The NDA are proud sponsors of VIBES Scottish Environment Business Awards which are showcasing what Scottish businesses are doing to reach the Scottish Government’s ambitious target to become ‘Net Zero’ by 2045.

The prestigious multi-partner awards are calling on businesses to share their inspiring stories, encouraging others to reduce their impact on the environment while providing a just transition.

The 2023 awards feature three new categories: the Just Transition Scotland Award, the Vision in Business Scotland Award and the STV Green Fund Award, with a £30K campaign partnership with STV up for grabs. There are 12 award categories.

Entries are free and applications are open from 1st March 2023 until 14th April 2023, 5pm. All applicants will receive tailored feedback and guidance and will be signposted to free help from Government agencies in relation to further environmental improvement where appropriate. Winners receive an attractive trophy with case studies shared online and associated networking opportunities.

More information can be found at and or by contacting

Responding to the announcement that Humza Yousaf MSP has successfully become the new SNP leader and First Minister, Dr Liz Cameron CBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“We congratulate Humza Yousaf on his successful campaign to become the new First Minister. We look forward to working closely with him to restore business confidence and investment, enabling the Scottish economy to drive forward.

“As we outlined to all the leadership candidates in our open letter last week, there are serious challenges in every sector across the economy. The cost of doing business, labour shortages, lagging infrastructure, are all drags on growth and investment. We urge Humza Yousaf to take a pro-business approach with a new cabinet, to help build a build a globally competitive economy and to truly back Scottish business.”


The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network has called on the next SNP Leader and First Minister to Back Scotland’s Businesses by committing to economic growth as their number one priority.

In an open letter, SCC has asked each candidate to commit to tackling the most urgent issues facing the business community:

  • Will economic growth be your number one priority?
  • Will you appoint a Minister for Economic Growth & Investment on day one of taking office?
  • Will you commit to removing existing and future regulation which is increasing the cost of doing business?
  • Will you finally reform Business Rates and ensure UK rates reliefs are equalised for Scotland’s hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors?

Commenting on the publication of the letter, Dr Liz Cameron CBE, Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Scotland needs a credible economic growth plan which must be a top priority for every department in the Scottish Government. That can only be delivered if the next First Minister makes economic growth its driving mission and works in an honest and open partnership with the business community.

“There are serious challenges in every sector of the economy: businesses can’t source and find the skills and talent they need to deliver and grow; upfront costs are mounting up; new regulations are eroding our ability to stay in business keeping the staff we have, transport and digital infrastructure is lagging comparative nations, and business confidence needs to be restored if we are to invest for the future.

“We need you – backed by a Cabinet with business expertise and experience – to work with us to remove anti-growth policies and build a globally competitive economy.

“Answering ‘yes’ to our questions is the only route for you to demonstrate that Scotland’s entrepreneurs, business owners and employees are being heard and that you have our backs.”


Read the letter here

The Caithness & North Sutherland Fund is a community fund established by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd to distribute a £4M funding package to community projects that will increase the attractiveness of Caithness & North Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest.

We are looking to fill two vacancies on our Board of Directors and are seeking applications from enthusiastic individuals with a passion for our communities. As a Director, you will be responsible to ensure that the Fund complies with its objectives and governing documents as well as all relevant legislation and regulations. You will also become a member of the Fund’s assessment committee (meeting quarterly) and will use your skills and knowledge to help distribute our grant funding to benefit communities within the Dounreay travel to work area.

Candidates must be resident in Caithness and North Sutherland and we are particularly interested in attracting candidates with the following attributes:

• Good knowledge of the community/voluntary/charity sectors.

• Awareness of the needs of our communities.

• Good understanding of finance and governance.

• Be able and willing to commit the necessary time and effort.

• Resident in either South East Caithness or North Sutherland (within the Dounreay travel to work area).

Applications would also be welcome from candidates who are less experienced and who do not possess the above attributes to join a Board as a non-executive director for the first time (training/mentoring will be provided).

For further information or to apply,
please contact the Fund Administrator:
Tel: 01847 500101

Deadline for applications:
by 12 noon Thursday 6 April 2023

We have just launched a new £1m Themed Competition for dstl – Analysing and understanding audiences. This competition closes at midday 30 May. The full competition document is here

We have 15-minute dial-in sessions so that you can talk with the technical team about your ideas on 30 March and 04 April. These slots will fill soon so if you are interested register as soon as possible via the Eventbrite links in the competition document. This competition is focused on finding novel and innovative ideas at low levels of maturity (TRL1-4).

Successful projects will be a maximum of 6-months in length and will be funded to a maximum of £100k.

An audience-centric approach is key to Defence’s orchestration of military activities and understanding audiences forms a major part of this. Audiences can include individuals and groups, those who may be friendly, impartial or adversarial and this could be in peacetime or conflict. Audience analysis could be used to support Defence planning by supporting the identification of potential audiences of interest, providing a detailed understanding of audiences that are known to be of interest, and/or providing insights into factors that affect the understanding of specific audiences (e.g. cultural factors or unique audiences).

At this stage of the competition, we are limiting the scope to concepts, theoretical development, advancement and proof of concept research. This can include:

  1. approaches that are used outside of Defence and have the potential for application in a Defence context; and
  2. innovative ideas that apply to analysing and understanding audiences in general (and in turn could be applicable in a Defence context).

Areas of particular interest include:

Product Description
Audience Segmentation Identifies the relevant audience segments/audiences for Defence activities, including pertinent information about their beliefs, habits, attitudes and behaviours
Behavioural Insight Assessment Identify the priority behaviour drivers for the audience segments and the potential theories of change to apply for a required activity
Narrative Assessment Key narratives and Disinformation, Misinformation, Malinformation and Information (DMMI) across and between the segments
Information Environment Assessment (IEA) An assessment of how information is shared by audiences. It incorporates the virtual and physical dimensions of information sharing and includes an analysis of narratives and topics (information content) as well as dissemination routes and impact (information format)
Human Environment Assessment Analysis of the human factors that affect the operating environment, PMESII is the common analytical framework to follow. (PMESII is political, military, economic, social, information and infrastructure)
Network Analysis Identifies the connections between audiences/audience segments
Channel Analysis Identifies the channels relevant to the audience segments (this will be dependent on findings from the Information Environment Assessment)
Information Packs To inform the planning of activity to deliver a cognitive effect
Assessment Metrics Identified metrics for monitoring change in an audience segment


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch (note new email addresses although the old ones will automatically forward).

DASA Scotland

Deb ( – Innovation Partner
Linda ( – Innovation Partner
Anis ( – Access to Mentoring and Finance Partner

The Caithness and North Sutherland Fund (CNSF) has announced the appointment of Caithness Chamber of Commerce as Fund Administrator.

Fiona Forbes, the new Chair of the CNSF commented:

“The CNSF Board is delighted to have engaged the Caithness Chamber to administer the fund on a day-to-day basis. With a strong foothold in the socio-economic landscape of the North Highland region, we are confident that the expert fund management and local business and community knowledge provided by the Chamber will be extremely beneficial to the Fund.

Fiona added, “Since launching in 2011, the CNSF has made a significant contribution to the Caithness and North Sutherland area; committing a total of £2,938,286 towards 216 community projects with a cumulative value estimated to be over £14 million.  The projects are wide-ranging and deliver major improvements through the Fund’s core themes; Social Improvement, Infrastructure, Environment, and Culture.”

Trudy Morris Chief Executive, Caithness Chamber of Commerce commented:

“We are delighted to add the CNSF to our portfolio of fund management. As a Chamber, we are constantly evolving and looking for new ways to support not just our members but also the wider community.  We are pleased to bring our professional knowledge and experience to the administration of the CSNF and look forward to working with the board on the delivery of the Fund’s key objectives.”

The CNSF was established to distribute a £4M funding package provided by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority as a result of the low-level waste facility built near Dounreay. Funding is distributed to community organisations for projects that will increase the attractiveness of Caithness & North Sutherland as a place to live, work and invest with particular emphasis on achieving environmental, social, cultural, and infrastructure improvements.

Grants are distributed in line with the NDA’s socio-economic policy with applications being assessed every quarter.  Further information about the CNSF and how to apply can be found at  or by contacting the Fund coordination team on  Tel: 01847 500101

This month, we’re thrilled to welcome to our membership Andrei Rybak, North Coast 500 Animal Farm Ltd and Phil Anderson Financial Services Ltd we look forward to working with them all.

To discuss membership, please reach out to our Business Development manager, Fiona Levack. You can contact Fiona by email: You can read about membership on the website using this link.

If you’re already a member but would like a reminder of how to get the most from your membership, Fiona will gladly go over that with you too.

For 5 years, one of the most popular questions I’ve been asked is “What about ideas to help with training?”. Well, here is a new DASA competition addressing that very issue for the Army. We have £2.8m of funding for projects of a maximum of 12 months duration. The funding available per project is expected to be <£300k. Higher funding per project is possible as long as value for money is demonstrated. Projects will commence at a minimum of TRL3 and ideally complete at TRL6.

There are five challenges

Challenge 1: A flexible human terrain

This challenge area seeks innovations that represent the human terrain, such as threat representations that are consistent, both within and across the live, virtual and constructive (LVC) environments.

Challenge 2: A credible suite of players

This challenge area seeks innovations that enable the capability to test the training audience against a broad range of differentiated threats, from hostile civilians to organised insurgents and traditional state actors.

Challenge 3: Representative threat systems

This challenge area seeks innovations that help represent different threats, from peer+ threats to threats below the threshold of conflict across the physical, digital, political and social environments.

Challenge 4: Remote and Autonomous Systems

This challenge area seeks innovations that help represent increasing autonomy in the environment, such as remote and autonomous systems (RAS) and layered intelligence.

Challenge 5: A credible Information Environment

This challenge area seeks innovations to help represent a realistic and contested cyber and electromagnetic environment.

We are holding a dial-in event on 17 March. On 21 and 23 March you can book one-to-one sessions with the technical team to discuss your idea. These sessions will be popular and we advise you book asap.

Full details are here

Please note that at the time of writing, our submission service is closed while we make some changes to the application process as a result of feedback received by innovators and our assessor and moderator communities. We have therefore provided a locked version of the new application form to help you start planning your application ( There may be some minor typographical errors in this form.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Many kind regards,

DASA Scotland

Deb ( Innovation Partner
Linda ( Innovation Partner
Anis ( Access to Mentoring and Finance Partner

Andrei Rybak is an independent consultant specialising in card payment services and EPOS systems.

Based in Brora and covering the North Highland and Islands region, Andrei provides bespoke electronic payment solutions which give you the power to manage and streamline your operations, increase revenue and save time.

Andrei is pleased to offer fellow Caithness Chamber of Commerce Members a comprehensive business needs assessment, including cost efficiency comparisons at no charge and no commitment from you. To find out more about how Andrei can help your business, please get in touch by email on or call 07785732376