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CivTech Scotland launches new challenges


Mark Say Managing Editor


The latest round of calls for the development of new public sector digital services under the CivTech Scotland programme has been launched.

People icons over cupped hands

The Scottish Government’s Digital Directorate has published a series of challenges for companies to work on finding solutions to various problems within public services and social issues.

It is the sixth round of the programme under which it provides funding for the chosen organisations to work on the projects.

Public sector bodies set challenges that they hope tech entrepreneurs and companies can help them to solve.

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. Up to £250,000 funding for each challenge is available.

The challenges and sponsors are as follows:

  • How do we better understand the supply of school age childcare in communities? Scottish Government Directorate for Early Learning and Childcare.
  • How can tech make public sector data easier to find? Directorate for Digital.
  • How can technology help us identify peatland restoration sites that will optimise costs and benefits? Scottish Government Environment & Forestry Directorate.
  • How can tech help people identify the care they need, and enable them to manage their own care services? Scottish Government Mental Health and Social Care Directorate.
  • How do we give the citizens of Scotland trust and agency over how artificial intelligence and algorithms are used in the public sector? Scottish Government Directorate for Digital.
  • How can technology help manufacturing businesses decarbonise while building resilience and strengthening competitive advantage? Scottish Government Economic Development Directorate.
  • How can we use technology to help land managers make informed land-use decisions and increase carbon capture? The Langholm Initiative, Southern Upland Partnership, John Muir Trust, Scottish Government, South of Scotland Enterprise.
  • How can technology help to manage traffic and public road infrastructure that is used by commercial operations in rural and remote communities? Stirling Council, Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Authority, Forest & Land Scotland, Censis.
  • How can tech help us understand how our school buildings are used, and help support asset performance, wellbeing and sustainability? Scottish Futures Trust, Midlothian Council, Censis.
  • How do we better plan, manage and respond to the experiences of visitors and communities at visitor hotspots in rural and remote locations? Perth and Kinross Council, Stirling Council, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Government Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate, Digital Office for Local Government, Censis.
  • How can we help trainers assess the skills and practice competence of learners, using remote and online services? Care Training Consortium, Censis.
  • How can we create the best possible user experience for people engaging with the Citizens Advice Scotland network? Citizens Advice Scotland.

Colin Cook, director digital Scottish Government, said: “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.

“Our previous challenges have produced incredible results – both for Scotland’s citizens and the companies involved – and I expect CivTech 6 will continue to help take our public services in Scotland on to the next level.”

The CivTech Alliance, which runs the programme, is taking applications until 9 July.

Image from iStock, Natasaadsicz

Number of projects increased from six to 12 on further information from CivTech

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