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service. Read. Education 08/05/2020 Learning During Lockdown Highland Council is one of the first local authorities in Scotland to recognise and develop a Schools Digital Learning Hub which provides a resource for staff, parents and pupils to support home learning. Read. Cyber 08/05/2020 Cyber warning issued for key healthcare organisations Security agencies in the United Kingdom and United States have exposed malicious cyber campaigns targeting organisations involved in the coronavirus response – and given tips to stay safe. Read. Government 08/05/2020 Cross sector initiative getting people online A new £5 million programme will offer an internet connection, training and support, and a laptop or tablet to vulnerable people who are not already online during the response to COVID-19. Read. Companies 07/05/2020 Relish is the brainchild of serial tech entrepreneur Lesley Eccles funding now totals £7.2m. Relish, which has a key presence in Edinburgh, is the brainchild of serial tech entrepreneur Lesley Eccles, and is “on a mission to improve all human relationships”. It says it teaches active mindfulness, relationship skills, and “helps you learn new insights into yourself and your partner”, with new ideas for quarantine-compliant date nights. Read. Education 07/05/2020 CodeClan have responded quickly in response to COVID-19 and adapting their campuses to virtual interactive classrooms. CodeClan, Scotland’s national digital skills academy has pivoted to a virtual interactive classroom model via teams from its Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness campuses. Read. Companies 06/05/2020 AgriTech partnership boost to City Region’s data innovation ambitions The University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Innovation Centre (RIC) and Deep Science Ventures (DSV) have partnered to deliver Scotland’s first agricultural venture builder. Read. Companies 06/05/2020 Leading Scottish Charities distribute hundreds of laptops and devices HUNDREDS of Scotland’s most deprived families who are enduring daunting self-isolating home environments are benefiting from receiving vital communication lifelines including laptops and tablets after two of Scotland’s largest children’s charities joined forces with the Scottish Government’s ‘No One Left Behind’ scheme. Read. Legal 01/05/2020 Solicitors Offer Free 20 Minutes Consultation for Tech Companies In an attempt to help address some of the many challenges and difficulties posed currently by the Coronavirus pandemic, BTO’s Intellectual Property & Technology Team is offering an initial 20 minute consultation free of charge. Read. Health 01/05/2020 Data harnessed to reveal Covid-19 spread in real time A study that uses patient data to track the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic in near real time across Scotland is set to launch. The project – which has been awarded £500,000 of funding from the Medical Research Council – will also be able to track the effectiveness of any new treatments or vaccines. Read. Health 01/05/2020 What COVID-19 tells us about strengthening global public health systems Covid-19 is not the first time the international health systems have been tested for their resilience, and neither it would be the last time. The prime objective of every health system is to improve health (i.e. physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity) of its population with the means/resources in hand. Read. Business 30/04/2020 ScotlandIS survey reveals Business still see opportunities for growth during pandemic ScotlandIS has released the annual tech sector industry survey today which shows Scotland’s digital technology sector continued to grow in 2019 with an increase in sales and profit margins. Despite Covid-19, many firms have identified opportunities for growth over the next nine months. Approximately one third of those surveyed believe business opportunities will rise due to increased or new demands related to Covid-19, particularly in cloud services, digital connectivity, remote working technology, and digital health solutions. Read. Health 29/04/2020 The Scottish Tech Army initiative, designed to match Scottish tech professionals currently furloughed or unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic with COVID-19 projects, is being rolled out in Scotland. Instead, they can now use their skills and experience to support public sector organisations in developing digital projects to help tackle the outbreak and the management of the recovery process. Read. Infrastructure 29/04/2020 Responding to recent reports of attacks on telecommunications infrastructure and network companies’ staff being targeted, Derek Boyd, interim director at The Scotland 5G Centre, said: “Attacks on telecommunications masts and staff being abused demonstrate how the misinformation being spread about 5G online can have serious and dangerous consequences in the real world – particularly given the critical role they play during lockdown”. Read. Education 28/04/2020 Robotical, the edtech start-up is working to deliver education to previously disadvantaged youths in South Africa. The project will see Marty kicking, dancing and walking into townships across South Africa and is aimed at reaching children in South Africa’s poorest areas, making coding and programming accessible for all children across the country. Read. Cyber 23/04/2020 CENSIS IoT Cyber Challenge Accelerator 2020 CENSIS is offering up to five Scottish-based companies or individuals a package of co-ordinated growth support over several months to help them accelerate an IoT cyber security or resilience product or service into the market. This event is part of the Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government supported cyber challenge programme, launched by Kate Forbes MSP at the 6th CENSIS Technology Summit. Read. Cyber 23/04/2020 UK ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign launched to combat cyber security threats. The NCSC recently launched their ‘Cyber Aware’ programme, which aims to provide advice to businesses and encourage citizens to report suspected email scammers. In the last two months, the cyber-specialised agency, which is part of GCHQ, has taken down 471 coronavirus-related fraudulent online shops, 555 sites spreading malware and 200 more dedicated to phishing, and 832 frauds in which an advance payment is sought on the promise of the return of a large sum of money. Read. Data & AI 23/04/2020 The ICO to be less rigid when enforcing GDPR breaches. The UK’s data regulator says it will relax its regulatory approach to enforcement during the COVID-19 crisis, in line with a commitment to being “pragmatic” and “proportionate”. This flexibility allows the regulator to “recognise and engage with the unique challenges the country is facing”. “The data protection laws contain checks and balances to ensure that personal information can flow and be effectively utilised for healthcare.” Read. Education 23/04/2020 Skills for tomorrow As part of its Skills for tomorrow programme, BT has teamed up with Computing at School (CAS), to launch a range of activities, designed to assist parents develop their children’s digital skills at home.The series of activities is based on the Barefoot Computing programme, a programme funded and managed by BT in partnership with CAS, to help primary school teachers deliver free, curriculum-aligned lessons in fun and relatable ways. Read. Data & AI 23/04/2020 Developing Scotland’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy – be part of it. The steering committee would welcome your response to the consultation questions, on the proposed definition of AI for the purposes of the strategy, the draft vision for AI and the proposed approach to fostering the adoption of AI in Scotland. These points are outlined in detail within the scoping document. Scotland’s AI Strategy scoping document. The Scottish Government Consultation closes on 8th May 2020. Read. Health 23/04/2020 Glasgow tech firm CitrusLabs match suitable volunteer patients with scientists testing potential Covid-19 treatments CitrusLabs is offering its services for free to organisations and researchers trying to find vaccines and drugs to treat Covid-19. The company has helped with 200 clinical trials worldwide over the last five years. Read. Health 23/04/2020 Omega Diagnostics has signed an agreement to make up to 46,000 Covid-19 antibody tests a day. The Clackmannanshire-based business this week announced a material transfer agreement to allow Mologic access to its facility in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, to manufacture its Elisa test. The test has been part-funded by the UK Government and is designed to indicate whether people have had the Covid-19 virus, may have immunity to it and could therefore return to relatively normal life. Read. Infrastructure 23/04/2020 The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) – BIM Interoperability Expert Group Report CDBB, a partner in the Construction Innovation Hub, has published The Building Information Modelling (BIM) Interoperability Report for public consultation. BIM Interoperability Expert Group. It forms part of the Construction Innovation Hub’s work to grow the digital economy for the construction and infrastructure sector, and to develop and promote digital ways of working as enablers of greater whole-life-value in the built environment. Read. Justice 23/04/2020 Civil justice in Scotland is now online! The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service has announced that new systems have been set up to maintain civil justice during the lockdown. Operating as a virtual court under the CISCO WebEx video conferencing platform, with a three-judge bench. Two channels will be available to each party for counsel and instructing solicitors. Multiple channels will also be available to media and interested persons to view the entire virtual court proceedings. Read. Justice 23/04/2020 Blogger’s appeal against Kezia Dugdale ruling heard in virtual courtroom Three of Scotland’s most senior judges have heard arguments in a virtual courtroom about a pro-independence blogger’s alleged defamation by Kezia Dugdale. In a first in Scottish legal history, the panel met separately via video link while cases were put forward in the online Court of Session’s Inner House appeal. Judges Lord Carloway, Lord Menzies and Lord Brodie heard the appeal via video link on Tuesday. Read. Legal 23/04/2020 Free Legal Consultation for businesses who have taken up a (CBILS) GILSON GRAY has announced it will provide free legal advice to Scottish businesses which have obtained offers of loans under the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) programme. Read. Business 23/04/2020 SnapDragon Monitoring wins Queen’s Award for Innovation Online brand protection company, SnapDragon Monitoring, has received a Queen’s Award for Innovation, one of Britain’s most prestigious business accolades. SnapDragon Monitoring is one of just eight in Scotland to receive the honour, which in 50 years has rarely been awarded to technology enterprises. The company was born out of its founder’s own experience of fighting fakes when her baby-product was counterfeited and her thriving business brought to near ruin. Read. Infrastructure 23/04/2020 Our infrastructure supports our communities, public services, wellbeing and economic growth. It encompasses all assets that enable the delivery of public services, including schools, hospitals, transport, digital connectivity and housing. Improving its performance is a key enabler for the Scottish Government’s ambitions for a sustainable and inclusive net zero carbon economy. This ambition is relevant to both new and existing infrastructure, as most of the underlying infrastructure that will be used in 30 years’ time already exists today. Read. Infrastructure 23/04/2020 The construction world is being reshaped by digital technology. Greater understanding of the data behind the design is leading to higher standards of infrastructure than ever before. At the centre of this transformation is building information modelling (BIM), which is enabling construction firms, architects, contractors and companies from right across the supply chain, to gather better data, work closer together – even enabling design problems to be fixed almost before they’ve occurred. Read. Business 13/04/2020 Following on from the recent FutureScot exclusive that Huawei have confirmed 10,000 sq ft of Grade A office space in central Edinburgh, (surpassing their investment in Manchester’s MediaCityUK), Chinese smartphone component designer AAC Technologies is to set up an R&D centre in Edinburgh creating 10+ jobs in addition to the possible 80 at Huawei. The move may not provoke as much concern with Nicola Sturgeon and Kate Forbes as it has in Westminster or Washington as Huawei has already forged close partnerships with Police Scotland and with Edinburgh and Napier Universities. Government: 14/04/2020 The Scottish Digital Academy recently hosted an online event to understand what people working in Scottish public services are experiencing in these extraordinary times, with the sudden need for lots of us to work from home. Local Government: 14/04/2020 The Digital Office for Scottish Local Government has contracted Agilisys to deliver a digital system for Scotland’s Councils to procure support for community resilience hubs set up to respond to the coronavirus. Named Helping Hands, the solution will be available to Scottish local authorities as they aim to coordinate efforts to support 200,000 vulnerable people through the pandemic. IoT: 15/04/2020 IoT Scotland is the UK’s most advanced IoT network and can now be accessed free of charge by organisations responding to challenges raised by COVID-19. Network coverage is available in cities including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Dundee and Perth, and in areas including the Scottish Borders, Argyll & Bute, Inverness, Aberdeenshire, and Stirlingshire. Third Sector: 15/04/2020 SCVO Digital are leading the No One Left behind Digital Scotland programme, working with partners from the public, private and voluntary sector to address the three key barriers to being online: access to a device, connectivity and skills/confidence. Read Aaron Slater’s top tips for promoting digital participation. Security: 15/04/2020 One of Scotland’s leading ethical hackers has warned against using video conferencing and to to take precautions against cybercrime. Declan Doyle, from the Scottish Centre for Business Resilience, told a webinar on Wednesday that confidential conversations could be snooped upon. Jude McCorry and the SBRC team have hosted three webinars this week all of which are well worth catching in this new world of ubiquitous webinars. Security: 16/04/2020 New research published supports the SBRC warning outlining how cybercriminals are capitalising on the shift to remote work amid COVID-19. Ransomware attacks have increased by 148% over baseline levels from February – March 2020 with notable spikes on key days in the COVID-19 news cycle, such as a 66% increase when the US announced the first death in the US. Read the full report from VMware Carbon Black on the FutureScot website. Investment: 17/04/2020 Edinburgh-based Par Equity has been enlisted by British Business Investments to allocate £15 million of funding for scale-ups as a partner in the Regional Angels Programme. The cash from BBI – a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank – will be added to £60 million being invested by Par Equity in businesses mainly in Scotland, the north of England, and Northern Ireland. SBRC appoints ethical hacker to provide offensive security adviceSBRC appoints ethical hacker to provide offensive security advice