Report challenges Scottish cities to do more with tech

Scotland

A new report from the CITIE partnership has suggested that Scotland’s cities could improve “significantly” on the way they use technology and innovation to drive growth.

It assesses the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the seven Scottish Cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, and Stirling.

 

Key findings

Some of the key recommendations set out below, indicate where the Scottish cities have the opportunity to collaborate in the development of solutions and make a step change in performance.

  • Advocate: Develop best practice soft-landing packages for business relocating to Scottish cities
  • Customer: Design a Scottish cities challenge prize series
  • Host: Engage in ecosystem matchmaking to complement hard infrastructure investments
  • Investor: Support venture capital trade missions to connect local start-ups to funding
  • Digital govenor: Experiment
 with open-source citizen engagement tools
  • Datavore: Establish Offices of Data Analytics

The CITIE Scotland Analysis comes at a pivotal time for the country’s seven major cities, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, and Stirling, which together account for a third of Scotland’s total population. In the last year alone, three of the seven cities, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Inverness, have negotiated historic City Deals, collectively worth over £1.5 billion that will accelerate local growth over the coming decades.

While the CITIE Scotland Analysis reveals good average performance, as a result of these major investments and initiatives, it is expected that Scottish cities could improve significantly in the near future, especially in the Leadership and Infrastructure dimensions.

Scotland’s biggest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, already display performance rivalling that of leading cities from the CITIE global analysis, including places like Paris and Tel Aviv.

And while smaller cities, indeed the smallest analysed using the CITIE Framework, expectedly register lower performance, they also punch above their weight. Good performance in both big and small cities is also underpinned by a number of important national initiatives related to digital infrastructure, skill-building, procurement and other policy areas.

However, it is only if these major investments are made in parallel with smart policy tweaks that are mindful of the start-up and innovation ecosystem, we will realise an important multiplier effect that can set the cities on a path towards enduring prosperity.

Policy recommendations:

  • Undertake collective analysis of emerging business models and develop a ‘play book’ for Scottish cities
  • Develop best practice soft-landing packages for business relocating to Scottish cities
  • Ensure start-ups and SMEs are represented on trade missions
  • Design a Scottish cities challenge prize series
  • Engage in ecosystem matchmaking to complement hard infrastructure investments
  • Support venture capital trade missions to connect local start-ups to funding
  • Establish city-wide IoT platforms to stimulate digital infrastructure innovation
  • Ensure success of transformative digital and smart city strategies through dedicated teams and champions
  • Open-source strategies to promote regional learning and innovation
  • Experiment with open source citizen engagement tools
  • Engage citizen and city employees to generate real-time insights
  • Establish Offices of Data Analytics
  • Make all city procurement contracts ‘Open by Default’

The full report can be downloaded here.

Related reading

Jam
edinburgh
data
TyneBridge