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Scottish Government announces new CivTech projects


Mark Say Managing Editor


The Scottish Government has announced the winners of the latest round of its CivTech Accelerator programme, aimed at providing digital solutions to a range of social challenges.

It has named 12 winning teams from over 130 applications to work with CivTech over the next 15 weeks, with each to receive up to £250,000 for further development of their products.

They include public service projects in areas around better understanding the use of school buildings, managing care services, making it easier to find data, supporting park rangers and improving road infrastructure.

The work will culminate in a demo day next February in which the selected teams will demonstrate their solutions to an audience of stakeholders in the issues.

The winners for the various challenges (with sponsors) are as follows:

  • Decarbonising manufacturing business (SG Economy) – iSumio, which has created a way to measure indirect company emissions to help policy makers make informed decisions.
  • Developing AI trust and agency (SG Digital) – Sadiot, to help companies to build registers of AI systems that are transparent and accountable.
  • Peatland restoration (SG Environment and Forestry Directorate) - Environment Systems in partnership with Tweed Forum and Land Habitat. Using satellite data to develop an existing product, they will create a tool for land managers rooted in ecology restoration best practice.
  • Informed land use decisions increasing carbon capture (Southern Uplands Partnership, Langholm Initiative and others) – Ginger Land, which has created a platform that for multiple activities such as community engagement and crowdfunding to take place simultaneously.
  • Managing traffic and road infrastructure in rural and remote communities (Stirling Council, Forest and Land Scotland with Censis) – Digiflec, using a combination of sensing technology to create a solution to better manage road infrastructure in rural communities. 
  • Understanding supply and demand of school age childcare (SG Early Learning and Childcare Directorate) - Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) in partnership with Ember Technology, which have developed Caerus, a nursery management software which offers a clearer picture of supply, demand and capacity gaps. 
  • Understanding school buildings use (Scottish Futures Trust, Midlothian Council with Censis) - Buro Happold has created a data platform for real time insights and predictive modelling of occupancy to improve learning environments across Scotland. 
  • Managing visitors and communities at visitor hotspots (Perth and Kinross Council, Stirling Council, Loch Lomond National Park and others with Censis) - Whereverly in partnership with Sensation Systems. They have combined internet of things, data and mobile tech to give public sector rangers access to a live map of remote attractions, improving public safety and engagement. 
  • Helping people manage their care services (SG Mental Health and Social Care Directorate) - Matter of Focus, with a cloud based and mobile-friendly web app that enables care practitioners to speak directly with individuals about the services that best suit their personal care needs.
  • Helping trainers assess skills and competence of learners (Training Consortium, SOSE with Censis ) - TPD Development, with a virtual reality innovation that simulates the full 360 care sector experience of training and assessment, helping trainers to assess the skills and competence of learners remotely.
  • Best user experience with Citizens Advice network (Citizens Advice Scotland) - SIDE Labs, which is taking a 'no code development' approach in developing existing platforms Talkie and Twilio as part of a series of CivTech Sprints.  
  • Making public sector data easy to find (SG Digital Directorate) – Dtime, whose Dtechtive solution is intended to improve data discovery using natural language, with the aim of becoming fully customisable in the long term. 

Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise for Scotland Ivan McKee (pictured) said: “As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic it is vital government and industry innovate together to build a stronger, fairer and more sustainable economy. Our investment in the CivTech Accelerator programme is already delivering on our ambition for new digital solutions to challenges faced by our community.

Ivan McKee

“As we approach COP26 in Glasgow in a matter of weeks, it is great to see CivTech using innovation to tackle the climate emergency and ecological decline, with one particular challenge sponsored by the Scottish Government aiming to help manufacturers decarbonise.

“We are committed to ending Scotland’s contribution to climate change and, critically, ensuring we do that in a way that is just and fair for everyone.”

The CivTech Accelerator is sponsored by technology consultancies Harvey Nash and Sopra Steria with support from South of Scotland Enterprise, Interface, Scottish Business Network and Censis.

The Scottish Government has recently pledged £13.5 million over the life of the current parliament to support CivTech Scotland and the expansion of the accelerator programme. 

Image from Scottish Government, CC BY 2.0

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