A technology entrepreneur who founded a leading mobile software development business has been appointed chair of an industry and public sector partnership aimed at boosting digital skills.

Ross Tuffee, who established Dogfish Mobile before selling to Dundee-based Insights Group in a multi-million pound deal, joins the Digital Technologies Skills Group (DTSG), the technology and public sector partnership which supports Skills Development’s Scotland (SDS) digital skills activity.

He replaces Donald McLaughlin, former director of network giant Cisco, who steps down from the role after three years of service.

Start-up specialist Tuffee’s appointment follows swiftly on from the Logan report on the technology industry, commissioned by the Scottish Government, which stated that entrepreneur skills were vital to boost Scotland’s success in the sector.

Tuffee said: “I wholeheartedly support Mark Logan’s recent recommendations. I believe that enhancing the entrepreneurial and leadership skills of our technologists, along with improving diversity and inclusivity within the sector, will lead to a 21st-century version of our world-famous and iconic enlightenment. That period put Scotland on the global stage thanks to an outpouring of intellectual and scientific advancement, but this time it will be a digital enlightenment.

“It’s a real honour for me to be chosen to lead this amazing and passionate group of people at this critical time. Donald McLaughlin has been an excellent chair, and he leaves very big shoes to fill, but I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge and opportunity the role provides.”

The former Ernst & Young consultant established Dogfish, a mobile software company, more than 10 years ago and grew the business to more than 40 employees working with clients such as Public Health England, Network Rail, TUI Travel and the Merlin Entertainment Group before selling in 2018. Since then Ross has been mentoring in schools and universities, and consulting on inclusive and sustainable business growth for a range of tech SMEs and non-profit organisations.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, who co-chairs DTSG meetings twice a year, said: “I’m looking forward to working closely with Ross and the Digital Technologies Skills Group to ensure Scotland makes the most of our digital future.

“The COVID-19 crisis has thrown up great challenges for Scotland, but it also offers a chance to rebuild a greener, fairer and more innovative economy, with digital technology at its heart. Ross’s obvious passion, and superb first-hand entrepreneurial experience, make him an ideal person to help drive this work forward, building on the success so far in improving diversity and inclusivity in tech.”

The growing importance of fintech, cloud computing and expanding digital skills to different sectors has also been reinforced with the appointment of three new DTSG members. The CEO of Fintech Scotland Stephen Ingledew will join the industry group along with Cameron Lepper from Cloudreach, and the managing director of Digital Construction, Saffron Grant.