Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.
Improving air quality in urban areas, getting better at flood forecasting and using technology to design smart roads are among a series of challenges in a new Scottish Government-backed initiative to encourage the brightest digital talent in the country to bring their ideas to the public sector.
The new ‘Civtech Accelerator’ has laid out six challenges to encourage those with digital skills to develop and then launch digital platforms to solve technology ‘problems’ that the Scottish Government and its agencies have been seeking to address.
The scheme is designed to appeal to start-ups, scale-ups, students, and ‘citizens from any part of life’, and not to the usual suspects of big government IT projects. And there’s money up for grabs – there’s an Exploration Stage (£2k), an Accelerator Stage (£15K), and then a further amount for the Commercialisation Stage (the amount dependent on the Challenge and the nature of the product).
A digital map of Scotland’s publicly accessible green spaces will be available from March next year.
Under the One Scotland Mapping Agreement a new dataset will provide a ‘comprehensive view of location, extent and type of recreational spaces across the country’.
The map, set to be released by Ordnance Survey, builds on the Scottish Greenspace Map from 2011 to with an open data version available for download through the OS Maps app (Ordnance Survey, not Apple!). There will also be a premium version which will provide more detailed information to support work by public sector organisations and academics on planning, management and research on greenspaces.
“The Greenspace Map helps identify where there is a lack of greenspace or of particular types of open space so that local authorities, public sector partners and community groups can develop plans to address this and take action to improve access within local neighbourhoods,” said Kevin Stewart, Scotland’s minister for local government and housing.
Police Scotland has pulled the plug on a £60m IT project, according to the Times Scotland (paywall). According to the report the i6 system has failed to provide a single computer system to replace the 100 small systems inherited from the eight previous forces.
The police watchdog, the Scottish Police Authority, issued a statement which confirmed the contract had been scrapped. It said: “The Scottish Police Authority, Police Scotland and Accenture have mutually agreed to end their contract relating to the i6 project. “Despite the best efforts of the SPA, Police Scotland and Accenture, it was ‘It was clear that the technical solution cannot be delivered’ clear that the technical solution cannot be delivered within expected time frames and budget.
“The decision has therefore been taken to end the contract and reconsider options for securing a sustainable IT solution for policing.”
A digital database of Scotland’s Neolithic and early Bronze Age rock art is to be launched next year.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has been awarded £807,000 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council towards the five-year project.
“We are absolutely delighted to have secured our first very substantial research grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council,” said Rebecca Bailey, who led the grant application for HES
“The project will be a co-production between our expert staff, academic partners and community groups, in keeping with our vision that the historic environment is understood, shared and enjoyed by everyone.
“We look forward to the teams getting out into the field, making new discoveries, generating new knowledge, and sharing that on an international stage.”
The database would include 2D and 3D models of some of the rock art and will involve the University of Edinburgh and Glasgow School of Art.
And finally…Ever heard of an ‘ironic error’? Us neither, but it appears to affect footballers who make the mistake they are most trying to avoid when taking penalties. Like this one at Euro2016.