Digital Fragments Research Reaches Last 10 of Converge Challenge


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The third spin-out from The Cyber Academy, which is hosted within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University - Cyan Forensics, has reached the Last 10 of the Converge Challenge. As a spin-out, they join the highly successful spin-outs of Zonefox and Symphonic Trust.

Converge Challenge is a premium and prestigious enterprise challenge, with a prize fund of over £150,000, and which looks at supporting great ideas for innovation.

Cyan Forensics has already shown significant impact and analyses small fragments of data in order to match them to their original content. The work is now progressing to spin-out, along with gaining new research funding, within collaborative projects with law enforcement.

Further information on the methods can be found here and here, and which has also resulted in the drafting of two patents. The work has also received awards for its innovation, and has the potential to completely change the methods used within digital investigations, such as in the detection and investigation of terrorism, and in serious crime investigations.

The work has previously involved a successful collaboration with Police Scotland, and has now advanced to full collaborations with major law enforcement agencies.

The university team has developed an international leadership over the past three years built on the research of Phil Penrose and where Bruce Ramsay provided the technical leadership and extensive digital forensics industry experience, and who had previously spent many years within Police Scotland as a forensics investigator.

If we add the technical genius of Dr Owen Lo, the university created a team which addresses some of the fundamental challenges of digital forensics - the massive scale-up of digital evidence and the fast detection of contraband.

From a business point-of-view, Ian Stevenson has developed the key strategies for the research and the road map for the research work to achieve its full potential. He continues to lead on the business development of the company, and works closely with the research team.

The team's core vision is to massively speed up the detection of contraband material, and support new methods in the sharing of digital fragment signatures.

More details of the spin-out will follow soon.

The Cyber Academy works at an international level, and collaborates with a wide range of companies on innovation and research. So, if you have any great ideas, just contact Lynn Crawford (, who is keen to support innovative SMEs, and establish partnerships with key stakeholders.

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Associated people

William Buchanan
Director of CDCS
+44 131 455 2759
Owen Lo
Research Fellow
+44 131 455
Philip Penrose
Research student
+44 131 455
Aileen Wood
Innovation Manager / Project Manager
+44 131 455 6283
Lynn Crawford
Project Manager (Cyber Academy)
+44 131 455 2635
Richard Macfarlane
+44 131 455 2335
Bruce Ramsay
Senior Research Fellow
+44 131 455 2746
Electronic information now plays a vital role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. So the need for a secure and trustworthy online infrastructure is more important than ever. without it, not only the growth of the internet but our personal interactions and the economy itself could be at risk.