SICSA and EIT Digital Boost Scottish European Student Exchange Programme

    

SICSA and EIT Digital partner to deliver Scottish Funding Council Saltire Scheme

Scotland & Brussels, March 2nd, 2022:

The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) have partnered with EIT Digital to deliver on a £75k SFC investment in renewing and strengthening Scottish – European research collaborations.

The “Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme” is part of a £6.75m Programme funded by the Scottish Government to support international and EU activity and collaboration including boosting support for international research collaboration and talent attraction, increase scholarship offering to include EU students and support the effective use of alumni globally.

SICSA, in partnership with EIT Digital, has been awarded funding within the Saltire Scheme to reinforce and build new research partnerships while developing individual researchers’ networks with European partners across the Computer Science discipline. The scheme will fully fund incoming and outgoing exchanges of up to six months to both enhance the training experience for PhD Students and support Early Career Researchers in developing their networks and collaborations across Scotland and Europe.  The partnership leverages the reach of EIT Digital’s extensive network across Europe in research intensive institutions and SICSA’s strong network of partnerships across Scottish Computing Science.

Professor Stuart Anderson, Director of SICSA said “Informatics and Computer Science researchers in SICSA do have strong and vibrant links with researchers across Europe.  However, BREXIT has had a severe cooling effect on funding channels because of complex and protracted negotiations on funding.  The Saltire awards give our PhD students and Early Career Researchers an immediate boost in reinforcing existing and building new collaborations.  These will form the foundations of new long-term collaborative research across the EU.”

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Higher and Further Education said: “I am delighted to see funding under the Saltire Emerging Research Scheme has enabled this partnership between SICSA and EIT Digital. This partnership has increased the reach and opportunities for exchange and collaboration for both Scottish and European researchers, to help them deliver a better digital future.”

Morgan Gillis, EIT Digital’s UK director, commented that: “EIT Digital is very pleased with the take-up of its programs in Scotland and delighted to be deeply involved in the international development of Scotland’s digital economy across a range of sectors. We much appreciate our close collaboration with Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council as strategic partners in making this success possible.”

Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said: “Forging strong international links is a crucial part of maintaining and enhancing Scotland’s world-class reputation for research and innovation. The Saltire Emerging Researcher Scheme is therefore an incredibly important investment in the future. The partnership between SICSA and EIT Digital demonstrates the energy and commitment that will make the scheme a success for everyone involved. I am sure all those taking part in the SICSA/EIT Digital exchanges will benefit considerably from the experience.”    

EIT Digital in Scotland is funded by our partners Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council. We are also supported by Highlands & Islands Enterprise, FinTech Scotland, Edinburgh Innovations and University of Edinburgh.

Press notes

EIT Digital’s Satellite Office, opened in Edinburgh in April 2019 by Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation Ivan McKee, has maintained strong progress within its remit to deliver impact to Scotland’s national digital economy with €6m of new investment to commercialise innovative new digital  products and the launch of three Scottish doctoral programs focussed on Fintech, Privacy and 5G/Future Wireless Communication – all domains of national strategic importance.

SICSA is a Research Pool, funded by the Scottish Funding Council and 14 partner Universities to promote collaboration in research, teaching and knowledge exchange across its partner Universities.  It is part of Research and Innovation Scotland that brings together all of the Scottish Research Pools and Innovation Centres to cooperate on multi-disciplinary challenges.

Contact details for:

EIT Digital: martin.beaton@eitdigital.eu
https://www.eitdigital.eu/

SICSA: Tiffany.Babey@glasgow.ac.uk
https://www.sicsa.ac.uk/

SICSA appoints new Director of Education

We are delighted to announce Dr Matthew Barr, University of Glasgow is joining us as the new Director of Education. Dr Barr (Matt) commenced in post this week taking over from Dr Mark Zarb, Robert Gordon University who stepped down following 2 years in the role.

Matt is well known to SICSA due to his active involvement within our Education Theme over the years and will join the Directorate with a great ongoing vision for the role. He has been involved with events focused on Graduate Apprenticeships and championing the urgency of gender balance in CS Education. Matt initiated and led the organisation of a SICSA supported workshop on Gender Imbalance in Computing Science Education in May 2020 which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Ada Scotland Festival.  He has also been involved in supporting his colleagues with other SICSA funded workshops over the years.

Matt has been teaching in Higher Education in some form since 2008, after leaving industry to work as a research systems developer at the University of Glasgow.  He has built an expansive network of contacts over the years with colleagues from Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Government/Scottish Funding Council as well as a range of industry partners.

When notified of his appointment to the role as SICSA Director of Education, Matt said “I am delighted to be able to serve as Director of Education for SICSA. It is my intention to use this opportunity to work on improving equality, diversity and inclusion in Computing Science education across Scotland’s universities. I also hope to be able to create mentorship opportunities for colleagues engaged in teaching CS, and help to share the excellent teaching practice that I know goes on across all of our institutions!”

Matt is succeeding in the role by Dr Mark Zarb who has been the SICSA Director of Education for the last two years.  The SICSA Directorate would like to extend a huge thank you to Mark for his amazing work with CS Education.  Amongst other areas of achievement within the role, Mark has created and strengthened the CS Education community, supported a vast range of education events, and initiated the Educations Champions who produced ongoing webinars on how to adapt to on-line teaching which were a great source of support to our SICSA colleagues throughout the pandemic.  Mark’s enthusiasm, positivity and zest for CS Education is admirable and we wish him well in his new role at RGU!

SICSA Conference 2020

We are delighted to announce that the SICSA Conference 2020 will take place, on-line on 1 October 2020 and will be under the theme SICSA and the Sustainable Society.

The conference this year will be co-located with ScotSoft, which is Scotland’s leading tech conference allowing our delegates to access elements of the event throughout the day.

For this year’s conference we have prepared a rich and varied schedule addressing the many challenges presented by the idea of a future Sustainable Society. We are delighted to have Dr Elizabeth F. Churchill (UX Director, Google) and Professor Sally A. Fincher (School of Computing Science, University of Kent) as our Keynote Speakers.

You will have the chance to hear about issues and challenges encountered in Computing Science Education, discussed at the Education Panel Session. Excellent exemplars of graduate research across SICSA will be presented from the shortlisted candidates for the SICSA PhD Award for Best Dissertation during at the PhD Lightning Talks session.

We have invited participation from our partner research pools across Scotland, allowing us to bring together a large community of people to discuss the Computing and interdisciplinary challenges ahead. The SICSA Research Themes will show case research that demonstrates cutting edge computing research and its potential to address the Sustainable Society Challenge.

We have inaugurated a new award for Best PhD Thesis in Scotland at the Conference this year and the winner will receive a prize of £2,000 generously sponsored by Amazon Development Scotland.

Given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic the Conference this year will be held online, allowing us to increase our audience and have invited speakers from far and wide. The Conference will be open to all members from across the SICSA institutions, industry partners and all SICSA key stakeholders

Visit the SICSA Conference 2020 website to find out more and register your interest to attend the event.

SICSA Funding Call Now Open

We are pleased to announce that the Scottish Funding Council has awarded us further funding to continue the Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) research pool until July 2021

We now have a new series of funding calls open with increased support across our research themes with the aim to extend and expand our links with other research pools (SUPA/SULSA/SINAPSE etc.) and with the Scottish Innovation Centres https://www.sicsa.ac.uk/funding/

To support students in SICSA, we have a new program of SICSA Research Scholars to undertake studies and/or research via Summer/Winter Schools attendance and/or research visits.

For staff, SICSA can support, Academic and Research Distinguished Visiting Fellows from Academia or Industry, Research Theme Event Sponsorship, Postdoctoral and Early Career Researcher Exchanges (PECE), our European Leaders Programme and Education Event Sponsorship.  Full information on the funding opportunities can be found at https://www.sicsa.ac.uk/funding/.

The next deadline is April 30th, and we welcome applications for Research Theme Events which connect between SICSA themes or connect SICSA to other research pools.

Submissions with commitments of matched funding from other research pools or innovation centres are strongly encouraged.  Some of these events might aim to explore grand challenges while other events might focus of emerging research.

SICSA Knowledge Exchange Update

by Alistair Lawson, SICSA KE Director
9 January 2018

Bliadhna Mhath Ùr! / Happy New Year!

KE Blog Pic 2It has been a busy few months since I took over the role of SICSA Knowledge Exchange Director at the end of April 2017. Planning for Demofest 2017 was already in hand at that stage, and thanks go to Steven Kendrick and Aileen Orr for their organisation and co-ordination of the event which was a great success at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, attracting 2 main sponsors (Toshiba Medical and The Data Lab); 10 event partners; 280 delegates (including a number of investors); 52 academic exhibitors; and two keynotes speakers (Gillian Docherty – CEO of The Data Lab and Shirley Anne Somerville MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science).  Plans are underway for DemoFest 2018, which will take place at Our Dynamic Earth is likely to be in November 2018.  We will be in touch when details are finalised.

One thing that we would like to do this year is to track the impact of DemoFest over a longer period of time. If you have any case studies of previous exhibitors who may have experienced longer term impact from attending the DemoFest event then please get in touch.

Another thing that we would like to do is reinvigorate some KE funding programmes which have not been available in recent years due to funding constraints. In previous years SICSA KE funding programmes included Early Career Industry Fellowships, Industrial Internships, and Distinguished Industrial Visitor Fellowships.  Over the next few months we will be exploring how we might leverage funding for future KE programmes.

Meanwhile, if there’s anything you would like us to consider in terms of SICSA support for Knowledge Exchange activity, then please get in touch with me via sicsa-ke-director@sicsa.ac.uk .

I look forward to meeting you at the various SICSA events over the coming year

SICSA DemoFest 2017

by Dr Jeremy Singer, SICSA Graduate Academy Director
16 October 2017

Blog Pic 2Hundreds of people attended the SICSA DemoFest at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, last week. The annual DemoFest event showcases over 50 innovative Computing Science research projects currently under development at Scotland’s universities

As I wandered round the large exhibition hall, I saw sonic levitating devices, virtual reality drum kits, emotional fonts, optical 5G data transmitters, and much more.  The range of research was impressive and inspiring.  I particularly appreciated the enthusiasm of the researchers as they demonstrated their technology and explained it in everyday language to the visitors

The highlight of the evening was a presentation about ‘The World in 2037’ by Gillian Docherty from The Data Lab. Her talk involved lots of entertaining and speculative future-gazing, but the take home message was clear – Scotland needs to maintain its global position at the forefront of digital innovation. A short speech by Shirley-Anne Somerville (Scottish Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science) affirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to support ongoing innovation in the tech sector.

Blog Pic 1So, I had a great night at SICSA DemoFest, soaking up tomorrow’s technology which is being designed today by world-leading researchers based in Scotland.