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Rapid Response is an Edinburgh Innovations initiative funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account providing fast-track support to help businesses and other organisations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rapid Response: Explore is a series of webinars which has been created to provide a platform for organisations to hear from leading researchers at the University of Edinburgh. The series will see multi-disciplinary academics share their expertise, discuss the latest advances and present cutting-edge innovations relevant to your organisation.

Edinburgh start-up PicoJar has completed a $185,000 (£146,000) pre-seed funding round led by Techstart Ventures and backed by Skyscanner founder Gareth Williams.

The business, which was founded by former Amazon and Skyscanner software engineer Siwei Kang, is behind an app which allows users to manage and annotate mobile phone screenshots.

Read the story of innovation

Alexander Dennis (ADL) chief executive Colin Robertson is to join the board of parent company NFI as vice chair and hand over leadership of the Falkirk-based business to Paul Davies.

Robertson had agreed to stay on as CEO until May to guide the transition after Canadian group NFI bought ADL last May for £320 million but is to stay in the job until 30 September after a handover period.

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Abertay University has received funding from the Scottish Funding Council to produce the courses in response to an identified skills shortage. The result is a newly-created suite of short, credit-bearing courses which are a springboard for people looking to market their businesses in an increasingly digital environment, post pandemic. They are also an excellent option for those looking to upskill ahead of a return to work. The first course starts 23 June. More information is available at abertay.ac.uk/shortcourses

McDonald Water Storage - is celebrating its 75th anniversary this month.
Having transformed from its beginnings in the world of engineering, it became known worldwide for its plumbing systems.
When World War Two broke out, the firm moved into the production of aircraft wings and it was to be as the war ended, they turned their attention to manufacturing copper hot water cylinders, for which there was a large demand with the rebuilding after the war. This developed into complete plumbing systems exported all over the world, including Australia, Brazil and the Middle East.

Forth Ports' Ashley Nicholson has been appointed president of the UK Harbour Masters Association (UKHMA).
Grangemouth-based Nicholson is the UK's youngest senior harbour certificated harbour master and the first female to be appointed to lead the UKHMA.

Manufacturing Automation UK
Over the years, there has been much debate with regard to automation and the impact it has on employment in the UK manufacturing industry. Much of this has been brought about by the promotion of Industry 4.0. In reality, it has been with us for years. Automation will take manufacturing jobs, but new types of jobs are evolving through automation, in just the same way that industries such as farming evolved to increase production through automation by using tractors, automated milking etc.

Accredited Living Wage employer, Mage Control Systems have been telling us how they have prioritised their staff’s mental health during the coronavirus crisis #InThisTogether

Just before lockdown Janet Menzies the owner and operations director of Mage Control Systems, attended the Scottish Mental Health First Aid Course. The course provides an understanding of a range of mental health issues and how people are affected by them. With most staff working from home and some on furlough, Janet realised that their mental health could be affected, especially if they were living alone.

Cyber Security: Time to Change

In a period of accelerated change where security experts predict a 40% increase in cyber-attacks, there has never been a greater need to protect your business and develop your cyber security capability.

A centre focused on carbon innovation is seeking entrepreneurs to join a programme that aims to get low carbon start-ups investment ready.

The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) is recruiting for its EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator and ClimateLaunchpad programmes. The Accelerator programme gives low carbon start-ups the funding, tools and coaching they need to grow into great businesses. The deadline for submissions is Friday 29 May 2020.

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