CivTech Scotland launches Innovate for Nature on Finance Day at COP27

10/11/2022
Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise for Scotland
  • Four new nature-themed Challenges revealed today
  • CivTech Scotland and NatureScot team up for new Accelerator programme
  • Each Challenge worth £650,000 – open to companies internationally

CIVTECH Scotland, a Scottish Government-funded accelerator programme, has announced four brand new Challenges as part of its first official partnership programme with NatureScot called ‘Innovate for Nature.’

These challenges will seek innovative solutions from tech companies around the world to address problems faced by public sector bodies in Scotland in protecting nature, with a particular focus on how technology can be used to develop evidence-bases and make it easier to monitor and manage protected sites.

The challenges launch during Finance Day at COP27, where discussions will focus on the centrality of finance as a catalyst for progress on all aspects of the global climate agenda. It will examine how public and private finance can fund the development of infrastructure, technology and innovation to turn billions of public money into trillions of total climate investment. 

CivTech is the world’s first Government-run accelerator for digital public services. The latest set of challenges are supported by £6 million of Scottish Government funding, bringing together public finance with private sector innovation to solve major challenges facing the public and third sector in Scotland. It also supports tech innovators to grow their own business and industry profile. 

In 2021,’s CivTech 6 alumni companies have already collectively received £2.5 million in follow-on contracts, and there is up to £6 million available to the companies on CivTech 7 and 8. Innovate for Nature will sit within CivTech 8, the recently launched second full Accelerator programme running in tandem with CivTech 7. 

Scottish Government Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Scottish Government’s £6 million funding this year has enabled rapid growth of the CivTech programme, demonstrating demand and appetite for Government-backed tech accelerators.

“Not only does this programme create practical solutions to real life problems, it is a proven springboard for many businesses to further develop their products and find even greater success within their field.

“The Scottish Government is nurturing innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the public sector while tackling climate change. The National Strategy for Economic Transformation is helping create innovative green jobs and contributing to reaching net zero by 2045.” 

NatureScot’s Director of Business Services and Transformation, Jane Macdonald, said: “Nature loss and climate change are two of the biggest threats we face, and so it’s crucial we respond to these challenges urgently. Innovate for Nature is helping us to do this by changing the way we work, using the CivTech Accelerator to harness digital innovation and helping us to collaborate with partners at speed to understand the issues and identify workable solutions. We are excited to be at the forefront of the Innovate for Nature missions, and cannot wait to get started with CivTech 8.”

Further information about the Challenges and CivTech Scotland Accelerator process can be found online at https://www.civtech.scot/ Challenges will be published on Public Contracts Scotland, and proposals must be submitted via Public Contracts Scotland by midday on 30 November.

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