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Former Skyscanner COO will lead Scotland’s tech-led recovery programme

Following his independent review of the Scottish tech sector, Mark Logan will oversee a programme to establish the country as a world-class technology hub

Former Skyscanner chief operating officer (COO) Mark Logan has been appointed to lead Scotland’s technology-led post-Covid-19 recovery programme.

The programme, which aims to establish Scotland as a world-class technology hub, will be backed by £7m in funding in its first year and includes a £1m fund to make strategic investments in schemes such as tech conferences, meet-ups or training programme to create an environment in which Scottish startups can thrive.

The plans for the recovery programme comes after Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes announced a short-term review of the country’s tech sector in May 2020.

The review, which was led by former Skyscanner chief operating officer (COO) Mark Logan, was published in August 2020. It called for government to build out “a world-class backbone implementation of core capability”.

The programme will also oversee the procurement of a network of technology hubs across the country to scale up tech companies.

The creation of these tech scalers were recommended in Logan’s review, and aims to provide “long-term affordable, high-quality incubation space” and education in a range of areas, including Silicon Valley business models, internet-economy working practices, how to manage people and teams and basic operating hygiene.

By 2022, the government aims to have five of these hubs supporting around 300 high-quality startups over the next five years.

Announcing the appointment of Logan to lead this programme, finance secretary Kate Forbes said that Logan is “one of the most respected figures in Scotland’s tech scene, and his experience, passion and global profile will be invaluable in our joint mission to elevate Scotland’s tech ecosystem to world-class level”.

“The expertise and industry perspective of the advisory board will also be instrumental in ensuring we create the conditions and infrastructure needed to incubate a stream of startups that reach sustained profitability and can do so at scale,” she said.

“From attracting young people into computing science courses to supporting a community of high-growth businesses, this programme of work will be critical in determining the future contribution of Scotland’s tech sector to our economic recovery.”

Earlier in March 2021, the Scottish government published its digital strategy. The strategy aims to build an ethical digital nation where geography, background or ability is not a barrier to benefiting from digital technology, and well-being is safeguarded and enhanced through greater use of technology.

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