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Scottish Government’s CivTech pilot calls for ‘the best cyber idea in Scotland’


Scotland’s ground breaking CivTech® pilot has launched a new challenge for developers and entrepreneurs to stimulate the nation’s cyber security agenda.

Backed by Scottish Government, the CivTech® pilot is harnessing new technologies to drive innovation in the public sector. With the launch of its “WildCard Challenge”, the CivTech® pilot is looking for new cyber security products and ideas that have a clear application for the public sector and significant commercial potential in the fight against cyber threats and IT disruption.

One successful applicant will be awarded £15,000 funding and a place on the CivTech® pilot’s dedicated three-month accelerator programme in Edinburgh.

Keen to get people thinking of cyber security in the widest terms possible, the WildCard Challenge is inviting ideas that solve any problem in the cyber security field.

The new opportunity follows an overwhelming positive response to the CivTech® pilot’s first six challenges relating to environment, health and transport, which launched in July.

Derek Mackay, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution, said:

“Threats in cyber security come in many guises. Equally, ways of combatting them come from varied sources. The Scottish Government-backed CivTech® pilot presents a great opportunity for talented teams – whatever their size and background - to come forward with innovative ideas to address these issues, and give them appropriate support to accelerate their idea to commercial success in both the private and public sector markets.”

Martin Beaton, Cyber Security Network Integrator for Scotland, said: “The cyber security sector in Scotland is brimming with opportunity and it has very clear links to growth areas such as FinTech and HealthTech which need to ensure the safest possible online environment.

“This project is about kick-starting cyber security innovation in Scotland. We are looking for something with huge commercial potential and want to help trigger a successful business in the industry by giving budding entrepreneurs a boost and the support they need to do this.

“The high level of interest in the first set of challenges has proved that there is a demand for such initiatives. It’s all about bringing together public sector organisations and private sector innovation, with the aim of stimulating the agenda and putting Scotland on the cyber security map.”

Proposals for the WildCard Challenge must either be based on an early-stage idea or be from a new company. Submissions must have a clear link to the public sector and be firmly centred within the cyber security area. Proposals incorporating blockchain technology will be specifically welcomed and the applicant must be based in Scotland.

The CivTech® pilot brings together private sector innovation, public organisations and citizens to develop more efficient and effective products and services, which will translate to new, better, faster and easier experiences for users.

By asking the talented tech community to solve open challenges rather than closed tenders, the CivTech® pilot will open up the public sector to innovative solutions and provide an unprecedented route for start-ups and SMEs to bring the benefits of digital transformation to the public sector.

The CivTech® pilot will create a swift, secure and practical pathway for those businesses to win contracts from the public sector.

The first six challenges were sponsored by public sector organisations such as Transport Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and National Services Scotland, and addressed issues including the A9 tourism interface, flood forecasting, and improving access to services data.

The deadline for applications is Monday 5 September at 9am. Six proposals will be shortlisted and invited to pitch to an expert panel w/c 12 September where one idea will be selected to join the accelerator programme commencing on 19 September.

For more information about the WildCard Challenge and how to apply, please visit.

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