CivTech programme seeks to connect public service providers with tech firms that can help meet their challenges
The Scottish Government has announced £6m of funding for tech accelerator CivTech to help drive innovation in the public sector.
The cash will be used to fund small and medium-sized businesses in the private sector that are focused on ways of improving public sector services.
Business minister Ivan McKee said the funding would “allow CivTech to realise its growth ambitions and support the success of businesses taking part on the programme, which in turn allows us to build better public services and drive our economy”.
“CivTech’s accelerator programme creates a hub for government and industry to come together and develop transformational technologies to tackle problems faced by local communities,” he said. “CivTech clearly demonstrates that the public sector can innovate and that innovation can contribute to the economy. It is regarded both in Scotland and across the globe as a world leader in GovTech – the application of technological solutions, expertise and technical ability across our public services.”
Launched in 2015, CivTech is a government-run programme that challenges businesses to come up with solutions to a range of problems facing the public sector. The challenges can be set by a range of public sector bodies including the Scottish Government itself as well as local authorities and national charities.
Those that have been supported by the scheme to date include Novoville, which partnered with City of Edinburgh Council to create an app that makes repairing shared properties easier, and Trickle, an app that is focused on staff wellbeing.
To coincide with the announcement of the cash injection, 12 teams picked for the accelerator this week unveiled their solutions to problems that involve tackling climate change, supporting social care services and improving educational facilities.
Since launch, CivTech has set a total of 60 challenges, with 178 teams taking part and 67 going through to the accelerator stage.
Last year the Scottish Government said it would be providing £13.5m of investment to CivTech over the life of this parliament.