A north-east Scotland business development body is investing £4million in the regions’s digital growth.
Opportunity North East (One) is spending the cash over four years on a new digital solutions arm.
One Digital will become the organisation’s fifth sector board and focus on building digital capability and capacity in the region, including supporting company creation.
A board will be formed in the coming weeks under the initial chairmanship of Sir Ian Wood.
The energy sector doyen said: “We currently have parts of a digital cluster in the region, but there’s a huge market here with industries with significant scope for digital solutions.
“The oil and gas industry, particularly operators, is making major investments over the next few years in automation, artificial intelligence and robotics, with the supply chain doing likewise.
“Food, drink and agriculture are also very active in achieving digital efficiencies, as is tourism.”
Sir Ian said a stronger digital cluster would become a physical hub to help nurture and grow technology companies focused on encouraging entrepreneurship in the sector, while also providing early stage seed funding opportunities.
in addition, it is hoped the board will be able to hold community events to foster entrepreneurship and maximise the contribution from Aberdeen’s universities.
“Access to skilled people, with coding and digital business skills, supported by a network of digitally savvy mentors and professional advisers is also vitally important,” Sir Ian said.
He added: “We already have a small number of high potential digital companies and the aim over five years is to
get 10 to 20 companies with highly differentiated products and systems, with sales above £20million and with international aspirations.
“There’s also a significant number of companies in our region now seeking to build digital efficiency into their business.
“One Digital aims to improve the availability of high-quality companies to identify digital solutions and applications to enhance the competitiveness of these businesses.
“One Digital will apply expertise, influence and funding, and work with partners to build strong digital capabilities, which will be a transformational factor in delivering the shared goal of
a long-term economic renaissance for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.”