Scottish accelerator puts £7.5m into emerging public sector tech

Ninth round of funding awarded via the CivTech programme will support investment in developing tools to address service challenges in areas such as nature management, women’s health, and cyber resilience

The Scottish Government has announced that £10m will be awarded this year via its public sector-focused tech accelerator. 

The CivTech programme invites bidders to propose technological solutions to challenges set by public- and third-sector bodies in Scotland.

The Scottish Government’s public sector-focused tech accelerator will back a total of 13 companies with a cumulative tally of £7.5m, with the aim of using digital and data to help meet challenges in areas such as nature management, women’s health, and cyber resilience.

The programme’s ninth round last week announced the companies that have made it through the final development stage, with projects making use of technology including artificial intelligence and satellites.

CivTech Round 9 will share a fund of up to £7.48m. Throughout the coming months, winners will collaborate with their sponsors to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), with a demo day set to occur in May. 

Adora Digital Health, Lumino, and Cohesion will work to help women understand menopause better and access appropriate support.

2Excel Aviation and AAC Clyde will use aerospace technologies to provide early warning on stress, pests, and disease across flora while Excel Aviation and BH Wildlife Consultancy will track deer in real time to improve forest management and ecological restoration.

AR-SQ Limited hopes to make public sector procurements’ supply chain more efficient and secure, and Lupovis and Swordbreaker look to enhance cyber resilience and strategies to manage cybercrime attacks.

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Interrobang will work to make public services more accessible, with Netcompany enhancing these services’ communications channel.

By the commercialisation stage, companies hope to secure contracts worth up to £1.3m.

Challenges sponsors range from Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens and Forestry and Land Scotland to the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientists Office and other Scottish Government directorates.

Announcing the winners at today’s launch of the accelerator stage, innovation minister Richard Lochhead said: “Solutions being developed through the latest CivTech Accelerator promise to have a positive and meaningful impact on Scotland’s society and people. Using the very latest technology, including artificial intelligence, we are tackling real-world challenges to help build a stronger and fairer economy. Our focus is on creating opportunities for a highly productive, competitive economy, providing new jobs, embedding innovation and boosting skills.”

Launched in 2016, CivTech is the world’s first government-run accelerator for digital public services. Over the past seven years, it has set more than 90 challenges, with more than 110 companies reaching the accelerator stage. 

Prior challenges have led to the development of a virtual reality programme to familiarise people with giving evidence in court, an app to help people in tenement buildings organise and pay for repairs and the streamlining of connections with the local Citizens Advice bureau through AI and voice recognition technology.

Sofia Villegas

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