Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

FanDuel four time winners as ScotlandIS honours Scotland’s digital stars

Friday, June 19th, 2015

ScotlandIS logo

 

ScotlandIS, the trade body for the digital technologies industry, today announced the winners of the fifth annual Digital Technology Awards.

The cream of Scotland’s digital technology companies attended the sold out event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 18 June, which celebrated the continuing success of the sector.

The big winners on the night were FanDuel who scooped four awards including the much-coveted Digital Technology Business of the Year gong, beating off competition from Edge Testing Solutions, Kotikan and Cooper Software to do so.

FanDuel were recognised for their exponential growth and success since starting in 2009. The Edinburgh based online fantasy sports technology business, which trades largely in North America, now has 225 employees in Scotland and the US. FanDuel also took the prize for Best B2C Technology Product/Service and Investment Deal of the Year, and were joint winners in the Outstanding Marketing Performance by a Tech Company on the night.

Polly Purvis, Lesley Eccles and FanDuel team

 

This year’s awards celebrated companies achieving global reach with the launch of a new International Technology Star category. The award, which recognises outstanding market performance, went to Edinburgh success story Skyscanner. Indicative of this stellar growth is their Skyscanner app which, since its release in 2011, has been downloaded more than 20 million times.

Linlithgow based telecoms software specialists Calnex, winners of the international growth award in 2014, won the newly introduced award for Best B2B Technology Product/Service this year. This new award, which was sponsored by business analysts Be-Positive, proved to be the most popular category for entrants with Edge Testing Solutions and Speech Graphics also making it on to the shortlist along with the winners.

FreeAgent, the small business accounting software specialists, were joint winners with FanDuel and both took the Outstanding Marketing Performance by a Tech Company award. Freeagent had previously been winners of the Digital Technology Company of the Year (Small) category in 2014.

The Best Public Sector Product / Service Award went to the “Living it Up” project, a partnership between Isle of Skye based healthcare tech company Sitekit and Maverick TV, a TV and media production company known for their multiplatform projects.

The award for Best Digital Agency was hotly contested and the judges decided to award it jointly to Edinburgh-based Storm ID and Glasgow-based Screenmedia. Runners up went to app developer Waracle. This year the award was sponsored by specialist recruitment agency Hudson.

The Award for Best Financial Services Product/Service, was won for the second year running by Edinburgh-based independent investment management platform company Nucleus. The company provides online investment wrappers that rebalance the investment management market in favour of the client and their advisors.

The Star Performance of the Year Award, sponsored by doc-department, was awarded to Keith Neilson, Chief Executive and co-founder at Craneware, highlighting his outstanding contribution to the overall performance of the company in the past year. In the same category, Fiona Lindsay, Healthcare Consultant at SIMUL8 Corporation, got a special recognition as Best Individual Within a Team.

SIS-9163

 

Polly Purvis, CEO of ScotlandIS, said: “The sheer volume and strength of the award applications was outstanding so I would like to congratulate all of our winners. From specialist businesses to well-known names we saw a great many examples of passion, innovation and hard work.

“Scotland is home to a growing number of ambitious and successful technology companies and as a small country I believe we punch well above our weight. ScotlandIS now has over 300 member businesses and this year’s award winners offer a snapshot of the talent making waves across our industry.”

Some 80,000 Scots now work in the digital technologies industry, which contributes more than £4 billion in GVA to the Scottish economy and adding significantly to export revenues.

ScotlandIS is funded by its members, and works to raise awareness of the industry’s expertise and its value to the Scottish economy. It plays a key role in lobbying government on the industry’s behalf over issues such as public sector procurement and skills, and provides a forum for members to meet and exchange knowledge, industry intelligence and best practice.

Aridhia’s Data Science Platform Used in €6 Million EU Project

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

aridhia

 

Aridhia’s data science platform AnalytiXagility has been chosen to underpin a €6 million oral healthcare innovation project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and the funding win demonstrates huge confidence in Aridhia’s data analytics capability.

During the four-year project, known as ADVOCATE, the Edinburgh-based company will work with 10 partners spanning academia, healthcare and industry across six EU states, to deliver an innovative, evidence-based oral healthcare model which optimises oral health and wellbeing.

Coordinated by the University of Leeds, the other project partners include
the University of Heidelberg, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, NHS England, University College Cork, Semmelweis University in Budapest, and the University of Copenhagen.

Aridhia will provide the technological framework – a private analytical workspace – enabling the partners to interrogate the project data. The raw data will be gathered across the partner countries and analysed in Aridhia’s data science platform, AnalytiXagility. Aridhia will also create a bespoke dashboard for insurers and healthcare providers, and an app which allows patients to provide feedback on their care.

AnalytiXagility’s Software as a Service (SaaS) Workspaces mark a change in how healthcare analytics services are procured. It was awarded a place on the UK Government’s G-Cloud framework earlier this year, making it available to healthcare providers on a monthly subscription basis. This means they do not need to commit to costly on-premise infrastructure or become locked in to long-term contracts.

Since the launch of the SaaS data science platform last year, Aridhia has used its analytics capabilities to support integrated care for diseases including renal cancer, and it has enabled research projects on a range of health issues including diabetes, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis.

Chris Roche, CEO at Aridhia, commented: “We are honoured to have been successful in our bid for Horizon 2020 project funding and, even more so, to be collaborating with such a strong group of partners over the next four years to develop an evidence-based, preventative oral healthcare model.

“The SaaS model we operate with our data science platform offers a key advantage to the partnership in that there is no need to create the complex data analytics infrastructure from scratch; meaning time and funding can be spent wholly on valuable research into oral care.”

At Aridhia, a multi-disciplinary team will work on the project, which begins next month, drawn from across its engineering, software development, data science and information governance teams.

Aridhia’s bid was supported by the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Scotland, which helps to connect businesses with European partners and understand the various EU funding opportunities available. It is part of Scottish Enterprise and has close connections with network partners and expert advisers across Europe.

The EEN Scotland worked with Aridhia to put together a partnering profile. It promoted it through the network and connected the company with European projects through its data and participation in four targeted Horizon 2020 Matchmaking events. The connections during these meetings have helped Aridhia to find partners for a number of Horizon 2020 consortium-based projects.

Camille Moran of the EEN Scotland said: “Aridhia is a company that really understands how SMEs can benefit from European funding. They have worked closely with the EEN Scotland since 2013, first profiling their offer, and then to identify appropriate projects and partners. The team have put in the necessary time to go out to Horizon2020 information days, partnering events and expressing interest to opportunities advertised on the EEN Partnering Database, which has resulted in their continued success with European projects.”

Horizon 2020 is the biggest ever EU research and innovation programme, making nearly €80 billion of funding available between 2014 and 2020. It promises to take great ideas from the laboratory to market, and places emphasis on the economic impact of the research and innovation it supports. The programme is the latest of the Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development and follows FP7, which invested a budget of €50 billion between 2007 and 2013.

Chris Roche_Aridhia Landscape

Investment of £1.2 million for renewable energy business Sunamp

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Screen shot 2013-11-07 at 13.20.07

Sunamp Ltd, the renewable energy and heat storage business, announced today that it has received over £1.2 million of investment from private equity investors, in a two stage round led by Par Equity and Equity Gap. Investors include former SSE Chief Executive, Ian Marchant.

Sunamp designs and produces innovative heat storage batteries that help overcome the issue of energy wastage by storing excess energy as heat for later use. The company, which is based in East Lothian, was founded by successful technology entrepreneur, Andrew Bissell, and to date has been funded by a mixture of grants, loans and private investment.

Alongside Par Equity and Equity Gap, the recent investment was raised from the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, North American based private investors, Highland Venture Capital and Old College Capital – the venture investment arm of the University of Edinburgh.

Sunamp enjoys an excellent and productive relationship with the University of Edinburgh, ranging from applied research, high quality PhD partnerships and now investment from Old College Capital. The University is a key partner in Sunamp’s success.

Bissell said: “We are very pleased that these investors have recognised the huge potential that Sunamp has to offer, both to consumers looking for energy cost saving opportunities, and to businesses looking to make efficient use of renewable heat. The Board was delighted the round was significantly oversubscribed, helping accelerate our plans. It is an exciting time for Sunamp, with a large customer pipeline and many innovative products being developed.”

Professor Pulham, Head of the School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, said of his work with Sunamp: “This is the most rewarding and enriching academic/industrial collaboration that I have been involved in. It is particularly gratifying to see the impact of fundamental research being applied in real world applications in such a short time.”

Kerry Sharp, head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “Sunamp is a great example of an innovative forward thinking company, which continues to develop and grow. We look forward to continuing to work with them as they expand their market base and realise their long term growth ambitions.”

The investment follows recent news that Sunamp has been awarded funding by the Local Energy Challenge Fund as part of a £4 million project to develop innovative local heat storage solutions. The project will help alleviate fuel poverty in the central belt of Scotland and has created a pipeline of business for Sunamp to install over 750 products.

Sunamp uses phase change materials (PCM) to create high energy density, compact systems that are capable of storing and releasing heat. The patented, non-toxic Sunamp Heat Battery technology stores and provides heat to warm a building or deliver hot water. The energy is released in much the same way as a hand warmer works.

Whilst two and a half times more heat is consumed than electricity globally, heat has been significantly under-innovated in recent years. The move to higher production from renewable energy sources creates demand for energy storage, especially heat. Energy storage dramatically improves the economics of many intermittent generation technologies and allows production to better match demand for electricity and heat across the day.

Bissell’s vision for Sunamp is to make individual homes and buildings more energy efficient and self-sufficient, and deliver substantial cost savings to the householder or business, while cutting CO₂ emissions from inefficient energy generation.

Sunamp has a number of products under development including SunampPV, which allows homes with solar panels to store excess energy for future use rather than sending it back to the grid. This consumer product is the first-to-market of Sunamp’s range, ahead of SunampStack, an advanced heat storage design that will save consumers and businesses money by optimising the operation of renewable heat sources such as heat pumps. The third product is SunampCube, which responds to the need for commercial and industrial scale heat storage to deal with grid constraints.

Bissell is a seasoned entrepreneur who sold his previous company, the 3D medical imaging business Voxar, for €39 million to Barco NV in 2004; Barco subsequently sold it to Toshiba and it continues to thrive in its original Edinburgh base.

Sunamp employs 15 people and plans to increase headcount by a further eight to 10 employees in the next 12 months, in highly skilled roles including design engineers and chief technology officer.

SunampPV

Abcodia secures funding of £5.25 million ($8m) to launch the ROCA® test for the early detection of ovarian cancer

Monday, May 18th, 2015

SEP

 

• Two new investors, Cambridge Innovative Capital and Scottish Equity Partners join existing investors Albion Ventures and UCLB

• The investment enables the launch of the ROCA® test in US and UK in 2015, as well as the establishment of a US presence

Abcodia today announced that it has raised £5.25 million funding from existing and new investors to bring the world’s most sensitive and specific ovarian cancer screening test, ROCA® to market.

The financing was co-led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Scottish Equity Partners (SEP), who join existing investors Albion Ventures and UCL Business. Dr Robert Tansley, from CIC and Jan Rutherford, from SEP have been appointed to Abcodia’s Board.

Dr Julie Barnes, Abcodia’s CEO, welcomed the funding and commented: “The funding will allow Abcodia to launch the ROCA® test in the UK this summer and US markets later in 2015. This is the first cancer screening test that we are bringing to market and we are excited about its proven high performance. We feel passionately that the ROCA® test will make a real difference in the lives of women at risk of developing this aggressive form of cancer. The funding will help build operations and commercial teams in the UK and establish our US presence while continuing to grow our product pipeline focused on improving early cancer diagnosis.”

Dr Robert Tansley, Investment Director at CIC, said: “The major unmet need in early detection of ovarian cancer and the unprecedented clinical validation behind the ROCA® test provided a compelling body of evidence for CIC’s investment. We are excited to support this groundbreaking test and bring it to the market so women around the world can feel empowered with more knowledge and more options.”

The ROCA® test’s proven performance was reaffirmed in a study from the UKCTOCS trial at UCL, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology1, 2 this month. The publication showed the ROCA® test could detect ovarian cancer more accurately than existing methods and before symptoms occur.

Jan Rutherford, partner at SEP, said: “Abcodia is one of the most exciting businesses involved in the early detection of cancer. Its novel data driven approach, underpinned by its unique biobank and its strategic partnership with Cancer Research UK, has the potential to materially enhance the way biomarkers are developed, allowing earlier disease diagnosis and improved patient outcomes. We are delighted to invest in such an innovative company and look forward to the launch of the ROCA test, initially through a number of private clinics in the UK this summer.”

Alphabet Babies receives six figure investment to launch new literacy programme for early years learning

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Alphabet Babies 4 medium

 

Glasgow based start-up Alphabet Babies has received investment from business angel syndicate Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, which it will use to launch a second strand of its successful literacy and language learning programme, this time aimed at parents.

The original product, which has already been successfully taken to market, provides nurseries with learning programmes for 0-2 and 3-5 year olds. Using the investment of £104,000, Alphabet Babies will complete and launch a product for parents of young children wishing to experience fun learning times with their child at home.

Alphabet Babies was established in 2011 and launched its current product to the nursery market in September 2014. Its online offering provides nursery staff with learning materials to engage children in literacy in a fun way, through songs, drama, puppets and other interactive formats, as well as an interactive portal for children to practise what they have learned.

The product differs from other early years language and literacy programmes because it is much more than just a phonics programme. It encompasses the four essential areas children need to be successful readers in the future: alphabetic awareness, print awareness, oral language, and phonological awareness. The big selling point is that it is written specifically for the early years with age-appropriate activities, unlike other programmes that have been adapted from the primary school curriculum.

The business was co-founded by a teacher of English who also gained valuable experience as a Literacy Development Officer with Education Scotland, and a former head teacher of a primary school and nursery, who later became Head of Early Years Education and Childcare at East Dunbartonshire Council.

Alexis Viswanathan, co-founder of Alphabet Babies, said: “Our online product aimed at nurseries is linked to Curriculum for Excellence for Scotland and the Early Years Foundation Stage for England. With many children around the world following the English curriculum, this gives the product global reach.”

“We are very excited at the prospect of launching our materials aimed at parents later this year. The funding we have received from Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank makes this launch possible and we are pleased to have demonstrated the potential and wide appeal that our products have.”

The idea behind the literacy and communication programmes came about when Alexis had twin boys and invited other new mums to her home to engage their little ones in literacy through multi-sensory activities. Through discussions with parent friends, and a desire to bridge the gap between learning at home and learning that takes place in nurseries, she joined forces with her business partner, Anne Smith, to write learning materials, and over two years developed and refined this based on feedback from both parents and nurseries.

Fraser Lusty of Equity Gap said: “We have been impressed by the co-founders of Alphabet Babies, their experience and drive. The originality of the product they have developed is key to growing their customer base and moving the business forward, and we hope that by bringing funding and a commercial perspective to the business we can assist the team in taking the business to the next level.”

Equity Gap is a business angel syndicate actively investing and co-investing in early stage Scottish based companies.

Alphabet Babies has a strong business pipeline already in place and will use the funding to continue to drive more sales, alongside the launch of the new product later this year.

The company acknowledges the large amount of support it has received since it began from Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Edge Fund and the E-Spark accelerator programme.

EquityGap

Digital Technology Award Entries Reflect Bouyancy of Scottish Digital Technologies Sector

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

ScotlandIS logo


Scotland has a thriving digital technologies industry, which is predicted to enjoy strong growth again this year. This vibrancy is reflected in the record number of entries received for the DigiTech Awards 2015 and the finalists are announced below, with well-known names and promising start-ups included in the shortlist.

ScotlandIS, the trade association championing the digital technologies industry are organisers of the awards. Delighted with the increased response to this year’s call for applications, Polly Purvis CEO of ScotlandIS, said: “Scotland’s digital technologies industry continues to grow year on year. Our latest industry survey findings show that nearly 87% of technology companies anticipate growth this coming year, with over 65% advising they are forecasting growth of over 10%. A buoyant industry in a buoyant mood indeed.”

The sheer volume and strength of the award applications was fantastic. I believe that celebrating the industry’s variety and success is one of the best ways to encourage people to consider a career in our sector. This awards shortlist is a powerful testimony to the opportunities available, from setting up your own start-up company to international marketing for one of the many firms with their sights set on going global. Our industry has big ambition and these outstanding entries certainly showcase that to the full.”

The awards shine a spotlight on companies pushing the boundaries in digital technologies and ScotlandIS introduced several new categories this year to reflect the changing IT landscape, with Best Business to Business Technology Product or Service being the most popular category.

“We want to encourage excellence in business as well as in technical innovation so we have created a new award to recognise outstanding marketing performance,” explained Ms Purvis. “More and more of our members are achieving growth through exports so our new international technology star category will celebrate those companies who are performing extremely well on the world stage.”

Edge Testing Solutions, Kotikan, FanDuel, and Cooper Software are in the running for the title of Digital Technology Company of the Year, having demonstrated outstanding growth executed against ambitious plans. Previous winners include Craneware, FreeAgent, Amor Group and FanDuel.

The awards, now in their fifth year, reveal the excellence abundant in the industry and reward the innovation, expertise and ambition of businesses across the digital technologies spectrum. The winners of the 10 categories will be unveiled at The Arches in Glasgow on June 18. The event is being held in association with business analysts Be-Positive, technical writing specialist doc-department, and recruitment firm Hudson.

The 2015 judging panel brought together a host of respected business people including former Pinnacle Group CEO Alan Bonner; Paul Neeson, assistant director with Scottish Equity Partners; Andrew Ralston, director IT operations at Cirrus Logic Inc; Rebecca Heaney, consultant and former managing director of RAPP Edinburgh; Kenny Fraser, former global telecoms partner with PwC; BBC Scotland head of technology, John Maxwell Hobbs; and Martin Mutch, former CEO of Rocela.

Alastair Balfour, chair of the panel and founder of organisations including Company Creators, the Entrepreneurial Exchange and previously editor of Scottish Business Insider, praised the calibre of entries to this year’s awards.

Mr Balfour said: “This year’s judging process was very tough because we had so many excellent entries to choose from. I have been involved with these awards since they first launched in 2011 and I never fail to be bowled over by the level of innovation and best practice on show in Scotland. All of our finalists have beaten off stiff competition and proved that they are at the top of their game.”

Contributing £4 billion in GVA to the economy, some 80,000 people are employed by Scotland’s digital technologies industry with start-up incubators such as Edinburgh’s Codebase going from strength to strength.

The latest industry survey conducted on behalf of ScotlandIS found that confidence is high in the sector, with more than 8 out of 10 businesses expecting to recruit new staff in the coming year. It also found that exports are on the up, with companies looking to the US, Canada and Europe as the most promising markets.

The 2015 finalists are:

DigiTech Business of the Year
Cooper Software
Edge Testing Solutions
FanDuel
Kotikan

International Technology Star
Calnex Solutions Ltd
Hutchinson Networks Ltd
Skyscanner

Best B2B Technology Product/ Service (sponsored by Be-Positive)
Speech Graphics
Edge Testing Solutions
Calnex

Best B2C Technology Product/ Service
MorphCostumes
Swipii
FanDuel

Digital Agency (sponsored by Hudson)
Screenmedia
Storm ID
Waracle

Best Public Sector Product/ Service
Atos – The City of Edinburgh Council
PDMS & Police National Legal Database
Sitekit/ Maverick TV

Investment Deal of the Year
Occa – Home
FanDuel
we are AD

Best Financial Services Product/ Service
Float
iDelta Ltd
Nucleus

Outstanding Marketing Performance by a Tech Company
FanDuel
Mallzee
Nucleus
FreeAgent

Star Performance of the Year (sponsored by doc-department)
The shortlist for this category will be announced on the night.

The ScotlandIS DigiTech Awards provide a unique opportunity to associate your brand with the vibrant and growing digital technologies industry, from software, IT and telecoms companies to digital agencies and web developers. Visit scotlandis.com/digitech2015 to find out more about sponsorship opportunities associated with this event.

The 2015 judging panel

DigiTech Awards 2015 judging panel

Graduates in demand with Scottish digital technologies industry set for further growth in 2015

Monday, May 11th, 2015

ScotlandIS logo

 

New research from ScotlandIS is forecasting strong growth for the digital technologies industry in Scotland, with 83% of organisations planning to increase staff numbers and 86% of businesses expecting sales to rise in the coming year.

And there is good news for computer science students approaching their final exams, with high demand for graduates and 74% of organisations expecting to recruit in 2015.

The annual survey of 150 organisations, carried out on behalf of ScotlandIS by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, also found that Scottish businesses are undertaking a significant amount of international activity, with Europe, USA and Canada seen as the most attractive overseas markets for the second year running.

ScotlandIS, the trade body for the digital technologies industry in Scotland, welcomed the positive outlook for the year ahead.

Polly Purvis, CEO of ScotlandIS, says: “This is great news for a vibrant industry which is going from strength to strength. There has never been a better time to get into software and IT. For young people considering their career options our industry offers huge opportunities, from founding your own tech start-up to international marketing as Scottish technology businesses increasingly move into global markets.”

While Purvis cautions that a shortage of skilled people could stop the industry reaching its full potential she is confident that work is underway to address the problem.

She says: “The skills gap is beginning to hit home, causing wage inflation and making it harder for companies to retain experience, so we are pleased to see the public sector and our members working together to find a solution. We have welcomed initiatives such as the Skills Investment Plan for Scotland’s Digital Technologies and ICT Industries, and we are glad to see that its recommendations are being put into action. By dealing with this problem now we will ensure that our industry is able to continue to grow and contribute to the Scottish economy.”

70% of businesses surveyed reported sales growth in 2014, with the strongest results coming from small and medium sized companies. 42% of businesses reported increased margins with a further 36% reporting stable profit margins during 2014. 2015 should be a particularly good year for medium sized companies, with 96% expecting an increase in sales of the next 12 months.

Some 80,000 people work in the digital technologies industry in Scotland, which contributes £4 billion GVA to the economy and is increasingly adding to export revenues.

Aridhia’s Chris Roche takes over as CEO

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Aridhia’s Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Chris Roche as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding co-founder David Sibbald, who takes up the role of Executive Chairman at the pioneering health informatics company.

“During this critical time of growth, there is no better person to lead Aridhia than Chris Roche,” says David Sibbald. “Chris is a proven leader with a deep understanding of data science, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His ability to rapidly scale data businesses and corporate experience is precisely what Aridhia needs as we enter our next chapter of innovation and growth.”

Roche joined the company in 2014 as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and over the last 12 months has brought a new commercial focus to the company as Aridhia transformed to a SaaS based business model.

Chris Roche says: “Aridhia is a rare company that has a real opportunity to change the way we use data and analytics to manage chronic disease and accelerate collaborative research. I am truly honoured to be part of that story. My focus is now to accelerate our own business model by opening international hubs and building specific disease focused solutions with our clinical partners” The company recently announced it was partnering with fellow Scottish health tech pioneer Craneware to target the US market.

Last year Aridhia launched its SaaS based data innovation platform, AnalytiXagility, to offer translational data services to research, precision medicine and integrated care teams. These teams bring their data to the platform and use the in-built tools and processing power to collaboratively build analytical models in a secure and safe environment. These models are then deployed into clinical practice from AnalytiXagility via modern day apps. Part of Aridhia’s translational services included data innovation labs where Aridhia augments their client’s teams with data science and application development capability.

Roche says: “Since the launch of AnalytiXagility we’ve worked with research, population health and precision medicine projects. We’ve enabled teams from a wide variety of disease types including; diabetes, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and ovarian cancer to name just a few. The breadth of data we are now processing includes genomic, clinical, imaging, sensor generated and waveform data from bedside monitors.”

As well as being available from the UK Government G-Cloud framework, AnalytiXagility is also the informatics platform deployed at the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC). Roche says “Using the deployment at SMS-IC, we are the only Scottish company to date in being part of a successful Horizon2020 bid the EU’s R&D funding stream. We will be analysing data from universities, healthcare providers and industrial partners in 10 EU member states to optimise research and the delivery of health and wellbeing to the European population. A great advert for Scotland.”

Chris will lead a workforce of 60 employees, encompassing data scientists, information governance specialists, computer scientists, software developers and healthcare experts.

LEWIS to help Dynamic Earth show off its fun side

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

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Top visitor attraction Dynamic Earth has appointed Edinburgh design and digital agency LEWIS to deliver a full brand refresh and a 12-month marketing campaign to promote its fun and interactive features.

The win further strengthens LEWIS’s portfolio of tourism and leisure clients, which already includes, the National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Corn Exchange.

The marketing campaign, which kicked-off at Easter and will run until the end of the year, will feature print, outdoor, radio and transvision advertising at Waverley Station. Campaign branding will also be featured on 10 taxis and a fleet of Lothian Buses during the summer months.

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West Lothian Chamber is leaving nothing to chance with ‘The Gaffer’

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Cricketing legend Alec Stewart has been confirmed as keynote speaker at West Lothian Chamber’s Spring Dinner to be held on Thursday 30 April, in the Norton House Hotel, Edinburgh.

Affectionately known as the ‘gaffer’ of English cricket, Alec Stewart OBE, is the most capped England cricketer of all time.

He is an inspirational and charismatic after dinner speaker as Linda Scott, CEO of West Lothian Chamber explains: “Alec’s vast experience and the respect he commands in the sporting world will be hugely motivational for our members. Business leaders have long drawn inspiration from their sporting heroes and we are excited to have Alec join us and look forward to learning from him.”

With natural comic timing Alec will deliver a motivational speech entitled ‘Leaving Nothing to Chance’ which mirrors his approach of preparation and dedication.

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We are hiring – PR and Social Media Account Executive (full time)

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Creative thinker, plain talker, great writer, media junkie, good fun, massive energy. Is this you?

Hot Tin Roof is a dynamic, ambitious and independent PR agency. Fast and furious, we create iconic reputations for pioneering UK companies. We have a powerful reputation for getting results offline and online for our clients.

Creative, intelligent and determined, we run our campaigns with skill, imagination and honesty. Our absolute loyalty to our clients, the energy and the gritty single-mindedness with which we tackle every campaign is the secret to our success.

We are currently looking to hire a PR Account Executive who wants to fast track their career in an independent agency environment.

We want someone who will hit the ground running and is hungry to learn new things. You will be resourceful, creative and proactive.

For a more information or a job description email [email protected].

And to apply just send your CV (with your favourite film, book and icon) to [email protected] by Friday 17 April 2015. Interviews will take place on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 April 2015.

Cyberhawk appoints new Chief Financial Officer

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

World leader in remote aerial inspection and survey, Cyberhawk Innovations, has appointed David McIntyre as Chief Financial Officer.

An experienced CFO and chartered accountant, David has held a number of positions in listed, multinational and start-up companies prior to his appointment at Cyberhawk. Most recently David was Finance Director for Maintenance Management Limited, a Private equity-backed business service company, where he helped to significantly increase shareholder value. David has also held posts as Director of Finance and Operations for Diageo/United Distillers, CFO – EMEA & Asia Pacific for Dialog Corporation (part of Thomson Reuters Group) and Group Financial Controller for Kwik-Fit Group.

David joins the senior management team at Cyberhawk at a time of substantial global growth and international expansion, following a £1.3 million investment from Scottish Equity Partners and the Scottish Investment Bank 18 months ago.

Cyberhawk’s CEO, Craig Roberts said: “David’s appointment comes on the back of a very successful two years where we’ve continued to drive the market and innovate, with sales and headcount increasing three-fold over the period. We have also opened two offices overseas and launched “iHawk” our first software product.

“I’m delighted to welcome David to the team, his expertise in high growth private-equity backed companies and international expansion will be invaluable as we continue to drive the business forward.”

David McIntyre said: “I’m looking forward to taking up this position with Cyberhawk. The company has grown quickly in the short time since its inception, and its innovative solution to inspections and surveys is being rapidly adopted around the globe. This is an exciting opportunity for me to be part of a dynamic senior management team focussed on growing the business.“

Established in 2008 and recognised as the world leader in the field, Cyberhawk led the development of the industrial ROAV service industry and has achieved over 25 world firsts – including the first ever industrial ROAV inspection. Combining ROAVs, the most highly trained pilots in the industry, engineering and survey experts and agile software development, the company delivers powerful management information that enables customers to make informed decisions about their assets. Cyberhawk’s ROAV solutions are faster, safer and more cost effective than traditional approaches and often include “live” asset inspection that enables its customers to keep their assets running rather than shutting them down, often saving millions of pounds. Cyberhawk has completed projects for the “big six” energy companies in the UK and all six oil and gas supermajors, conducting inspections and surveys on electricity networks, power stations, oil and gas sites, and wind farms throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

West Lothian Chamber of Commerce launches campaign to help young people #getajob

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

West Lothian Chamber of Commerce today launched a new initiative to support 18-24 year olds in developing the skills necessary to succeed in interviews and secure employment.

Called #getajob, the joint initiative is being run by the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, West Lothian College, the Department for Work and Pensions and JobCentre Plus.

The two-week programme has been introduced to improve interview and employability skills in West Lothian, and will work with groups of young people to improve their chances of success in job interviews. In a series of workshops over the first week, participants will tackle the main barriers to employment, assess their professional skills and develop their own personal brand. Following this, they will undergo an interview with a West Lothian employer and will then undertake work experience on site with the business.

Following the programme, participants will be assigned an employment mentor from the business community within our Chamber membership who will maintain regular contact to ensure ongoing aftercare.

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Aridhia sets its sights on US market with Craneware partnership

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Aridhia Informatics, the Edinburgh-based health informatics company, has announced a strategic partnership with fellow Scottish health tech pioneer Craneware as it targets the US market for the first time.

The partnership will enable Aridhia, which has healthcare clients throughout the UK, Australia and Kuwait, to offer its core services – collaborative analytics platform, data science services and app development capability – to Craneware’s extensive US client base. It represents a major opportunity for both parties to work together to help US healthcare organisations benefit from the acceleration and commercialisation of informatics solutions that focus on patient outcomes. A growing number of medical insurers are moving away from fee-for-service towards performance-based reimbursement and this is driving the requirement for informatics solutions.

David Sibbald, CEO of Aridhia, said: “US healthcare providers have traditionally focused on financial outcomes and cutting costs but they are increasingly adopting a patient centric approach which will, in turn, have a positive effect on their bottom line. Craneware works with some of the biggest healthcare providers in the US so we’re very pleased to be partnering with them and using our integrated healthcare informatics services to deliver better operational results for the Craneware customer, hospitals and therefore, better health outcomes for their patients.”

Craneware is a market leader in automated revenue integrity solutions that improve financial performance for healthcare organisations. During the last 15 years, one quarter of all registered US hospitals have chosen Craneware’s medical billing software solutions to assist them on their journey to improved financial performance and revenue integrity.

AIM listed, Craneware is headquartered in Edinburgh with offices across the US. The company employs over 200 people and its development activity is based in Scotland.

Clients using Craneware’s innovative SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions range from small community hospitals to large healthcare networks, and include leading organisations such as Intermountain Healthcare, The Cleveland Clinic, and The John Hopkins Hospital.

Keith Neilson, Craneware CEO, said: “We are pleased to bring Aridhia’s AnalytiXagility platform to our client base, offering Aridhia’s expertise in utilising our clients’ data to improve their patient outcomes.”

Aridhia’s collaborative analytics platform and safe haven, AnalytiXagility, underpins the world-leading Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC). In addition, AnalytiXagility and its supporting data science and application development services are being deployed in healthcare use cases that include: analysing waveform data from traumatic brain injured patients, implementing risk stratification to reduce hospital readmissions, building population level diabetes risk models, predicting the disease pathway of multiple sclerosis patients based on imaging data, and underpinning Horizon 2020 research programmes that include smart ageing, cystic fibrosis and cancer biomarkers related data.

Cyberhawk Extends Global Footprint

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Following a £1.3 million investment from Scottish Equity Partners and the Scottish Investment Bank 18 months ago, Livingston-based Cyberhawk Innovations, is extending its global footprint with the appointment of two new Sales Managers in Asia and the Middle East. Chen Choon How, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has been appointed to grow the customer base in the Oil and Gas and Utilities sectors in South East Asia, while Ajay Sethi, based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, has been recruited for the same role in the Middle East.

Cyberhawk is the world leader in industrial inspection and survey using Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicles (ROAVs) and has led the development of the industrial ROAV service industry, including achieving over 25 world firsts since 2008, including the first ever industrial ROAV inspection. Combining ROAVs, highly skilled pilots and engineering experts, the company provides close up inspections of hard to reach and live structures, in a manner that is faster, safer and more cost effective than ever before. Cyberhawk has completed projects for the “big six” Energy companies in the UK and all six Oil and Gas supermajors, conducting inspections and surveys on electricity networks, power stations, oil and gas sites and wind farms throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia & Africa.

Cyberhawk’s CEO, Craig Roberts, said: “Our offices in Kualu Lumpur and Abu Dhabi are key to effectively serving our rapidly growing customer base in the Middle East and South East Asia. While the use of ROAV technology is becoming well established in the UK and Europe, interest in the methodology is rapidly increasing in other parts of the world, particularly within the Oil and Gas and Utilities markets”.

Cyberhawk’s Sales Manager for Asia, Chen Choon How, who previously set up a Malaysian subsidiary of an Australian oil and gas services company, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to help grow Cyberhawk’s client base here in South East Asia and I’m looking forward to providing both existing and future clients in the region with the highest quality aerial inspection solutions in the market. I believe the market here is ready to embrace this new approach to inspection and I’m confident that customers in the region will rapidly see it as best practice.”

“With a local office here in Abu Dhabi, Cyberhawk is well placed to provide its world-leading services to the Middle Eastern market,” added Ajay Sethi, Cyberhawk’ s Sales Manager for the Middle East. Ajay, who previously set up an office in Abu Dhabi for an Aberdeen-based survey company, continued: “I look forward to working with clients in the region to deliver these ground-breaking technologies. Inspection of flares, pylons and other difficult to reach assets has been revolutionised since Cyberhawk pioneered the ROAV approach; the technology is so evidently useful that I expect there to be rapid uptake in the market here.”

The opening of regional offices in Asia and the Middle East follows a year of significant growth for Cyberhawk, during which the company also launched its first software product, iHawk, giving customers access to powerful asset management information in the cloud. Cyberhawk also saw a 40% increase in staff headcount during 2014, and secured further framework agreements in the Oil and Gas and Utility sectors in the UK, Europe and Middle East.

Angel investment will create new jobs and international trade for Spoonfed

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Equity Gap announced today a £250K investment in catering software company Spoonfed. Based in Livingston, the startup will use the investment, which is co-funded by the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, to create new jobs and accelerate the internationalisation of their automated catering software.

Spoonfed launched in 2013 and already boasts a customer base that stretches across the UK, from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow to Birmingham, Manchester, and London, including high street bakery chains, independent sandwich retailers, outside catering businesses as well as institutional caterers such as universities and colleges.

The business has also seen interest from the US, Australia and Asia, and with a more mature international market in this sector, the investment will be used to speed up Spoonfed’s entry into the international marketplace.

Spoonfed was born out of the recession. Its co-founders, Willie Biggart and Murray McNicol, were running a drop off catering business supplying food for business meetings, and to protect the business against the impact of the recession they created software to automate the catering business process, saving them time, reducing mistakes and increasing margins.

Having pulled the catering business through the recession, it became clear that there was value in this automated system, and with nothing else like it on the market, the business owners sold the catering company to work full time on developing the software.

Willie Biggart has previously provided equity funding to startups and knew he wanted to approach funding Spoonfed in a different way. Working closely with their customers, the company worked relentlessly for two years, testing and debugging the software before launch.

“Our strategy was to make sure our business had traction before we took it to angel groups like Equity Gap. Having bootstrapped the company with personal investment of nearly £500k from founders and sweat equity from suppliers, we were able to present a well-oiled and properly financed enterprise to investors, free from problems, and with a customer pipeline firmly in place,” said Willie.

Jock Millican of Equity Gap agrees: “It was refreshing to see a different approach being taken by a company seeking investment. It was clear the founders of Spoonfed were presenting a business that had already ironed out a lot of teething problems, that was confident, and in good shape financially.”

Spoonfed is a cloud-based system for catering management which companies use for on-line ordering, production planning, route planning, invoicing and bringing together these functions in one integrated solution.

Equity Gap is a business angel syndicate, actively investing and co-investing in early stage Scottish based companies.

SEP Announces Promotions

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has announced three promotions in its investment team.

Gordon Beveridge and Tony Robison will both take up the role of Director. Angus Conroy has been promoted to Senior Analyst.
Gordon Beveridge, based in SEP’s London office, is one of SEP’s most experienced investment executives, and has a particular focus on IT software and services businesses.

Tony Robison plays a key role in SEP’s energy investments. He has over 20 years commercial and financial experience, having held senior management and board positions in a number of high growth, technology companies.
Angus Conroy has been with SEP for the last 3 years and his promotion reflects his increasing responsibilities within deal execution and support.

Calum Paterson, Managing Partner of SEP, said: “Our people, culture and values are integral to the excellent partnerships that we form with the entrepreneurs and management teams in the companies we invest in. I am delighted to announce these promotions, which underline the strength and depth of our investment team.”

Aridhia secures place on G-Cloud 6 framework

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

World-leading health informatics company Aridhia has successfully been awarded a place on the UK Government’s G-Cloud procurement portal for a second term, making its analytics platform, data science services, and app development capability widely accessible to healthcare providers and research collaborations.

The G-Cloud framework enables healthcare organisations such as NHS Trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to procure cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) systems and applications on a monthly subscription basis. This enables users to access Aridhia’s platform – AnalytiXagility – without the need for costly infrastructure investment and lengthy installation time.

Aridhia is the Edinburgh-based health informatics company that works collaboratively with health organisations, governments and research groups to further integrate healthcare, precision medicine and collaborative biomedical research. AnalytiXagility is Aridhia’s collaborative data science platform that has been deployed in the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC) and was recently used to underpin the successful Phase 1 bid for a Genomics England competition.

Four key services from AnalytiXagility are being made available to healthcare providers through the procurement portal. The De-identification Service anonymises healthcare datasets, thereby making it possible to safely link data for research purposes while mitigating the risk of identifying individuals. By accessing the platform’s Data Safe Haven and collaborative workspaces, users can bring together multiple data types in an environment supporting strict information governance protocols.

The Diabetes Dataprofiler informs understanding of the diabetes patient population and its clinical outcomes, aligned to best practice guidelines and clinical targets. Aridhia’s Data Lab Services can be used to extend organisations’ data science and app development capability, to develop analytics solutions or kick-start an informatics project by engaging with the team’s expertise in information governance, data strategy, and the capture, management, linkage and analysiss of vast data sets.

The availability of these services reflects a key recommendation in the report published in November last year by the Department of Health and the National Information Board – Personalised Health and Care 2020 – by taking advantage of cloud-based technology that offers flexible procurement routes, making use of open technologies at the forefront of innovation in delivering health-as-a-platform, and ultimately delivering better value and better patient outcomes.

David Sibbald, CEO of Aridhia, said: “Developing the technology to bring together individual data sets and draw meaningful clinical features from analysis of the data is only half the battle; ensuring the technology is available to the healthcare providers that need it, readily available in a way that they can procure it, is the other half. By making these key services available to NHS trusts, CCGs and health boards, G-Cloud 6 has enabled Aridhia to offer our services on a monthly subscription basis, opening up the benefits of unlocking insights from healthcare data to all.”

Aridhia has partnered with hosting company Skyscape Cloud Services to deliver the informatics services.

“The G-Cloud programme has made significant progress to date in creating a fairer marketplace for all, boosting opportunities for innovative SMEs and challenging the dominance of inflexible incumbents, while supporting the UK public sector with agile and cost-effective IT solutions,” said Simon Hansford, CEO of Skyscape Cloud Services.

“We welcome the latest iteration and look forward to continuing our partnership with Aridhia on G-Cloud 6 as the framework continues to deliver transformational benefits to the UK public sector.”

Commencement of the framework takes place on 2 February 2015.

Hot PRedictions: The trends that will shape PR in 2015

Monday, January 5th, 2015

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The first day back at work in January is the time for doing some forward planning. As well as updating our content calendars and project plans we’ve also been thinking about what might happen in our ever-changing industry over the coming year.

Having narrowed it down to four important areas, here are our top predictions:

1. Get social

In the early days of Twitter, posting regularly and doing a weekly #FollowFriday was enough to help your brand stand out from the crowd. Nowadays, the sheer volume of posts on social media means it’s easy to get lost in the ‘noise’. With the babble only set to increase, businesses that are serious about reaching customers ‘socially’ need to approach their digital communications much more strategically.

In 2015 we will see more and more companies creating unique content and sharing it across platforms instead of regurgitating old news and links.

With social media now an established part of the marketing mix and journalists using it as a source of news, comment and scandal, PR people will continue to play a valuable role in ensuring that content is ‘on message’ as well as being engaging and immediate.

It is not feasible for the chief executive to sign off on every tweet or LinkedIn post so instead responsibility should lie with people who understand the company’s communication goals and messages as well as the risks of speaking out on controversial issues.

Additionally, sectors that have traditionally shied away from social media will gravitate towards it, realising that pertinent conversations are happening there, particularly on LinkedIn. In the last year we have helped a range of businesses, from timber frame manufacturers to arts organisations, with their first digital forays and we hope to see them all tweeting furiously in 2015. You know who you are!

2. Picture stories

This year, visual content will become more important as companies look for new ways to engage customers and ‘humanise’ their brand. Over the last couple of years, PR people have experimented with visual – who can forget that six month period when every client wanted an infographic about something – but 2015 will finally see the industry embrace video and visual social media as valuable tools that can enhance the power of traditional copywriting and media relations.

Perfect for engaging consumer communities, visual storytelling will become the norm when communicating brand aesthetics and philosophy.

Having said that, if video is really to take off, the industry will need access to affordable and easy to use production tools. Let’s hope that 2015 brings some welcome surprises that make is easier to create engaging and professional-looking video in-house.

3. Data diving

PRs love a good statistic, eight out of ten PR agencies use numbers to make their story stand up, while 13% of in-house teams find figures help prove trends and let’s not forget the inevitable return of the annual results!

Ironically, PR has been slow to embrace big data. For the first time, data can be used at a strategic level to drive and inform campaigns, making them more effective in the long run. There’s no need to be a maths genius; tools like Google Analytics and SocialBro offer key insights and statistics. The challenge is in becoming adept at interpreting data and translating those insights into better PR campaigns.

Data has a range of potential applications, from analysing consumer trends to determine when a product should be launched, to using survey results as press release fodder. Understanding data presents a big opportunity for communications strategists and 2015 could be the year that we really do PR by numbers.

4. Print and be damned

Google was just four years old when Sarah launched Hot Tin Roof in 2002. Since then, the media has changed beyond all recognition. As has Sarah.

During that time, sales of newspapers and trade magazines have declined, but our voracious appetite for news seems to have intensified. And the way we find news has changed, rather than reading a daily paper we will pick up snippets – taken from a traditional media source –and shared across our networks on Twitter and LinkedIn.

This way of finding news needs good quality journalism, online and offline, at its heart. And for that we need to pay – by buying a newspaper or subscribing to a digital edition. The online versions of newspapers and magazines have become more and more sophisticated and are now worth paying for as they contain so much more information and offer greater breadth and depth than print ever can.

The media has been in an extraordinary state of flux since the first firewall went up and we predict in 2015, more subscriptions. But that has to be a good thing. We should pay.

We are all in favour of citizen journalism and freedom of speech but we also need well-informed and balanced argument before we start basing our own opinion on unattributed and unsubstantiated conjecture.

Our wish for 2015 is that print and online can co-exist and that our attitude to paying for news content changes. So, make sure you subscribe to at least one newspaper in 2015 and keep journalism in business. Or all you will be left with is PR puff!

If you would like to know more about how Hot Tin Roof can help your business to reach new heights in 2015, email [email protected] or call 0131 225 7880 to speak to one of the team.

SEP expands investment team

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Following the recent launch of its new £135 million infrastructure fund, Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is pleased to announce that Peter Bachmann and Andy Low are to join the firm as Director and Principal respectively. Both will work exclusively on the Environmental Capital Fund (ECF) with a key focus on originating and executing new investments along with fund management.

Peter was previously co-founder and director of the Environmental Infrastructure Development Company (EIDC) and brings significant specialist infrastructure investment and fund management experience from previous roles including at Secondary Market Infrastructure Fund (SMIF) and Land Securities Trillium. Andy was a partner with Melville Financial Partners LLP where he specialised in the provision of project finance advice for the renewable energy sector. A qualified chartered accountant, Andy was with PwC before moving into structured finance roles with Morgan Stanley.

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Anderson Strathern Asset Management Appoints Eamonn Mirner as Finance Director

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Wealth management firm, Anderson Strathern Asset Management, has announced the appointment of Eamonn Mirner to its financial services team. He takes up the position of finance director, and will play a pivotal role in setting the company’s operational and financial strategy.

Mirner brings with him 27 years of experience in the financial services industry. He previously held the position of chief financial officer at Ignis Asset management, with responsibility for both its Glasgow and London offices. More recently, he has worked with Standard Life Wealth and is head of fund administration at HSBC.

The appointment is the second in a series of high profile appointments made by the rapidly growing firm, cementing its place as Scotland’s leading boutique wealth management firm. In August 2014, Harry Morgan, joined as chief investment officer, leaving his post as head of private investment at Thomas Miller Investment Management.

In his new position, Mirner will take a leading role in targeting new markets including energy, technology entrepreneurs, law firms, and accountancy practices.

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Accountants will be replaced by robots by 2024 says ScotSoft speaker

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the tech trends that will have the biggest impact on our lives over the next ten years according to two of the panelists at ScotSoft 2014.

Speaking ahead of the event, which will include a forum on emerging trends, Gareth Williams, CEO of Skyscanner, and Greg Williams, executive editor of WIRED Magazine, highlighted artificial intelligence as the development most likely to radically change the way we live and do business.

“Artificial intelligence is going to have an enormous effect on our economy in the next decade,” says WIRED’s Greg Williams. “We’ve seen the effects of it in the manufacturing industry, and it’s going to start crossing over into some areas of white collar jobs like law and accountancy. We’re going to need to think carefully about how these changes will impact society.”

Artificial intelligence is just one of the emerging trends which will be covered by the high profile speakers at ScotSoft on Thursday 2 October. Organised by ScotlandIS, the trade body for the IT and digital technologies industry, ScotSoft is the premier event in the Scottish digital technology industries calendar. Due to increased demand for tickets, this year’s event will be held in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

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Alba Incubation to Showcase Fresh Batch of Startups at YCF 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

The Alba Incubation Service, a Scottish Enterprise funded project, is set to highlight the talent and innovation its clients have to offer at the annual Young Company Finance conference.

Now entering its 14th year, Young Company Finance seeks to bring together entrepreneurs and investors through a series of talks from industry professionals – investors, analysts and advisers. As part of the conference, around 20 early stage companies are to exhibit through the Young Company Showcase.

Five of Alba’s clients will present their exceptional business ideas to potential investors for the first time at this year’s event on Wednesday 17 September. Codbod, Bizvento, Ibisvision, iWise2 and PingGo will all look to demonstrate their business potential and ambition to a variety of investors in the hope of creating new partnerships and attracting investment support.

Ibisvision was set up in 2014 to complete the development of a unique software programme. The resulting application; RingOfSight, is used by optometrists, eye surgeons and hospital clinics to aid in the diagnosis and follow-up care of patients with glaucoma.

Responding to the increased desire for digitisation of business conferences, Bizvento have built an integrated event management platform. The programme provides organisers with tools for mobile content delivery, audience engagement and attendee networking both before and after the event.

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How to Tell a Lie: JCI Edinburgh to host “A Night of Tall Tales”

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Wednesday 17 September 2014, 6.00pm – 8.30 pm

Roxburghe Hotel, 38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4HQ           

JCI Edinburgh will next Wednesday host an open event providing young professionals with an opportunity to network and test their communication skills in a fun competitive environment.

The event, which is completely free and open to non-members, will provide attendees with the opportunity to develop their public speaking skills whilst finding out more about the work of JCI.

The evening will be split in two, with the first hour providing an informal welcome for non-members who would like to find out more about JCI and the benefits a membership provides. At 7pm the tension will heat up with a competition: A Night of Tall Tales. Participants will be given 3-5 minutes to tell the audience a story that will either be true or fabricated, with the audience then judging whether the story is true or false. The winner will be the competitor receiving the most votes contrary to the factual stance of their story. Both members and non-members will be able to sign up in advance to participate and it will provide a lighthearted environment for competitors to develop their public speaking confidence.

The organiser of the event, JCI Edinburgh’s current President Leeanne Bradley hopes the competitive element of the event will encourage non-members to come along and find out more about what JCI can offer.

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Need to cut patient readmissions? There’s an app for that

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Aridhia transforms Nuffield’s re-admission risk model, into an online app designed to reduce number of patients readmitted to hospital within 30 days

A new app for doctors could help them improve patient outcomes and ease the budgets of NHS England hospitals by predicting the risk of readmissions.

Since 2011, over £390 million has been withheld from English hospital budgets under a policy that penalises the hospital if a person is readmitted within 30 days.

But with the new app it will take doctors less than two minutes to predict a risk of readmission that may be avoided if an intervention is deployed accordingly, potentially saving their hospital thousands of pounds as well as improving patient outcomes.

The app – PARR30 Community Edition – which is being made available through Aridhia’s Community Programme, calculates risk through a predictive mathematical model developed by the Nuffield Trust using an anonymised 10% sample of all NHS England hospital admissions between April 2008 and 2009.

Easy to use in real-time and by the bedside, the app processes 17 pieces of information that can be obtained from hospital information systems or from the patient’s notes. These include their date of birth (to calculate age), detail on recent admissions, and diagnosis of any major health conditions (these include eleven major health conditions drawn from the Charlson co-morbidity index).

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Aridhia provides platform and support for ground breaking NHS data exploration event

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Data scientists from health informatics company Aridhia will be in London this week to provide expert advice and support at one of the largest collaborative NHS data exploration events ever held.

The Data Challenge Day, hosted by the Waltham Forest, East London and City integrated care pioneer site, aims to demonstrate the power of joined-up data and collaboration. Insights gained from the event will be shared with the contributing organisations leading to the delivery of better care pathways for patients in East London and more effective commissioning decisions.

Aridhia will also provide support through the deployment of AnalytiXagility, its cloud-based collaborative data science platform and safe haven. Scalable and secure, it is pre-loaded with the latest analytical tools and technologies to enable analysis of complex datasets in multi-disciplinary teams.

The challenge will link data from almost 200 NHS organisations, including GPs and hospitals, covering a third of London. The Aridhia data science team, consisting of eight highly experienced informatics experts, will work directly with analysts, clinicians, commissioners, and care providers, to undertake ‘hands on investigation’ of the data and identify previously unseen trends and stories.

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SEP Launches Infrastructure Fund

Monday, September 1st, 2014

£135 million raised to invest in UK energy projects
GLASGOW (UK), 1 September 2014 – Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) announces that it has raised £135 million for a new infrastructure fund to invest in UK-based clean energy projects.
The Environmental Capital Fund (ECF) has been backed by SSE plc, the FTSE 100 energy company, as well as a syndicate of financial investors led by Lexington Partners, the world’s largest independent manager of secondary private equity and co-investment funds.
The fund has been anchored with the acquisition of an existing SSE infrastructure business (SSE Pipelines), which provides low pressure gas connections for residential and commercial customers across the UK.
SEP will use the balance of the fund to invest in a diversified portfolio of new, UK-based, clean energy infrastructure projects – such as hydro power, energy efficiency, heat pumps and district heating schemes.
The UK clean energy infrastructure market is growing rapidly, with a substantial requirement for new capital. Demand for capital is driven by the need to replace ageing traditional power assets, to increase the cost competitiveness of renewable power, and the requirement for increased security of energy supply.
ECF marks the first move into the infrastructure market for SEP, but complements the Environmental Energies Fund (EEF) launched in 2011, which acquired a portfolio of venture capital and private equity cleantech investments from SSE.
SEP has recruited a new team to manage the fund, headed by existing SEP partner Gary Le Sueur.

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PR Masterclass for Award Winning Startup

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

We were excited to welcome Dr James Prendergast into Hot Tin Roof this week for media training. Back in June, James won the first ever Edinburgh University post-doc Enterprise Award for his start-up, Dipodo.

Part of his prize was a one-to-one training with our Director – Sarah Lee – to help him learn the practical skills that will help him launch Dipodo and get to market.

A researcher in biomedicine and specifically, the study of genome and epigenome evolution and their relevance to disease, PR and marketing was uncharted territory for James.

Anyone working in biomedical research has to keep on top of new research published every month in a myriad of articles. James knows first hand the difficulty of trawling through life-science journals, trying to find relevant articles in a sea of irrelevance.

He told us that, currently, there are a whopping one million plus articles across 25,000 journals – so finding useful information is tremendously tricky, not to mention tedious!

Spying a gap in the market, James has developed Dipodo, a free online tool that allows users to create their own personalised research journal with tailored searches to suit their unique areas of interest.

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JCI Edinburgh to Host Referendum Debate for Young Professionals

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Wednesday 20 August 2014, 6.00pm – 9.00 pm

English Speaking Union Scotland, 23 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh, EH3 8HQ           
With less than five weeks to go until the referendum, JCI Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square Club is hosting a debate on Scottish Independence that specifically seeks to address the concerns of young people in business.

Featuring speakers from both sides of the campaign, the event aims to equip young professionals with the facts they need in order to make an informed decision on the 18th of September. The panel will feature a variety of young business professionals and will give attendees the chance to gain answers to their burning questions.

The event, which is completely free and is open to non-members, will provide a unique opportunity for attendees to gain clarity on the issues that particularly affect them.

The evening will be split in two, starting with a debate featuring members of JCI Edinburgh. The second part will centre around a panel discussion with the opportunity for questions from the floor, featuring journalist Ian Fraser, Iain McGill of Harmony Employment and Scottish debating champion Paul Stretton.

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Film season offers Scots the chance To See Oursels on screen

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Audiences across Scotland are invited to watch the director’s cut of Scottish history, culture and identity this summer as touring film season ‘To See Oursels’ hits the road.

Combining a range of classic Scottish films and rarely screened TV dramas, expert introductions and panel discussions, the season shines a spotlight on Scottish identity – from the heroic to the gritty – and on how Scotland has understood itself on screen over the last four decades.

To See Oursels will visit six venues across Scotland, spanning Inverness to Dumfries. Screenings kick off at Glasgow Film Theatre on Sunday 3 August with Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero, which will be introduced by the season’s curator, Dr Jonny Murray of Edinburgh College of Art.

Fans of the much beloved film will also be treated to Q&A sessions with the director. Taking place after the screenings in Dundee, Inverness and Edinburgh, Bill Forsyth will join the audience to explore the film’s comic subversion of a wide range of Scottish stereotypes.
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