University partnership triumphs at Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards

School of Computing and Payfont scoop Innovation of the Year prize

Date posted

26 February 2016


Last updated

16 July 2019

A link-up between Edinburgh Napier and a Scottish cybersecurity start-up to create a world-first in online security has been named Innovation of the Year at the inaugural Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards.

University academics Dr Lu Fan, Prof Bill Buchanan and Dr Owen Lo, supported by Dr Aileen Wood, worked with Payfont to create a 100 per cent secure cloud-based architecture which is already receiving international attention.

The technology, which is patent pending, fragments business and personal data, rendering it meaningless to outsiders. It uses advanced cryptography in order to create a cloud-based infrastructure which is both 100 per cent secure and which is robust against large-scale data outages/corruption.

Edinburgh Napier and Payfont pick of Innovation of the Year awardThe judges noted the significant market opportunities and potential for this type of cyber security software, highlighting the innovative approach of the product in a competitive, global market. They were also impressed by the amount of international interest in Payfont, in particular from financial services and healthcare markets, and that the company had created 14 jobs in a short space of time.

The Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards are the first awards to celebrate all projects and partnerships that are created by all Scottish higher education and research institutions.

Margaret Burgess MSP, Minister for Housing and Welfare, presented the awards on the night.

She said: “I would like to congratulate all the participants and winners who have been recognised for their innovative work at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards. This award ceremony recognises the successes of recent business and academic collaborations and acknowledges the ingenuity, industry and creativity that is vital to the success of knowledge transfer activities. These projects are crucial for sustainable economic growth, and essential for improving productivity, competitiveness and growth in Scotland.”

Interface, which organised the awards, is a central contact connecting businesses from all sectors to Scotland’s 23 higher education and research institutes. It is a unique service designed to address the growing demand from organisations wanting to engage with academia.

Director of Interface Siobhán Jordan said: "We are thrilled at the success of the first Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards - from the high number and calibre of entries to the diversity of innovative projects. The awards are proof that partnerships between business and organisations and academics right across Scotland are flourishing."

The photograph above shows, left to right, Prof Bill Buchanan, Payfont’s Ian Paterson Brown, Minister for Housing and Welfare Margaret Burgess MSP and Jamie Hunter of Payfont.