Scotland's CivTech programme pushes button on contract opportunities worth £7m for next intake

The Scottish Government’s CivTech programme has launched more than £7 million worth of contract opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses of any size as part of the accelerator’s latest round of innovation challenges.

The initiative is inviting companies and individuals from across the UK and beyond to develop solutions for 13 new challenges set by public sector bodies, local councils, charities, and the Scottish Government itself.

Successful respondents are paid over a series of stages to work with public-sector organisations to develop their proposals from ideas to commercially viable products, and the contract value available on each challenge is £350,000 to £800,000.

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The 2022 challenges are described as having a strong focus on how to use technology to empower communities, minority groups, and marginalised people, as well as including opportunities to help solve environmental problems and improve transport infrastructure.

The best ideas from initial submissions will be placed into the CivTech Accelerator, resulting in a Demo Day “big reveal” in February.

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Scottish business minister Ivan McKee said: “This year the Scottish Government committed £6m to this programme, which attests to the confidence we have in the real world solutions which the accelerator produces.

“We want thinkers, creatives, entrepreneurs, innovators, to all come together and join us in finding answers to major challenges facing not just communities and individuals across the country, also around the world.

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Scottish business minister Ivan McKee says CivTech's 'continued role in inspiring and innovating technology across Scotland is something to celebrate' (file image). Picture: Fraser Bremner/Getty Images.

“The CivTech experience is the first chapter of so many success stories about the forging of homegrown tech talent. I can’t wait to see what happens next year on what is set to be the biggest and best Demo Day yet.”

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CivTech was launched in 2016, and aims to inject innovation into the way the public sector deploys new technology to improve the lives of Scotland’s citizens.

George Eckton, director of advice services at Citizens Advice Scotland, said: “Last year we had tremendous success working with Side Labs to develop a solution that allowed us to connect people who need help to their local Citizens Advice Bureau through a single entry point. We look forward to continuing our relationship with CivTech as sponsor/co-sponsor of another two challenges this year.”

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Andy Bell, co-founder at Side Labs, said: “Working with CivTech has been a genuine game-changer for us. I would encourage anyone considering joining the accelerator to go for it.”

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