Public Procurement and Property

How do you procure what you don’t know exists?

November 9, 2021 by No Comments | Category CivTech, Guest Blog, innovation, Scottish Procurement

What is ‘CivTech’ and how do you procure what you don’t know exists yet? We’re very pleased to welcome Emma Dalley from CivTech Scotland to answer both those questions – and more. CivTech recently presented at the virtual ‘In the Service of Scotland’ festival for Scottish Government colleagues, discussing the merits of innovation in procurement practices. Read on to learn more about the programme and discover some of the fascinating problems that have been solved to date – and hear about some of the successful companies just announced to be taking part in this year’s CivTech 6 challenge.

CivTech is the world’s first government-run accelerator for digital public services and is a partnership between the Scottish Government’s Digital and Economic Directorates.

It was launched in 2016, its mission is to drive daring and innovation in the public sector by collaboratively solving challenges that make people’s lives better – and in doing so create generations of sustainable, high growth businesses.

For public sector organisations, CivTech offers a route to develop highly innovative products and services in a fast, efficient and safe way, using private sector systems such as open challenges and tech accelerators. In a tech world that is increasingly fast paced and ever-changing, CivTech solves the problem of ‘how to procure what you don’t know exists’.

For innovator and entrepreneurs – especially those in the Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) area – it offers a unique opportunity to engage with the public sector and win contracts from major organisations. It’s the chance to solve a problem, build a business.

For everyone CivTech offers a great way to develop innovation in a collaborative, cost-effective and managed environment that puts the needs of the user first.

The CivTech Programme has had many notable successes supporting teams across a wide variety of Scottish Government policy and delivery areas to deliver new innovative approaches to priorities they’re focused on. These include –

  • Helping the Scottish Government reduce pre-employment checks from six weeks to six days with the solution now also being used across the NHS to speedily and efficiently fill Covid related vacancies.
  • Supporting Forestry Land Scotland to increase efficiencies in tree supply enabling it to meet demanding climate change tree planting targets, dramatically improving both germination and planting results: TreeTape doubled germination rates, and planted over one million young trees in a single day [shattering the previous world record of 60,000] and delivered an overall a 2000% resource efficiencies increase.
  • Helping The City of Edinburgh Council transform its approach to the complex issues of shared repairs in private tenement buildings, creating a more efficient, effective and transparent approach – one that is now going to be rolled out city-wide and adopted by the Council itself, with the potential to positively impact many thousands of households across the whole of Scotland.

We’ve also helped Connecting Scotland as they bring 60,000 previously digitally excluded households online. Currently ramping up for deployment of a platform which will enable citizens to take a genuinely active role in designing new products and services, making the process truly inclusive, democratic and transparent for the first time ever.

This year’s programme saw over 130 applications, an increase from last year. Successful companies include iSumio, which has developed a way to measure indirect company emissions that will help decarbonise Scottish manufacturing, Matter Of Focus, which has created an app that allows care practitioners to speak directly with individuals about the services best aligned to their personal care needs, and Buro Happold, which has produced a data-driven platform that will improve learning environments across Scotland.

The CivTech Accelerator will culminate in a ‘Demo Day’ on 8 February 2022, where the selected teams will demonstrate their solutions to an audience of key stakeholders seeking answers to similar problems. CivTech 7 will launch in Spring 2022

To find out more about CivTech and how you can get involved, more information can be found on our website. If you would like to get in touch, we would  be delighted to discuss any and every aspect of CivTech. Email

Thank you very much, CivTech Scotland! A fascinating programme and we can’t wait to hear more about the solutions presented at next year’s Demo Day.

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