Edinburgh Napier’s strength in cybersecurity bolsters Scotland’s tech ecosystem

Economic Transformation in our Nation

Universities have a strong culture of delivery which aligns closely with the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation. We’ve curated a set of 19 stories to show how universities support people, businesses, industries and Scotland’s regions towards economic transformation.

A strong line in cyber skills and spin-outs

Lecturer and researcher Dr Pavlos Papadopoulos, is one of a line of innovators in cyber security looking to spin-out out of Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

Edinburgh Napier University has a track record of delivering pioneering research and translating this research into economically impactful spinouts which are creating high-value jobs and helping put Edinburgh and Scotland on the map as a leading cyber security research and development nation. Edinburgh Napier’s skills offering in cybersecurity includes fully certified National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) graduate apprenticeships, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The University was one of the first UK institutions to receive accreditation from the NCSC. Alongside Pavlos, many of Edinburgh Napier’s academics are also entrepreneurs, able to provide students and graduates with the skills needed to grasp the opportunities of continued digitalisation and supporting Scotland’s economic transformation.

Edinburgh Napier has strong form in this space with several other cyber security spin-outs including ZoneFox, Symphonic Software, Cyan Forensics (now Cyacomb) and MemCrypt already successfully making the leap from the research lab to market.

Three of Edinburgh Napier’s talented people and projects were recognised at the 2022 Scottish Cyber Awards.

Pavlos was recently named “outstanding young person” and shortlisted for Best New Cyber Talent at the awards. His venture, TrueDeploy, has secured High Growth Spin-out funding from Scottish Enterprise. The initiative aims to bring trust and transparency to the software supply chain and prevent the kind of cyber-attacks that has been seen recently, costing companies and countries billions of pounds. At present, many of these threats occur in the long chain between the code being written and distributed to a customer. The potential applications are vast and TrueDeploy would be entering into a multi-billion-pound industry.

Pavlos is working closely alongside the School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment’s Dr Nick Pitropakis and seasoned cyber security and cryptography innovator Professor Bill Buchanan. The technical team will be supported on the project by a core business team of Dr Jamie Graves (founder of Zonefox), Nanik Ramchandani of Imagine Ventures and Matthew Burdge, Business Development & Relationship Manager at Napier’s School of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

Alongside TrueDeploy, two other Edinburgh Napier initiatives were recognised in Scotland’s Cyber Awards.

Cyacomb is an Edinburgh Napier spin-out led by Ian Stevenson as CEO and founder, who won the award for internationalisation contribution for his work with digital forensic technology. It has been supported by the Home Office, raised funding from investors including Mercia and Triple Point and successfully completed a Series A investment round of led by Par Equity in March 2021. Cyacomb currently employs more than 40 people and has expanded fast into international markets.

A third project, GLASS, was recognised as a Leading Light Innovation. GLASS is an e-governance project focused on improving administrative efficiency and reducing bureaucratic processes by embracing digital technology.

Key Points:

National Strategy for Economic Transformation theme: New market opportunities and skilled workforce

Institution: Edinburgh Napier University

Location: Edinburgh

  • TrueDeploy is one of several cyber spinouts from Napier. It has secured High Growth Spin-out funding from Scottish Enterprise.
  • Napier was one of the first universities to be accredited by the National Cyber Security Centre.