Boost for Scotland's digital tech sector

Following a successful pilot, CivTech, the Scottish government-run accelerator programme, has launched the second stage of its digital programme.

Aiming to match digital technology innovators with public sector organisations looking to create digital solutions for a range of ‘civic challenges’, CivTech 2.0 poses a new set of challenges and invites companies and individuals to propose a solution.

These include: tracking visitors to Scotland’s historic attractions for Historic Environment Scotland; improving access to Scotland’s statistical information for NHS National Services Scotland; creating a smarter booking system for outpatient appointments for NHS Scotland; and capturing and using data to improve local services for Stirling Council.

The pilot, which took place last year, saw nine firms deliver a range of products in partnership with the likes of SEPA, the NHS and Transport Scotland, creating a new flood forecasting system, smart road monitoring software and a new fundraising service for homeless people.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “Scotland is highly regarded around the world for innovation. We have some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds based here on our own doorstep, so it makes perfect sense to tap into that talent to help the public sector work faster and smarter.

“If we want to be a world leader in tech we need to create conditions that allow companies to thrive, and that includes enabling new ways of working, such as streamlining the public sector procurement processes and working in a more agile, fast-paced way.”

Stephen Heron, company co-founder, said: “CivTech is a great way of bringing innovation into the Scottish public sector. The experience has enabled us to make connections with the public sector and other start-ups within the tech industry. It has given us an opportunity to access markets that would otherwise have been impossible. We were supported every step of the way in developing our product through the Accelerator, a challenging, intensive but rewarding process. We now want to leverage this experience to maximise the commercial potential of our product.”

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