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Scottish Government makes CivTech choices



Minister announces technology projects chosen from 80 applications to meet public service challenges

Nine pilot projects aimed at overcoming challenges for public services have won the backing of the Scottish Government and are moving into accelerator phase.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay has announced the winning companies and given details of the solutions they aim to develop under the CivTech pilot.

They have come out on top of a process in which more than 80 applications were submitted, largely from Scottish based small or micro businesses, to respond to issues facing some of the country’s central government authorities.

Chosen six

The winners of the six challenges set by the public authorities on health, transport and environmental issues are:

Improving air quality in urban areas - Node on the Edge, which specialises in software development that enables the understanding of complex data through intuitive and easy to use interfaces, won the support. It will work with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to build on and unite open source software to produce a single, customisable workflow to support relevant action.

Improving flood forecasting and ensuring it is better used – Rivertrack, a software development and design company that specialises in Apple, Linux and an embedded micro-electronics platform, is the CivTech choice. SEPA is to run a project with the company focused on making actionable flood information easily accessible to individuals and communities.

Spreading health and social care data – National Services Scotland (NSS) will use Symphonic Software to control precisely how it opens and shares data across organisational and systems boundaries.

Making data publications more accessible and appealing – NSS will work with Wallscope on a solution for the development of a library store of information assets for use in multiple scenarios. It should improve the search, discovery and exploitation of datasets held by NSS, and make the allocation of care resources more efficient.

Promoting tourist destinations along the A9 – Learn to Love Digital will work with Transport Scotland on a Highland Discovery app with audio streaming of stories and music connected to the passing landscape.

Designing smart roads – Transport Scotland and xDesign are aiming to develop a solution for road integrity monitoring, along with a collision detection system, that can be run from a regular smartphone mounted on a dashboard.

Cyber choices

Two further projects have been selected for support in a challenge focused on cyber security issues.

One will involve Blockchain specialist Wallet Services working on a proposal for open digital access and inter-organisational trust platform, enabled by use of the distributed ledger technology.

The other, dealing with cyber education, will be led by Diddo, a partnership of security professionals. It will work on a product to improve users’ ability to secure public information, and take in social media security, online profile analysis, browser security, real time alerts and password evaluation.

An additional project on reducing homelessness will involve the development of a fundraising service for local organisations that already provide support to homeless and low income people, and a means of raising crisis and emotional support. The platform will enable members to raise finance for basic needs that could make an impact on people’s lives.

The accelerator phase of the project will be based at the technology incubator CodeBase, and involve an intensive three months of product and business development.

This includes a comprehensive workshop system designed to optimise the companies’ understanding of what it takes to run a successful business with public sector clients.

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