A Scottish cyber expert has been chosen for a leading role in a new UK cybersecurity cluster collaboration.
Ciara Mitchell, cluster manager for Scotland’s cyber cluster at tech trade body ScotlandIS, has been appointed as a board member and ecosystem development lead in the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration (UKC3).
This comes at a time when Scotland is becoming increasingly recognised as a centre of expertise in both cyber and tech cluster management.
According to ScotlandIS, clusters – economic development groups – are essential to helping industries scale up. The not-for-profit organisation is “paving the way” for economic development in Scotland’s tech industry as its cluster management body.
In her new position, Mitchell will focus on supporting new and emerging cyber clusters, as well as connecting the clusters across the UK and ensuring the Scottish cluster -ScotlandIS Cyber – has opportunities to build key partners with organisations across the border.
ScotlandIS Cyber recently joined the Global Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity (Global EPIC) – a network of cyber clusters and innovation partners aimed at facilitating global collaboration among cybersecurity ecosystems.
Mitchell said: “As the value of clusters to the tech sector is becoming more recognised, I am delighted to be taking a leading UK role in the new UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration and to be participating in the Global Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity.
“There is a growing understanding of the expertise here in Scotland on cluster management and the opportunity to build on a thriving cyber sector. Scotland truly is a global leader in this regard, and we look forward to sharing our insights and delivering benefits to our members.”
Cluster management is also increasingly recognised as a building block for creating resilient digital tech networks across Scotland. The Scottish Cluster Ecosystem Alliance (SCEA), set up by ScotlandIS to bring together representatives from across the tech sector such as financial technology, space, mobility, cyber, data and many more, recently held its inaugural meeting. The aim of the SCEA is to connect cluster managers or other key sector representatives from across the tech sector to promote collaboration and knowledge exchange between these sectors.
Mitchell added: “The new Scottish Cluster Ecosystem Alliance enables us to coordinate activity across the wider digital and tech sector. However, as we look to the future, clusters are likely to play a growing role in developing our tech ecosystems and it is important that there is a clear policy framework to support that.”
Richard Yorke, chairman of UKC3, said: “I’m delighted that Ciara Mitchell from ScotlandIS Cyber is leading the UKC3’s Ecosystem Development Working Group. Identifying and developing new partnerships across the cyber industry and adjacent sectors is a fundamental ingredient for growth and Ciara’s collaborative approach is ideally suited to working with clusters to achieve this.”
The organisation’s board is made up of Cyber Cluster leads from across the UK including: Richard Yorke (Cyber Cheltenham – CyNam) – as Chair of UKC3, Phil Jackman (Cyber North/North East Cyber Cluster) – Treasurer and Secretariat, Melanie Oldham (Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster) as Vice Chair and Stakeholder Management/Communications, Ciara Mitchell (ScotlandIS Cyber) leading on Ecosystem Development, Linda Smith (Midlands Cyber), leading on Innovation and John Davies (Cyber Wales/South Wales Cyber Cluster) leading on Skills Growth. In addition, an Advisory Group has been established with further Cluster representatives.