Scotland offers £7m for latest round of public service tech accelerator

Written by Margaret Taylor on 9 June 2022 in News

Scottish Government launches new set of challenges to which innovative solutions are invited

Credit: Negative Space

The Scottish Government has launched the latest round of challenges for its public sector-focused tech accelerator programme CivTech.

In total, £7m has been made available for the round, which is asking companies and individuals to come up with solutions to 13 challenges faced by public sector organisations.

This year’s challenges are themed around how technology can be used to empower communities, minority groups and marginalised individuals, and there is also a focus on helping solve environmental problems and improving transport infrastructure.

They include finding ways that technology can help detect beavers in the wild, transform business support services in the public sector, and match British Sign Language users with interpreters.

Business minister Ivan McKee noted that CivTech, which first launched in 2016 and is now on its seventh round of public, was bolstered with £6m of government funding earlier this year, adding that the backing underlined the confidence the government has in the “real-world solutions” the programme produces.

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“We want thinkers, creatives, entrepreneurs, innovators, to all come together and join us in finding answers to major challenges facing not just communities and individuals across the country, also around the world,” he said. “The CivTech experience is the first chapter of so many success stories about the forging of homegrown tech talent.”

During its first six years, CivTech set 64 challenges, with 184 teams submitting responses and 71 going through to the accelerator. Some 90% of these were pre-starts, start-ups or early-stage businesses.

Successful respondents to the latest round of challenges will receive between £350,000 and £800,000 to work with public sector organisations to develop their proposals from ideas through to commercially viable products.

The best ideas from initial submissions will be placed into the CivTech Accelerator, resulting in a Demo Day big reveal in February 2023.


About the author

Margaret Taylor is a journalist at PublicTechnology sister publication Holyrood, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @MagsTaylorish.

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