SciTech Europa attended the launch event of the EIT Digital Scottish Satellite in Edinburgh, which unites industry with academia in the FinTech sector.
We spoke to EIT Digital‘s Chief Education Officer, Roberto Prieto López, about how the new Scottish Satellite in Edinburgh will increase the collaboration between EIT Digital and the University of Edinburgh to enhance the partnerships between education institutions and businesses in Scotland.
What is the reason for EIT Digital’s focus on the FinTech sector in Scotland specifically?
EIT Digital’s mission is to drive the digital transformation of Europe. We have three main pillars for this, which focus on ecosystem development, innovation activities, and education respectively. One of our focus areas is FinTech. FinTech in particular motivates us because we see a lot of activity in this sector, specifically in Edinburgh, Scotland. Our interest is forming connections; connecting talent to companies, and fostering the development and transformation of those companies. In the education focus of EIT Digital, we already have programmes based on FinTech. In addition to this, we are launching our doctoral education program working with industries and universities.
How will the Scottish satellite office enhance Scotland’s national capabilities in the FinTech sector?
We have nodes in different locations all around Europe, one of which is in London. We are now launching the Scottish satellite project today, because having a base close to the area will create more possibilities for our participation in creating these connections and increase the collaboration in FinTech.
How does the Scottish satellite align with the Digital Master School courses, which are run in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh? How do they help to encourage digital innovation within the finance industry?
We have four different schools, a master school, an industrial doctoral school, a professional school, and a summer school. There are possibilities in all of them for collaborating with the government. We are creating two new courses this year, one in digital factories and one in FinTech. For both there is interest from the University of Edinburgh in participating.
What are the goals for the future, with the introduction of the new Industrial Doctorship Program for Scotland?
There has been increased interest from universities and industry in participating. We are working on two different programs. One is in cyber security and one is focused on FinTech. The ideas is to connect industry, student talent, and universities. We add value to the sector by providing business development education to the students participating in our programs. The Industrial Doctorship Program is more specifically oriented to brand leadership. It also allows us to add mobility for the brand and the students, because we have an excellent ecosystem of nodes across Europe, where students are encouraged to work for a period of time during their PhD.