Tech 100: Counting down more key players
Key figures across the Scottish tech scene revealed
Tech 100 - Image credit: Holyrood
Over the last few months we’ve been running through the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland, offering an insight into what they are working on and the challenges they envisage.
As we complete the Tech 100 list here is the second of our roundups of the remaining top players.
Heather Robb – Technology and Information Manager, Stirling Council
Robb has been in post at Stirling Council for the past two and a half years, leading the local authority in becoming the first Scottish council to use Office 365. She is currently heading up the project that is making Stirling Scotland’s fourth gigabit city. Construction is scheduled to start this month, deploying the first phase of the state-of-the-art new fibre infrastructure.
Chris Yui – General Manager in Scotland, Uber
A former director of digital participation at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Yiu left the third sector membership body two years ago to become general manager for Uber in Scotland. Yiu, who also used to work for HM Treasury and Policy Exchange, led on the cashless taxi smartphone app’s rollout in Edinburgh and Glasgow in 2015 before the service was extended into surrounding areas last year.
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Andrew Williams – Chief Technology Officer, Administrate
Appointed as chief technology officer at the training software specialist this time last year, Williams was co-founder of mobile app developer Kotikan, which developed industry-leading apps for the likes of Skyscanner before its acquisition by FanDuel in 2015. The University of Edinburgh graduate has been a founding member of three start-ups and sits on the board of ScotlandIS.
Sara Budge – Programme Director, Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband
Budge has been director of the £410m programme launched to deploy fibre broadband across Scotland in the areas that weren’t going to be covered by commercial rollout for almost five years. As recently as 2013, only 52 per cent of premises in Scotland could access high-speed broadband. Commercial providers’ projections showed that by the end of this year a third of Scottish premises would still be unable to access the faster upload and download speeds which come with this new technology. Audit Scotland’s latest progress update found they are now on target to provide access to 95 per cent of premises by December this year.
Morna Simpson – Founder, Girl Geek Scotland
A lecturer, Simpson founded Girl Geek Scotland (GGS), a community and support network for women in technology, in 2008 following a drop-off in female uptake to an interactive media design course at the University of Dundee. GGS recently won a tender to deliver a role model and mentoring framework in digital technology for school-aged girls across Scotland on behalf of Skills Development Scotland, while in April the network launched a declaration of support for women in technology backed by a host of tech organisations including Skyscanner.
Sally Dyson – Head of Digital Participation, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
Dyson has been at the forefront of supporting people to develop basic digital skills and get online, as well as helping organisations to understand the benefits digital technologies can bring. She was involved in developing the #OneDigital programme across the UK, a new initiative to create hundreds of so-called digital champions who will help more than 9,500 people develop basic digital skills.
Martin Brown – Head of Business Development, Improvement Service
Brown has led on the promotion, adoption and uptake of myaccount, set up to provide secure access to online public services across Scottish councils via a single login. Since its rollout the service has been adopted by 27 of the country’s 32 local authorities, with almost half of the Scottish population having either online or offline accounts and a public saving of 28 per cent compared to the previous service. Improvement Service has been nominated for the Connect Citizen Award at this year’s Connect awards.
Colin Foskett – Head of Innovation, Blackwood Homes and Care
Foskett joined the Edinburgh-based charity, established in 1972, five years ago. The housing and care provider was recognised at last month’s UK Housing Awards, coming out on top in the outstanding approach to promoting digital inclusion category for work on the Clever Cogs system. The technology, which can be installed in touchscreen devices, is designed to allow people with disabilities to live independently by providing the ability to open curtains and switch on TVs, to ordering shopping and ensuring a constant connection with family, friends and carers.
Dr Jamie Graves – CEO, Zonefox
A data security and enterprise software entrepreneur, Graves is the CEO of Edinburgh Napier University spin-out ZoneFox, which specialises in helping customers protect business-critical assets, data and intellectual property. With Graves at the helm, the Edinburgh-based cyber security specialist enjoyed a £3.6m cash injection earlier this year as part of the largest funding round ever to be led by business angel investment syndicate Archangels. The company now plans to triple its headcount to 30 staff by the end of this year and move into a new headquarters in Edinburgh as well as opening a London office. Graves, meanwhile, has been put forward as Scottish regional qualifier for emerging entrepreneur of the year at the PwC private business awards.
Graham Bye – Coordinator, Scottish Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) – Scottish Business Resilience Centre
Bye served as an officer with Central Scotland Police and Police Scotland for over 30 years. He is experienced in crime investigation, covert intelligence development and managed multi-agency partnerships to reduce the risk of harm within communities. In November last year he was appointed Scottish CiSP coordinator, a new role aligned to the Scottish Business Resilience Centre. Working with Scottish Government, Police Scotland and the National Cyber Security Centre in London, he is engaging with Scottish business and organisations across all sectors. His role role also includes promoting Cyber Essentials in Scotland.
Key figures across the Scottish tech scene revealed
Jamie Coleman, co-founder and chair of CodeBase, on the Edinburgh tech scene
Sally Smith, Dean of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, on digital skills and investment for the future
Harry McLaren, who recently picked up the Best New Cyber Talent award at the first Scottish Cyber Awards, on how big data can tackle our cyber security woes