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New programme

IoT accelerator aims to spur business growth

New team: Paul Wilson, Gregor Aikman and Evelyn McDonald of Filament STAC.

An accelerator programme focused on the internet of things (IoT) sector has been launched in Scotland aiming to create at least two dozen businesses and potentially hundreds of jobs.

The Filament STAC accelerator is partly modelled on a Canadian scheme that has supported about 650 start-ups and created more than 4,000 jobs.

Its founder, Tim Ellis, will act as consultant to help steer the Scottish project, Filament STAC.

It will build on the IoT foundations already put in place by Censis, Scotland’s Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and IoT technologies, and Glasgow-headquartered product design firm Filament.

Filament STAC, which launches at Skypark in Glasgow in October, is underpinned by a partnership of industry and government.

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Scottish Enterprise will support the first phase of growth alongside Filament, Plexus Corp, a global leader in complex design, manufacturing, supply chain and aftermarket services, and Censis.

Cohort companies on the accelerator programme will have the option to be based at Skypark.

Former BlackBerry executive Paul Wilson, who is Filament STAC chief executive, said: “We believe has the potential to be a main player in smart, connected devices and moving ahead with the accelerator gives us a real chance to gain a leading position in an IoT sector forecast to reach $1.5 trillion over the next few years.”

Plexus Corp’s executive Ronnie Darroch becomes non-executive chairman, with Censis chief executive Paul Winstanley and Filament’s Craig Lynn both appointed non-executive directors.

An advisory board includes former Dyson chief executive Jim Rowan, Scottish Edge boss Evelyn McDonald, and Richard Lewis who chairs a number of tech start-ups in Scotland.

Scottish Enterprise is supporting the new centre with a grant of £223,000 over three years.

Linda Hanna, interim chief executive at the economic development agency, welcomed the launch of Filament Stac “as it’s vital that Scottish manufacturers embrace IoT to scale up, internationalise and also use the opportunities from ‘smart things’ to improve connectivity, capability, monitoring and data, not least to help drive our green economic recovery”.

The Filament Stac programme remains open for applications, while the centre plans to open offices in Singapore and Canada over the next two years, and says high-profile industry partnerships are in the pipeline.



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