£250k on offer

Tech firms invited to solve public sector problems

Annette Jezierska CEO of The Future Fox, presenting to the panel

Scotland’s technology companies are being offered up to £250,000 to apply their expertise to solving challenges facing the public sector.

The funding is available through the latest CivTech programme which encourages innovation in the way public services can be improved by technology.

Projects on the CivTech 6 include decarbonising manufacturing, boosting the public’s trust in artificial intelligence (AI), and managing visitors in rural hotspots.

Companies that have taken part in the first five years of CivTech challenges have created a total of 185 jobs, up by 32% over the past year.

More than 90% of those teams were pre-starts, start-ups, or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

All but three of those teams have continued operating, making their survival rate much higher than the 80% of start-up businesses that survive their first year of trading or the 40% that survive for three years.

More than 90% of the teams have gone on to win further contracts from the public sector bodies that set their original challenges.

Excluding those public sector contracts, companies that have taken part in CivTech have gone on to raise more than £50 million of investment.

The challenges:

  • How do we better understand the supply of school age childcare in communities? Scottish Government Directorate for Early Learning and Childcare.
  • How can tech make public sector data easier to find? Directorate for Digital.
  • How can technology help us identify peatland restoration sites that will optimise costs and benefits? Scottish Government Environment & Forestry Directorate.
  • How can tech help people identify the care they need, and enable them to manage their own care services? Scottish Government Mental Health and Social Care Directorate.
  • How do we give the citizens of Scotland trust and agency over how artificial intelligence and algorithms are used in the public sector? Scottish Government Directorate for Digital.
  • How can technology help manufacturing businesses decarbonise while building resilience and strengthening competitive advantage? Scottish Government Economic Development Directorate.
  • How can we use technology to help land managers make informed land-use decisions and increase carbon capture? The Langholm Initiative, Southern Upland Partnership, John Muir Trust, Scottish Government, South of Scotland Enterprise.
  • How can technology help to manage traffic and public road infrastructure that is used by commercial operations in rural and remote communities? Stirling Council, Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Authority, Forest & Land Scotland, Censis.
  • How can tech help us understand how our school buildings are used, and help support asset performance, wellbeing and sustainability? Scottish Futures Trust, Midlothian Council, Censis.
  • How do we better plan, manage and respond to the experiences of visitors and communities at visitor hotspots in rural and remote locations? Perth and Kinross Council, Stirling Council, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, Scottish Government Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate, Digital Office for Local Government, Censis.
  • How can we help trainers assess the skills and practice competence of learners, using remote and online services? Care Training Consortium, Censis.
  • How can we create the best possible user experience for people engaging with the Citizens Advice Scotland network? Citizens Advice Scotland

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