South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) has welcomed the announcement of the CivTech winning teams who will now aim to develop their ideas and provide innovative digital solutions to various challenges faced by our communities.
Earlier this year, Scottish Government’s CivTech Accelerator programme put out 12 challenges to entrepreneurs and companies from across the UK and beyond, two of which were based in the South of Scotland and are co-sponsored by SOSE.
The first local challenge involved finding an innovative technological solution to tackling climate change through land use, which was sponsored by John Muir Trust, the Langholm Initiative community development trust, rural development charity Southern Uplands Partnership and SOSE. The Challenge aims to discover how technology can help landowners better understand the potential for carbon storage on their land and so inform land-use decisions.
The winning team is Ginger which has created a platform which allows multiple activities – such as community engagement and crowdfunding – to take place simultaneously.
Their proposal will now be piloted on the new 5,200-acre Tarras Valley Nature Reserve on Langholm Moor in Dumfries and Galloway.
SOSE also co-sponsored alongside social enterprise Care Training Consortium a Challenge which aimed to help trainers assess skills and competence of learners within the care sector.
This challenge was won by TPD Development who has created a virtual reality innovation which simulates the full 360 care sector experience of training and assessment, helping trainers to assess the skills and competence of learners remotely.
CivTech will now provide the winning teams with an intense programme of workshops and other support as they develop their products and businesses over a 15-week period.
Towards the end of the Accelerator, the Teams and Challenge Sponsors will have the opportunity to extend their relationship to further develop the solution and roll it out more widely, with up £250,000 funding available for each Challenge.
Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise, said: “We have been working closely with our sponsor partners, the CivTech team and Challenge bidding teams, and I am delighted to see the winning teams now announced.
“I look forward to us working alongside the winning teams to come up with some innovative and exciting solutions to issues which affect all of our lives.”
Dr Martin Valenti, SOSE’s Director of NetZero, added: “We need innovative and entrepreneurial thinking to make sure the journey to Net Zero – the point where greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere balances with the amount we are able to take out – is fair and creates a better future for everyone.
“The CivTech programme and in particular our co-sponsored Challenge, looking at tackling climate change through land use at Langholm Moor, is a fantastic example of the thinking we need and I cannot wait to see how it progresses in coming months.”
SOSE is also co-sponsoring a CivTech Sprint Challenge with Zero Waste Scotland on How can we use technology to support the circular economy and NetZero ambitions. Further information is available at www.civtechalliance.org/civtech-6-sprint-circular-economy.