CivTech – the Scottish Government’s flagship innovation accelerator – will receive £10m in funding for a series of tech-related challenges in the year ahead.
The programme will receive the funding boost for 2023 as support for bringing innovation into the public sector.
The news came as CivTech today hosts its annual Demo Day event, live-streamed from Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms.
According to the programme, 2022 has been the biggest year so far for CivTech and this year’s rapid scaling is supported by £46m of Scottish Government funding over the next four years.
The CivTech accelerators bring together public finance with private sector innovation to solve major challenges facing the public and third sector in Scotland.
By supporting tech innovators to grow their own business, the programme leverages further contracts and private investment for participating companies with alumni companies collectively securing over £67m investment deal flow and creating over 320 jobs so far.
Ivan McKee, minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise said: “CivTech has grown enormously since it first launched, and with it the Scottish Government has grown its investment in this extraordinary accelerator programme. I am pleased to announce £10m in Scottish Government funding for challenges over the next year, and with match funding from challenge sponsors we do expect that pot to increase the total spent on innovation at CivTech to over £12m in 2023 to 2024.
“This may be the first full in-person Demo Day in three years, but during that time CivTech has continued to make a positive impact in the physical world with successful alumni companies achieving follow-on investment and working to bring their solutions to life.
“Not only does this accelerator demonstrate that the public and third sector can lead the way in solving problems, it shows we can also do it quickly. The tech companies creating the bespoke solutions for CivTech challenges are often part of an ever-growing community of digital innovators across Scotland, and we can take a lot of pride in the Scottish Government playing an active role in that community.”
At Demo Day on February 8, tech entrepreneurs and companies present new digital solutions to these challenges, set by public and third sector organisations ranging from parts of the Scottish Government through to local councils and national charities.
The current cohort will unveil their solutions for the first time at today’s event, Demo Day 7. Thirteen companies will showcase innovative technologies that will help to tackle climate change, support social care services and offer solutions to third sector organisations.
Demo Day also gives the challenge winners the unique opportunity to engage with key public sector industry partners and explore potential for future contracts.
CivTech 7 Demo Day comes soon after the launch of CivTech 8 and ‘Innovate for Nature,’ an official partnership programme with NatureScot, marking the first time two accelerators run in tandem. The next accelerator, CivTech 9, is due to launch this summer.