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Scottish government invests £6m in public sector accelerator CivTech


The Scottish government has invested £6m in an accelerator programme with the goal of improving public sector innovation. 

The capital has been awarded to CivTech, a government-run accelerator programme, to fund small and medium-sized businesses that are developing digital solutions for optimising public sector services.

The funding was announced at CivTech’s sixth Demo Day event this week. The programme saw private sector companies compete to provide tech solutions in 12 areas including AI transparency, decarbonisation and managing road infrastructure. 

Participating companies include Environment Systems, which has created a technology that uses satellite data to help land managers restore our peatlands, and Digiflec, which has developed sensing technology to better manage road infrastructure in rural communities.

CivTech will use the funds to increase the number of challenges it sets in its accelerator programme. Since its launch in 2015, CivTech has set 60 challenges for tech entrepreneurs and companies. In that duration around 178 teams took part in its Exploration Stages, with 67 teams going through to the Accelerator Stage.

The Demo Day, which took place on Tuesday, gave winners the opportunity to engage with public sector industry partners and pursue potential contracts. 

Ivan McKee, minister for business, trade, tourism, and enterprise, said: “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 added that the govtech market is forecasted to grow from £298bn in 2018 to £597bn in 2023.

“This funding will allow CivTech to realise its growth ambitions and support the success of businesses taking part in the programme, which in turn allows us to build better public services and drive our economy,” said McKee.