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Geospatial and AI Strategy – This month in Data

It’s the holidays! I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off at the end of July and just hoping the weather will improve, as I’m not getting further than Scotland this year. 

The Geospatial “space” has been active lately. Hard on the heels of the publication of the Geospatial strategy, KTN and Ordnance Survey have published The Power of Place and I went along to the launch event. OS have also launched the benchmark initiative which aims to promote good ethical practice in the use of location data; raising and defining this is important given the privacy issues that come about with geospatial data and the importance of maintaining public trust.

I was hugely excited to hear that the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) programme has been awarded £22.5 million from UKRI’s Strength in Places fund. The set-up of GOFCoE is part of the Data Driven Innovation Programme at the University of Edinburgh and is a collaboration between various stakeholders including Fintech Scotland and FData. It will be built around Open Banking data, but it’s potential use goes far beyond the world of finance. I hope to work with GOFCoE to help develop different commercial engagement models to maximise the economic and commercial possibilities. Definitely one to watch.

Work has been continuing on the AI Strategy for Scotland. I am on the working group for the “development of AI-enabled products and services”. After quite a lot of high level discussion, it was good to be discussing much more tangible measures and interventions to help support the growth of this important area. It’s still very much a work in progress, but moving in the right direction.


There are many more opportunities listed on our website; I’ve highlighted those that may be more relevant for the data cluster. I also wanted to address the fact that Scottish Enterprise has a team dedicated to helping Scottish companies in their applications for innovation funding. So if you’ve seen a challenge you want to apply for but are struggling with any aspect of the form, or just want to get an experienced pair of eyes to review, contact them on

  • ISCF Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge is a two stage funding programme for projects intended to improve efficiency, resilience and sustainability of the supply chain in manufacturing. There are information events during July focussing on different sectors, including food and drink and pharma. If you could be interested, but need a partner in the manufacturing sector, get in touch.
  • DASA Behavioural Analytics – this call is looking for solutions to help predict behaviours.
  • This European funding call is specifically looking for IT or Health SMEs and start-ups to work on projects using emerging technologies to improve patient-centred diagnostics and tackle a range of COVID-19 challenges.
  • The European Space Agency has a couple of interesting, fully funded opportunities starting soon:
    • The first is titled the “Path to post-COVID Recovery” and offers support and funding to companies using space technology to aid recovery across a broad range of sectors

Also – CivTech 5.0 is launching, but be quick as it’s not out for long!


The University of Highlands and Islands have just launched a new part-time MSc in Data Science – see For UHI, online study is pretty much built in as standard, so geography is no limitation to studying there. The course can be studied in either a structured format or flexibly over a longer time period, and some scholarship funding is available. 

Upcoming Events

Webinar on 14th July: ScotlandIS are partnering with the Scotland 5G Centre to showcase areas where 5G is already bringing benefits to remote healthcare provision, and to outline opportunities for the future. For more details and to book:

If we’ve not met and you want to know more about the data cluster or get involved, let me know and a virtual coffee can be arranged! Get in touch at

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