Between ScotSoft, some major funding deals, and new business confidence data, last week was a busy one for the Scottish tech ecosystem. Here’s a snapshot of the biggest Scottish tech news stories so you have all the intel you need…
Scottish Tech News | W/C 25 September
Business Confidence Dips in Scotland, But Remains Above Year’s Average
Scottish business confidence fell three points to 33% in September, but it remains above the year-to-date average of 30%, new data from the Bank of Scotland has found.
The Bank of Scotland’s Business Barometer surveys 1,200 businesses monthly, providing signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
This month, Scots companies reported lower confidence in their business prospects at 39%, which is down 14 points from August. When combined with their optimism in the economy, which is up 10 points to 29%, this gives a headline confidence reading of 33%.
This is comparatively lower than the rate currently seen at a national level: overall UK business confidence fell five points from 41% to 36% in September. Firms’ outlook on their trading prospects remained at 41% despite a drop of five points last month, while their optimism in the UK economy dropped by seven points to 30%.
AI in Scotland: A Present Based on Data, A Future Hinging on Education
With exponential data, significant progress at the algorithmic level, and the huge power offered by AI, even home computers have the ability to process, analyse and synthesise different types of data like never before.
Speaking at ScotlandIS’ ScotSoft 2023 conference, Robert Gordon University’s Professor Eyad Elyan led the room through the two main forms of AI being used today, and detailed some of the major opportunities – and challenges – the technology offers Scotland.
There was a lot covered in this one, to read the full story, click here.
Glasgow Council Unveils New Ethical Investment Strategy
In an effort to combat climate change, Glasgow City Council green-lights a new ethical investment strategy.
The newly approved investment strategy is set to shape the city’s financial landscape until 2030, aligning closely with the goals of the Glasgow Economic Strategy, of which, one of the three key tenets is to address the climate emergency.
The sectors at the forefront of the new initiative are life sciences, precision medicine, the digital and creative economy, the green economy, as well as space and satellite technology.
“The Glasgow Investment Strategy will help to bring new jobs to the city, particularly in the sectors that will deliver both economic growth that benefits the whole city and our Net Zero targets,” said Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council.
Scots Sensor Firm Neuranics Lands £1.9M Investment Led by Par Equity
Edinburgh and Glasgow university spinout, Neuranics, lands £1.9 million investment led by Par Equity.
Neuranics, a startup specialising in magnetic sensor innovation has raised £1.9m in pre-seed funding led by Par Equity, with participation from GU Holdings Ltd, Old College Capital, and Creator Fund. The startup, founded in 2021, is a joint spinout from the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.
The startup develops magnetic sensors integrated with semiconductor technology for health, fitness, and metaverse applications. Neuranics’s patented technology uses scalable spintronics sensors, powered by semiconductors, to detect tiny magnetic signals from organs of the body. The company says the tech could transform the current shortcomings of health monitoring devices and human-machine interfaces.
“Our breakthrough technology will enable much better sensor resolution for human-machine interface, will have huge benefits for health and fitness devices, and also controllers in the metaverse,” said CEO Noel McKenna.
ScotlandIS Unveils IT Managed Service Provider Cluster and Charter
“By the community, for the community,” Karen Meechan described the new cluster and charter dedicated to IT Managed Service providers.
Opening SoftScot 2023, Karen Meechan, the CEO of ScotlandIS, announced the establishment of the body’s new IT Managed Service Providers Cluster and best practice charter, aiming to elevate Scotland’s IT Support Cluster.
“By the community and for the community,” Meechan described the cluster and charter, which aim to significantly strengthen the ITMSP industry and provide a new set of standards for excellence across the nation.
Highlighting the rapidly evolving digital landscape, where technology is integral to business success, adherence to best practices is paramount.
The new cluster creates a dedicated hub for the industry, cultivating knowledge sharing, quality standardisation and enriched partnership working among ScotlandIS’ extensive network of over 200 IT Managed Services Providers.
Complimenting the cluster, the Best Practice Charter aims to reduce the potential for gaps in a business’s IT robustness, ultimately enhancing its cyber posture. It’s designed to standardise service quality and clarify roles of clients and ITMSPs.
Launched in Meechan’s opening at the ScotSoft conference in Edinburgh, the charter establishes clear standards that customers can expect from IT Managed Service providers across Scotland.
It also aims to empower businesses with the knowledge and tools needed to deliver exceptional services, maintain high levels of cybersecurity, and build customer trust.
Stellar Omada Receives £4.5 Million Investment from BGF
The investment will also see financial services executive Mark Smith and BGF investor Richard Pugh joining the company’s board.
Founded in 2018 by CEO Colin Frame, Stellar Omada specialises in digital transformation, testing services and programme delivery for clients in the financial services sector.
The business has experienced rapid growth to date, delivering £16.3m revenue in 2022 up from £9.1m in 2022, with clients in the banking, pensions and investment management sectors, including some of the UK’s largest banks and pension providers.
That’s it for this week. Be sure to subscribe to the DIGIT newsletter to always stay up-to-date on the latest Scottish tech news!