Senior appointments see Scottish Internet of Things accelerator create 'powerhouse team'

An initiative aimed at producing Scottish Internet of Things (IoT) companies capable of competing on a global level has marked its first anniversary by making a string of high-level appointments.

Former Scottish Enterprise managing director and interim chief executive Linda Hanna is now in place as head of partnerships for the Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC).

Meanwhile, Meta vice-president for supply chain Sean Murphy joins a STAC advisory board that includes recently appointed Volvo Cars boss Jim Rowan.

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Paul Wilson, chief executive of STAC, said: “We want to be in tune with the Scottish Government’s economic and social priorities, through fulfilling the technology requirements via Scottish innovation and entrepreneurship. There are very clear challenges around energy, climate, sustainability, health and social care, and IoT plays well into these sectors.

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“Linda’s experience and network will help us to better engage with the Scottish Government, enterprise agencies, higher education and big business, and support our push to match Scottish innovation with the greatest societal issues we face.”

He added: “With people like Sean and Jim in place on our advisory board, we can count on combined experience gained from leadership roles at global brands like Blackberry, Facebook and Meta, and Volvo Cars. We think this speaks volumes in terms of the powerhouse team we are building at STAC.”

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Murphy said: “I am excited to join the team at STAC to harness the very evident talent in Scotland. I am fortunate to enjoy an international career, and it’s clear that Scotland is producing talent working at senior executive level in many top tier tech original equipment manufacturers.

“Through STAC, we will develop talent into brands and see them compete internationally. In my view, the mission is bold, but also very realistic.”

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Paul Winstanley, Gregor Aikman, Jamie Hepburn MSP, Paul Wilson and Linda Hanna at STAC in Glasgow. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Headquartered at Skypark in Glasgow, the accelerator now has a company cohort of 24, and in July announced a strategic partnership with Scottish Enterprise that delivers continuing financial support to the centre.

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STAC is an industry-government partnership aimed at producing Scottish IoT companies capable of scaling and competing on a global level, with a three-year target to create more than 25 such businesses supporting around 750 jobs, reporting revenue in the region of £750 million, and cohort companies raising investment in excess of £100m.

The accelerator is supported by Scottish Enterprise, Censis (Scotland’s Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and IoT technologies) and Glasgow-headquartered product design firm Filament. STAC’s local partners in Scotland include Anderson Anderson & Brown (AAB), Burness Paull, Scintilla, Arceptive, Soben, Integrated Graphene, Jordan Talent Solutions and Pivot International.

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The venture’s international partners are: San Francisco-headquartered customer engagement platform Twilio; design, global manufacturing, supply chain and aftermarket services specialist Plexus Corp; Intel Corporation, the chip manufacturer which is enabling a more intelligent Internet of Things (IoT); Keysight, a global test and measurement company for IoT devices; and Fortune 500, Colorado-headquartered electronics group Arrow Electronics.

STAC recently secured a partnership with the University of Glasgow, Vrije University Amsterdam and the Corvinus University of Budapest, aimed at driving entrepreneurial and innovation activity. The tie-up is part of the European Union-funded EIT HEI Initiative.

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