Fife Fintech Academy to expand after successful pilot

The pilot of a new initiative to address potential skills gaps in Scotland’s fintech community has been hailed a success.

A trial course, run jointly by Dunfermline payment specialist Renovite Technologies and Fife College, took place last month.

 

Around 15 participants with varying levels of experience, from trainees through to seasoned software developers, took part in the course designed to provide a solid foundation in retail card payments which could then be applied diectly to a work environment.

 

The course was the first to be run since Scotland’s first Fintech Academy was launched in Fife last September.  The Academy,  which is supported by a consortium of fintech companies, including Renovite and Dunfermline-base software firm Ingenico, Fife Council, Fife College and FinTech Scotland, aims to provide a steady flow of highly qualified applications for specialist fintech roles in the region to avoid a skills gap developing.

 

Jim Tomaney, Chief Operating Officer at Renovite Technologies said:

 

“It’s fantastic to see the fintech and education community coming together to promote STEM skills development and pre-empt the potential for a skills gap emerging.  I hope organisations and individuals with an interest in working in the sector continue to support and take part in the initiative and help build on its success.”

 

Following the success of the pilot course, a programme of further courses will now be rolled out – contact Fife College for more information.

Fife payment business to showcase wares on international trade mission

Payment specialist Renovite Technologies has been selected to showcase its payments technology to Swiss and Austrian financial firms.

 

The Dunfermline business has been selected by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and Scottish Development International (SDI) to take part in a fintech trade mission to Vienna and Zurich later this month.

 

Taking place from January 23-24, the mission aims to stimulate business between the UK delegation and financial institutions in Switzerland and Austria.  Renovite and a select group of other Fintech companies will be meeting with banks, venture capitalists and other organisations with an interest in fintech and innovation.

 

Previous fintech missions to Switzerland led by the DIT have subsequently generated £45 million in business deals.

 

Jim Tomaney, chief operating officer at Renovite Technologies said:

 

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a delegate for the mission and look forward to showcasing how our work is enabling positive change using state-of-the-art cloud technology.

 

“It’s really a very positive sign that major financial organisations are now rising to the challenges and demands of an increasingly complex payments environment by looking to businesses that can offer the kind of agility and innovation they can’t source from traditional suppliers.”

 

Renovite Technologies, which also has offices in California and New Delhi, established its European headquarters in Dunfermline in 2017.  The UK team has grown from four to 20 since then and plans to add another ten employees – including six trainees – by the end of 2019.

 

Click for more information about the trade mission.

 

 

 

Briggs Marine Turnover up by 17%

Briggs Marine and Environmental Services is reporting a 17% increase in turnover.

 

The Burntisland-based company, which supplies a range of services throughout the marine industry, has just published its new accounts for the year ending March 2018 at Companies House, showing an annual turnover of £58 million, 17% more than the previous year.

 

Collieson Briggs, Managing Director of the Briggs Group, said: “The marketplace remains challenging, but the company has delivered a profitable performance in the year to March 2018, and in the short to medium term, I expect the company to continue delivering improved operational performance in the year 2018/19.  It is great to see that across the whole group, we continue to be successful in winning new contracts, as this further develops our presence and reputation in the marine services industry.”

 

Click to read the whole story.

 

 

University of St Andrews strikes new European deal

The University of St Andrews has signed a partnership agreement with one of Europe’s leading universities.

 

The University is to expand its existing cooperation with the University of Bonn under an agreement that provides for new and far-reaching collaborations in research, study and administration.

 

The two universities have agreed to provide increased exchange opportunities for students, academic staff and professional and administrative staff.

 

Staff and students from St Andrews will be given the opportunity to research, teach and study at Bonn, and vice-versa.  The agreement also provides for the establishment of joint study and research programmes and work shadowing offers for administrative staff.  Both universities also intend to develop joint research and teaching activities.

 

University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Mapstone, said: “We are delighted to have signed a wide-ranging Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Bonn, which sets out our commitment to deepening our partnership in the years to come and, very importantly, will see a continual exchange of people and ideas between our two institutions, and between Scotland and Europe.”

 

Click to read the full story.

Fife businesses gear up for Southern Manufacturing

Manufacturing businesses from across Fife are preparing to attend the Southern Manufacturing and Electronics show, at Farnborough International in February.

 

The UK’s largest regional manufacturing technology, electronics and subcontracting exhibition has proved fruitful in recent years for Fife-based businesses, winning contracts and making new contacts.

 

Southern Manufacturing will celebrate its 21st show in 2019, where around 800 exhibitors and thousands of visitors are expected to attend the three-day event (5–7 February 2019).

 

Attending from Fife will be Contract Solutions Precision Engineering, AGS Electronics, Fife Fabrications, Reel Service and Eurospray. I4 Product Design will also take part in the visit as a means of supporting collaboration and supply chain links with Fife businesses.

 

This is Eurospray’s first time attending Southern Manufacturing. The Glenrothes-based business, Scotland’s largest sub-contract paint finishing facility, intends to use this exhibition as a platform for showcasing its leading-edge finishes to new contacts.

 

Jim Fairnie, Managing Director of Eurospray, said:

“This is our first time attending Southern Manufacturing, but we’re doing so to   showcase our paint finishing expertise to a wide range of sectors and industries.

“We anticipate that the event  will be an effective means of business development, as we will have the opportunity to network, meet new businesses, which in turn we hope will lead to new sales opportunities.”

 

Fife Council Economic Development Team’s Trade Development Programme is supporting these local businesses to visit Southern Manufacturing.

 

Pamela Stevenson, Lead Officer, Enterprise and Business Development, Fife Council, said:

“Year-on-year, Fife businesses have reported success at Southern Manufacturing. The exhibition has offered the opportunity to network with colleagues in the industry, meet potential new customers and secure new contracts.

“With manufacturing evolving all the time, this exhibition is key, as it brings together the latest developments in industrial technology and engineering services, as well offering insight into some of Europe’s top engineering specialists.”

(Photo from Southern Manufacturing 2018)

 

For more information about Southern Manufacturing, please email: dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk

 

Workplace Innovation Fund

The Workplace Innovation Fund – developed by Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway – can contribute up to £5,000 towards activities that will allow your business to introduce new and innovative workplace practices. The Fund will support projects centred on at least 2 out of the 3 following themes:

 

People – Your employees will individually and collectively have a range of ideas to make the business better. It is important to listen to their ideas and motivate beyond pay such as recognising the benefits of diversity, reward and supporting learning & development.

 

Place – Through better use of your workplace you can develop a culture of fresh thinking and a place where creativity can thrive. This isn’t just about moving desks or introducing new equipment. Reviewing your organisational structure can identify areas where employees are empowered to make decisions, remove silos, and increase cross-team working.

 

Practice – By actively involving your people in the design of your business developments you are more likely to find new and more efficient ways of working; making full use of their skills and experience to the greatest effect. Employees who feel empowered are more likely to drive change and work in a more collaborative style.

 

What it can be used for

Bespoke projects around the theme of Workplace Innovation. You may wish to look at issues such as developing the culture of your organisation, introducing new values or altering the existing values & vision of your company, how technology can be used to bring staff together to share knowledge, and identifying future leaders & succession planning.

They are not able to fund…

  • Purchase of ICT hardware, software, licences; or
  • Physical resources such as office furniture.

 

Eligibility

Companies have an ambition to increase turnover by £200,000 over a 3-year period. Companies must also be able to fund any projects upfront before claiming costs.

 

How to apply?

For further information and to apply please fill out a pre-qualification form on the Scottish Enteprise website. If you meet the above eligibility and would like to discuss your project, please contact Alison Hemsi. 

Good luck to finalists in the Fife Business Diversity Awards 2018

The Fife Business Diversity Awards 2018 will recognise the success of businesses, organisations and individuals who excel in promoting the employment of people who face disadvantages in the labour market.

 

Hosted by the Opportunities Fife Partnership, the annual event will take place on Friday 7 December at the Bay Hotel, Kinghorn.

 

People may experience disadvantage in finding and keep a job due to person issues, disability or health conditions, as well as lack of work experience, skills or qualifications.

 

These awards specifically acknowledge determination, resourcefulness and originality in creating equal opportunities for all in the work place.

 

Fife Provost and Councillor Jim Leishman, said, “I believe every one of us has a talent. Some of us discover it early in life, and many of us need support to find it. But I’ve learned that it’s not just about find your talent and skills, it’s about taking the opportunities that life presents us and facing the challenges of everyday living to put these talents and skills to use. It’s about being determined and facing adversity and not giving up on the dreams and goals we want to achieve.”

 

Lucinda McAllister, Service Manager for Employability and Supported Employment Service at Fife Council, added “I wish to thank our nominees for allowing us to learn about your journey, sharing a journey that was personal and inspiring – well done to you, you truly deserve the recognition you have received.”

 

FSB Small Business Awards 2019 Open for Entries

The Federation of Small Business’ annual Celebrating Small Businesses Awards are the leading celebration of small businesses, shining a light on some of the best, most innovative and most determined small businesses.

 

Open to all small businesses and self-employed  – whether current members of the FSB or not – the awards are free to enter.

 

Winning an FSB Celebrating Small Business Award is a great was to showcase your business achievements and celebrate business success and innovation.

 

 

Entries to the Scottish awards are open until 11 January 2019 – click for more information and to submit your entry.

Fife Council welcomes Tay Cities Deal investment

Last week, Council leaders formally signed the historic £700 million Tay Cities Deal which will finance more than 20 projects across Tayside creating over 6,000 jobs across the region.

 

Under the deal, £37 million of investment will be injected into local tourism and culture as well as some £25 million to be invested in the University of St Andrew’s Eden Campus.

 

The Tay Cities Deal commits both the Scottish and UK governments to work with partners across Tayside and Fife to deliver a deal that creates a smarter, fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.

 

Representatives from the Scottish and UK governments joined leaders of the council, businesses and academia at Perth & Kinross Council HQ to sign the Heads of Terms last week.

 

Co-Leader of Fife Council, David Ross said, “This signing of the Deal is a significant milestone for North East Fife. This investment will enable all City Deal partners to deliver real and lasting economic benefit to the region, making it an even more attractive and inclusive place to live, work, visit and do business. The investment brings a range of opportunities across the whole region and the next steps include developing in-depth business cases for the funded programmes of work.”

 

Councillor Karen Marjoram of Fife Council said, “I am pleased that the Heads of Terms have been agreed by both the UK and Scottish governments, and the councils involved. This is an exciting step forward for the Tay Cities Deal. Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements to benefit everyone. There are many benefits to Fife of the Regional Skills Programme, Regional Culture and Tourism programme.

 

“This will be of real benefit to Fife. It supports our efforts to tackle inequality, develop a Fairer Fife where everyone benefits, and will support economic growth. As well as creating new opportunities for people currently without jobs to get into employment, it will also help those who are in work to progress. This will happen in a variety of ways and improve the lives of people across the whole area.”

 

Councillor Tim Brett added, “The Eden Campus development will create around 500 new jobs and enhance the reputation of the region as a leader in innovation, sustainable development and biotechnology. In partnership with the University of St Andrews, investment will see this former paper mill at its Guardbridge site redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub.

 

“The investment at the Eden Mill site in Guardbridge is great news and will hopefully lead to more employment opportunities as the site is developed. I also hope that the joint working with other three authorities will lead to closer working in the future, which will benefit us all.”

 

The key elements of the Tay Cities deal include:

 

Preparing for a Low carbon Future

  • Investment in the University of St Andrews’s Eden Campus, Guardbridge – a 32.5 acre industrial site – will include: up to £7 million to develop a primary substation power upgrade at the site, up to £13.5 million for the Scottish Centre for Clean Energy Storage and Conversion – building on strengths in carbon innovation – and up to £4 million for the Eden Enterprise Hub.
  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £2 million, alongside Fife Council, in Eden Enterprise to establish a commercially viable business incubator that caters for spin-out and start-up companies from the region’s universities.

 

Employability and Skills

  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £20 million to support delivery of the Tay Cities Skills and Employability Development Programme to deliver Fair Work. This will reduce skills shortages and gaps as well as support re-skilling into new career opportunities.
  • New job opportunities for the people of Dundee, Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus through research and innovation – from research and academic posts, to new start-up companies, expansion of existing companies and migration of companies to the region.

 

Developing a World Class Tourism Offer

  • The Scottish Government will invest £37 million, subject to approval of a programme business case, to support a regional culture and tourism investment programme. This aims to build on current tourism offerings at St Andrews, Gleneagles and V&A Dundee.

 

Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing

  • £10 million of investment from the Scottish Government in high value manufacturing. This includes £2 million to establish the Tay Cities Engineering Partnership, the first regional engineering and advanced manufacturing network in Scotland.

 

Building a World Class Renewable Energy and Decommissioning Industry

  • To maximise the significant potential economic benefits of offshore decommissioning to the Tay Cities region, the Scottish Government is committed to working with Dundeecom and the regional economic development partners to maximise opportunities to build supply chain capabilities and new technologies.
  • The Scottish and UK governments will consider how best to support additional port infrastructure investment in Methil where this contributes to, and creates additional value, in the renewable energy sector.

 

Transport

  • The regional transport model will help inform masterplanning across the region. Together with the regional transport partnership, TACTRAN, has commissioned a Tay Cities Regional Transport Model to help inform understanding of problems and opportunities and appraisal of potential strategic transport interventions.

 

An Empowered Tay – A New Regional Partnership

  • The Deal promises a “new approach to economic development, strategic planning and transport planning underpinned by a new approach to city regional governance”.

Decommissioning specialist plans a new Fife facility

Decommissioning specialist, CessCon Decom Ltd, has set its sights on setting up a scrapping facility at the Energy Park Fife in Methil.

 

The company, which is a new Scottish-based division of the Norwegian firm, CessCon Decom AS, has signed heads of terms with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council.

 

The company said it was “fitting” for the numerous oil rigs that were built in the Methil yard to be returned for decommissioning.

 

Cesscon Decom Ltd said it is ready to make a “multi-million pound” investment to create an area fit for dismantling with water collection and treatment facilities.

 

The development could see the return of much needed jobs for the area following redundancies at the BiFab yards in Methil and Burntisland.

 

CessCon Decom Ltd CEO, Lee Hanlon said, “We have been working extensively with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council to secure the site at the Energy Park Fife.

 

“The aim is to develop an east coast facility in Scotland to complement our existing European facilities, adding to the expansion of our decommissioning services in the UK, Europe and Asia.

 

“The Energy Park Fife facility is advantageously located to accommodate the substantial North Sea decommissioning market and it is very fitting that assets that were constructed and commissioned at the Energy Park some 20 or 30 years ago, might return to be decommissioned and recycled, creating a true circular economy, and bringing employment opportunities to the Fife area.”

 

Read the full story here.