Nearly 40 highly skilled jobs will be created in Edinburgh following a £6.9m investment in innovative software by business consultancy company Mudano.

Derek Mackay, the Scottish Government’s Economy and Finance Secretary, announced that the company has been awarded a £2.6m research and development grant. The funding will contribute towards Mudano’s software development project and will help create the world’s first artificial intelligence project management software at its new Edinburgh division.

Confirming the investment and funding contribution ahead of the launch of the Scottish Government’s Economic Action Plan, Mackay said: “Innovative and ambitious companies like Mudano are vital to the Scottish economy.

“That is why the Scottish Government is supporting businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that come from our established strengths in innovation and technological change.

“With London-based companies like Mudano establishing Scottish divisions, it is clear that our focus on internationalisation, infrastructure investment, innovation and fair work is gathering pace, backed by a business tax policy purposefully designed to accelerate growth.

“Alongside the launch of our new Economic Action Plan, we will continue to meet and listen to business leaders to focus our actions on growing our economy and labour market.”

Ed Broussard, co-founder and chief executive of Mudano, added: “We’re delighted to set up our R&D team in Edinburgh. We have been blown away by the talent in data science and engineering in Scotland and it’s fantastic that we are able to conduct cutting edge research right here in Scotland which is helping us transform how some of the biggest Financial Services firms from across the UK use data.”

Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, commented: “Mudano’s decision to expand its operations here is great news for the Scottish economy and real endorsement of Scotland’s ability to attract inward investment with our highly skilled workforce, connected business infrastructure and exceptional quality of life.

“Scotland continues to be the number one UK location for R&D projects with inward investors, and Mudano is a fantastic example of how companies locating here can harness the power of data-driven innovation.

“We look forward to helping Mudano grow further and create more inclusive, sustainable jobs for the people of Scotland.”

Meanwhile, at an event in Edinburgh, CBI Scotland joined forces with Edinburgh University and Trade, Investment and Innovation Minister Ivan McKee to show how embracing AI and automation can “futureproof Scotland’s economy and make it a force to be reckoned with on the world stage’.

Held at the university’s new Bayes Centre for world-class data-science and artificial intelligence, the event brought together representatives from academia, government, and the private sector to discuss how leading-edge data science and artificial intelligence can revolutionise workplaces across Scotland.

“Scotland is well placed to be a global leader in the development of artificial intelligence and other digital technologies,” said McKee. “These emerging trends present exciting opportunities for Scotland and can be a key driver for growth and productivity.

“To support their growth the Scottish Government has committed £48m to a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to help accelerate innovation by enabling manufacturing companies to trial and test new processes, applications and technologies such as automation.”

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland’s director, added: “By better understanding how data science and artificial intelligence can transform business offerings, we can put Scottish companies on the front foot when it comes to outcompeting their international rivals.”

Professor Charlie Jeffery, Edinburgh University’s senior vice-principal, said: “Today’s event comes as the university embarks on an ambitious set of industry engagement targets through our involvement in the City Region Deal. Working with partners, we aim to increase data skills within the workforce and tackle challenges across industry and society through data-driven innovation.

“It’s vitally important that we discuss the opportunities and challenges of AI and automation in the emerging data economy, so I’m delighted to host CBI Scotland in our new Bayes Centre, where much of our data-driven innovation activity will take place.”