Scottish Government CivTech 3.0 sets public sector challenges

Derek McKay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution and Alexander Holt, Head of CivTech, meet 2017 challenge winners Replicade.

The third round of a ground-breaking digital accelerator programme which seeks ingenious tech solutions to public sector problems and offers entrepreneurs and start-ups access to potentially life changing opportunities is underway.

Part of the Scottish Government’s CivTech® programme, Civtech 3.0 has already received a huge number of notes of interest from businesses and individuals keen to develop solutions to everything from trading in illicit goods to increasing the efficiency of NHS waiting times.

A range of public sector partners have submitted specific challenges for which they are seeking innovative business change proposals. Applicants have the opportunity to go on to win contracts of up to £250,000 and have until 2 July to submit their creative solutions which could change the lives of everyone in Scotland for the better.

The Head of CivTech, Alexander Holt, said: “In the short time since we launched this third round challenge, we’ve heard from people right across the UK who are eager to solve the issues that affect the everyday operation of our public sector organisations.

“With budgets under pressure and increasing demand, the need for smart, efficient and effective products is ever greater. And the public sector is increasingly aware that innovation is a good way to create them.

“The Scottish Government is also committed to ensuring that a large part of its tech spend goes to smaller, innovative businesses. This challenge is a gateway to creating solutions to public sector problems as quickly and effectively as possible.”

Holt, who was a speaker at FutureScot’s Digital Scotland 2018 conference yesterday, added: “Our previous two cohorts have gone on to win many public sector contracts, create more jobs and continue to provide benefits for their challenge sponsors.

“For anyone – whether they’re an individual, team or company – it’s an opportunity to take a challenge, solve it, and win contracts with a blue-chip public sector organisation.”

Applicants are invited to submit their challenges via the Public Contracts Scotland  website.  Shortlisted proposals go on to an exploration stage for further development and ultimately, the best are supported through to the CivTech accelerator, which involves four months of work to co-create the real-world solution.

Sponsors and challenges