Professor Bill Buchanan and Lynn Crawford from The Cyber Academy were delighted to provide hospitality to Interface for the business-academic round table during a recent visit by Julia Page, Chief Executive Officer of veski [Australia] to Edinburgh Napier University. Here Lynn, the Academy's Project Manager, gives her perspective on her colleague Bill, who is a leading light in business-academic collaborations.

Having the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences relating to the development of small businesses in Scotland is just one of the many benefits of living in Edinburgh and working in such a fantastic collaborative community.

Professor Bill Buchanan is a great advocate of Interface and Scottish Funding Council initiatives, having supported no less than 139 companies with SFC Innovation Vouchers, many of which have since progressed to established successful businesses. Payfont and CM2000 are exemplars of his collaborative work and two of the directors from other businesses accompanied Bill on the day Julia Page of veski visited - John MacPherson, of Bright Red Publishing, who developed a unique on-line Digital Zone to support students and teachers in Scotland, and Jamie Graves, of ZoneFox, who provide intelligent solutions to cyber threats. Their experiences of business-academic collaboration was invaluable to Julia Page as she seeks to establish Australia's answer to Interface.

Reported in FutureScot as one of the ‘Top 50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World’ and having one of the most extensive academic sites in the world, it is little wonder that Bill is involved in such a variety of innovative projects in areas such as cloud security, web-based infrastructures, e-Crime, cryptography, triage, intrusion detection systems, digital forensics, mobile computing, agent-based systems, and security risk.

Not only is he a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the BCS and the IET, he is also leading The Cyber Academy, which launched a year ago supported by Edinburgh Napier University. I joined his team earlier this year having worked previously in Edinburgh Napier University’s Commercial Services Team and also at Interface, and so have seen both sides of collaborating. I hope that my skillset  is bringing a wealth of skills and experience to the Cyber Academy helping to forge strong links with law enforcement, industry and academia across the world.

With Professor Bill Buchanan behind the wheel, the Cybskiller Academy is leading the way in cyber security training, having developed an Advanced Virtual Security Operations Center (VSOC), designed to simulate industry standards thus providing a unique and safe environment in which staff can learn about preventing, detecting and diffusing security threats. We have seen so much activity around Scotland. We are fortunate to have such a strong ecosystem, nurturing and encouraging partnerships with key stakeholders, academia and industry.

In between collaborative projects and providing training, Bill presents at a number of summits such as VentureFest Scotland and various international conferences, some of which are held at Edinburgh Napier University. If you would like to see him in action and want to find out more about the Cyber Academy’s forthcoming events visit http://thecyberacademy.org/

28 July 2016