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Nesta launches ShareLab Scotland programme



First minister announces provision of £172,000 fund to promote collaborative working

Innovation foundation Nesta has launched a Scottish version of its Sharelab initiative to promote the development of digital projects to support public services through collaborative platforms.

It is making £172,000 available, with a maximum of £33,000 per project, for applications from individuals, social enterprises, charities and community groups.

The programme is aimed at supporting the development of platforms to deal with social issues and has a particular focus on delivering affordable, clean energy and sustainable transport solutions, particularly for remote and rural areas.

Nesta is setting up a panel of experts with the Scottish Government to assess the applications and will run a series of webinars and discussions around the country through the summer.

Following these it will take initial expressions of interest through a short questionnaire, then draw up a shortlist of ideas with greatest potential and host a workshop to develop them. Selected organisations will meet with Nesta mentors and external advisors to review and improve ideas in development, and those who have joined the workshop or webinar will then be invited to submit applications.

Two rounds

This is the first time the ShareLab programme has been directed specifically at Scotland, following two rounds of funding run over the past two years.

Announcing ShareLab Scotland at Nesta’s FutureFest event in London, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) said: “The collaborative economy brings together individuals and communities in new and innovative ways. There is huge opportunity for Scotland in this area, particularly given some of our geographic challenges and the potential benefits it can bring for tourism and transport in more remote areas.

“To help achieve this, I am pleased to launch ShareLab Scotland. This £172,000 fund will help new partnerships benefit both our societies and the economy.”

Image from Scottish National Party

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