CivTech launches search for cyber security ideas


CivTech has launched its latest bid to encourage small digital companies to pitch ideas for use in the public sector in Scotland, this time focusing on cyber security.

Backed by the Scottish Government, CivTech’s WildCard Challenge 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.

The challenge

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.

CivTech says that by asking the talented tech community to solve open challenges rather than closed tenders, the 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.


Brimming with opportunity

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.”

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 click here.

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