A new strategic advisory group comprised of government, academic and industry leaders is set to oversee the deployment and development of 5G use cases in Scotland.

Scotland’s 5G Centre – the national body charged with supporting the innovative new technology – will benefit from having expertise from outside organisations including the UK Government, Skills Development Scotland, BT, the Scottish Local Government Digital Office, the University of Surrey and FinTech Scotland.

Chaired by Clare Gillespie, Digital Technologies Sector Skills Manager at Skills Development Scotland, the new group will provide a leadership focus for the Scottish high bandwidth internet connectivity ecosystem and, more widely, provide advice to the Scotland 5G Centre as it supports the Scottish Government in its further development of 5G policy and programmes.

Strategic Advisory Group Chair Claire Gillespie said:  “To enable faster and wider 5G adoption across Scotland, one of the Group’s first priorities will be to engage with SMEs to understand their current challenges,  raise awareness of how 5G can play a role in helping them grow their businesses.  We also aim to bridge the technology and digital skills gap in business, supporting the transition to data-driven solutions and outcomes, and working with businesses and people to develop their skills to in this exciting sector.”

She added:  “Crucially, each member of the Advisory Group brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to support the Centre’s governing board.  We will draw upon our collective experiences to enhance sustainable growth and put Scotland firmly on the global 5G map.”

She is supported by leading names from industry and enterprise, academia and the public sector:  Stephen Ingledew, executive chair of Fintech Scotland; Simon Haston, CTIO Regions and Devolved Nations for BT; Dr Mike Short, Chief Scientific Advisor for the Department of International Trade; Professor Rahim Tafazolli, Head of the Institute for Communication Systems at the University of Surrey; and Martyn Wallace, Chief Digital Officer at the Scottish Local Government Digital Office.

Julie Snell, Chair of the Scotland 5G Centre said: “The formation of the Strategic Advisory Group is another key step in our commitment to creating a world-leading hub for knowledge, expertise and innovations regarding 5G.  Under Claire’s leadership, the Group will bring dynamic perspective, innovative advice and external input on market needs.   It will help shape our agenda and, through their extensive knowledge and networks, provide unbiased insight.”