The Scottish Government has announced £6 million in funding for CivTech – the government-run accelerator for public sector tech innovation.
The cash injection will allow the program to fund small to medium-sized businesses in the private sector as they work to find ways to improve public sector services.
Announced at CivTech’s sixth “Demo Day” event, live-streamed from Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, the funding will ramp up the number of “challenges” set by the accelerator, ensuring a wide range of problems can be solved in collaboration with increasing numbers of public and third sector organisations.
For the first time, it will provide the opportunity for private investors and the Scottish Government to co-fund the high growth potential businesses coming out of the accelerator.
Tech entrepreneurs and organizations compete to help find new digital solutions to a series of challenges, set by public sector bodies ranging from parts of the Scottish Government through to local councils and national charities.
The current cohort involves 12 teams showcasing technologies that will help to tackle climate change, support social care services and improve educational facilities.
Sponsored by Amazon Web Services, Harvey Nash and Sopra Steria, participating ventures include Environment Systems, which, in partnership with Tweed Forum and Land Habitat, has created a technology that uses satellite data to help land managers restore Scotland’s peatlands, and Digiflec, which has developed sensing technology to better manage road infrastructure in rural communities.
Business and enterprise minister Ivan McKee said: “CivTech’s Accelerator Program creates a hub for government and industry to come together and develop transformational technologies to tackle problems faced by local communities.
“CivTech clearly demonstrates that the public sector can innovate, and that innovation can contribute to the economy. It is regarded both in Scotland and across the globe as a world leader in GovTech – the application of technological solutions, expertise and technical ability across our public services.
“This funding will allow CivTech to realize its growth ambitions and support the success of businesses taking part on the programme, which in turn allows us to build better public services and drive our economy.”
Dozen winners chosen to take part in ScotGov’s CivTech Accelerator program
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.