Tech companies to solve challenges faced by Scotland’s public sector

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SCOTLAND’S public sector is tapping into technology companies’ expertise to solve 12 challenges, including how to decarbonise manufacturing, boost the public’s trust in artificial intelligence (AI), and manage visitors in rural hotspots.

CivTech 6 latest programme aims to innovate the way that the public sector uses technology to improve the lives of Scotland’s citizens.

Public sector bodies – ranging from parts of the Scottish Government through to local councils and national charities will be looked at.

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During its first five years, CivTech set 48 challenges for tech entrepreneurs and companies, with 142 teams taking part in its initial exploratory stages, and 55 teams going through to the tech accelerators.(Photo from Luca Bravo on Unsplash)

The most promising ideas from the initial submissions are then placed into a tech accelerator programme, with the resulting products and services revealed in March 2022.

Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, said: “I recently issued an open invitation to entrepreneurs and thinkers, job creators and hard workers, to join us in rebuilding and restoring the Scottish economy.

“This is a national endeavour for everybody who shares the vision to see Scotland flourish.

“CivTech 6 represents a tremendous opportunity to take part in this by building products and businesses that will not only help rebuild the economy, but also make people’s lives better across the nation.”

Up to £250,000 funding for each challenge is available and CivTech is calling for companies, from startups to established innovative businesses or individuals with an idea, to enter the CivTech6 challenge. 

Colin Cook, Director Digital Scottish Government, added: “Tech entrepreneurs and their companies can help to solve some of the biggest challenges facing Scotland, from elements of climate change and decarbonisation in the run-up to the COP26 conference in Glasgow this November through to how we use our school buildings and how we manage rural roads.

“Helping to solve challenges such as these not only produces benefits for citizens, but also boosts our economy here in Scotland by creating jobs and generating payroll taxes to help fund public services such as health and education.

“Taking part in CivTech’s challenges also helps to link tech experts into the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem in Scotland, enabling them to form the relationships with potential customers and investors that will allow them to grow their businesses.