Ex-Skyscanner chief to headline tech symposium at Edinburgh Napier University

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Edinburgh Napier University’s newly launched innovation hub is set to host a high-profile symposium to showcase the future of technology innovation in Scotland.

The hub has been set up to link the expertise and wide experience of the university’s academics and researchers with external business communities from a variety of sectors, with a view of establishing commercial collaboration to support business growth and development.

The symposium on January 12 will bring together industry and academic leaders focused on technology, including keynote guest speaker Mark Logan, the Scottish Government’s chief entrepreneur. He has been instrumental in the success of several start-ups, including as chief operating officer of Skyscanner, the Edinburgh-founded flight and travel search specialist.

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The event will be convened by professor Bill Buchanan, professor of applied cryptography at Napier University, who specialises in blockchain, cryptography, trust and digital identity. Buchanan said: “Scotland has produced two tech unicorns: Skyscanner and FanDuel. Where will the next one come from? Will it be a university spin-out or an innovative start-up?

“Over the past decade the university has spun-out a number of highly successful spin-outs, including Zonefox, which was acquired by Fortinet, Symphonic - acquired by Ping Identity - and Cyacomb, which has expanded rapidly in international markets. This symposium will not only showcase the latest tech innovation emerging from Edinburgh Napier, but also be a collaborative event with our industry partners who will share their knowledge and insights to inspire academics and researchers in the field of technology to engage in innovation and explore commercial collaboration,” he added.

In 2017, Buchanan was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to cybersecurity.

Presentations will include case studies of Edinburgh Napier success stories in the spin-out space, as well as information on funding pathways. In addition to Logan’s talk on “The Future of Innovation in Scotland”, other guest talks will spotlight cybersecurity and fintech innovation, with presentations also on funding opportunities and research journeys. Talks will feature guest speakers from Scottish Enterprise, Innovate UK, DSTL, Interface Online, EU Horizon 2020, TrueDeploy, Zonefox, Cyacomb and Napier’s innovation hub and Bright Red Triangle.

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