ScotlandIS, the trade organisation for the digital technologies industry, announced today that it is “expanding its capability in both cybersecurity and data” through the development of two clusters, with the support of Scottish Enterprise.

The clusters will enable ScotlandIS members and Scottish businesses to “collaborate and develop new products and services, open up new markets and compete globally”, it said in a statement.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, explained: “This move is part of our evolution, developing ScotlandIS as a membership and cluster management organisation. It enables us to deepen the value our membership provides, creating stronger expertise to support our members and represent the booming Scottish technology sector.”

“We have already done this with MaaS Scotland, bringing together small and large members to work collaboratively in a cluster, on smart transport.

“Over the last eighteen months we have been hosting the cyber cluster coordinator, working with a range of specialist cyber companies to build a vibrant community, so we’re pleased to be building on this strong foundation.

“Increasingly, many of our members across the industry are also becoming data specialists, and we want to reflect that and support the development of new products and services, as well as assist businesses across all clusters to open up new markets both within Scotland and internationally.”

Cybersecurity and data were identified as opportunities in ScotlandIS’s 2016 ‘manifesto’. In its statement today it said that “clusters are designed to promote economic growth by maximising the innovation and business potential of a region”.

By formalising the cyber cluster and with an increased focus on the data supply sector, ScotlandIS said it will “accentuate Scotland’s reputation as a centre for technology excellence and innovation”.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said: “Scotland has a rapidly evolving group of innovative cyber security and data supply companies, world class academic expertise and an agile ecosystem that can help us capitalise on our complementary strengths across the digital space.

“I welcome ScotlandIS’ evolving role, developing into a cluster management organisation which will, in turn, contribute to Scotland’s global position in data and cybersecurity goods and services.”

Scottish Enterprise said it was prioritising data driven innovation and cybersecurity as “areas of high opportunity for the tech sector in Scotland”.

David Smith, sector director for digital technology at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative with ScotlandIS as we know from experience that industry-led cluster management will enable Scotland to capitalise on its strengths in data and cyber security.

“The data driven innovation opportunity as a whole is worth an estimated £20bn to the Scottish economy and we’re working with a range of partners to help them exploit this opportunity in order to drive business productivity and growth.”