STAC announces strategic partnership with Volvo Cars

13/06/2024
Left to right are Gavin Smyth (Glasgow City Council), Caitlin Turner (Turner Co), Gregor Aikman (STAC), Johanna Arvidsson (Volvo Cars), Paul Wilson (STAC), and Kerry Sharp (Scottish Enterprise)

THE Smart Things Accelerator Centre (STAC) has announced a strategic partnership with Volvo Cars, with the Glasgow-based technology accelerator set to provide an innovation pipeline for the Swedish carmaker that is a pioneer in the global electric vehicle (EV) market.  

Paul Wilson, CEO and Co-founder of STAC, said: “STAC’s mission is to transform Scotland’s rich research and innovation into entrepreneurial ventures that can go on to compete at a global level.  The partnership with Volvo Cars opens up immediate opportunities for collaboration at scale for STAC’s portfolio of startups.”

Johanna Arvidsson, Director at Volvo Cars, said: “STAC has demonstrated great potential and excellence in smart products and deep tech, enabling technologies such as AI, advanced materials, and battery-powered solutions. They are led by highly qualified industry executives who can develop innovation to scale, and this is one of the main reasons why we have chosen to invest in STAC. We are excited about the future and the collaborations with the best of the UK’s innovative start-ups.”

Paul Wilson added: “Our partnership with Volvo is an example of unlocking our innovation to the benefit of a world leader in sustainable and safe transportation. We are seeing an awakening in Scotland, and it’s high time our research and innovation make a greater contribution to the world. Volvo’s innovative and progressive mindset towards mobility matches the thinking of our real problem-solving entrepreneurs. STAC provides the support that gets our startups ready for the scale needed in such collaborations. We are on a great trajectory at STAC, unleashing innovation powered by s powerful industry cluster.”

Since being launched in 2021, STAC has supported over 50 companies around four main pillars – workspace, investment, talent acquisition, and mentorship.  STAC specialises in smart technologies and IoT, fostering homegrown talent, research, and entrepreneurship with the overall aim of helping to create tech companies that can collaborate and compete with global brands. 

The industry-led accelerator is itself supported by international tech groups including Intel, Plexus, and Keysight Technologies, curating and developing high-potential startups in what STAC describes as “Things” technologies – including IoT, robotics, drones, wearables, AI, cyber security, data science, and battery solutions.  STAC is also supported by a range of UK and international corporate partners who drive design, manufacturing, and device management with a focus on scaling up the accelerators’s portfolio of companies, including Arceptive, Pivot, and Pelion.  

In January, STAC announced a partnership between the UK Government and Glasgow City Council, including significant government investment, aimed at transforming Glasgow into Europe’s largest smart things and IoT innovation hub.  The partnership centres around a £2.5 million private and public sector investment into a 250-desk state-of-the-art facility named “The Beyond” at SkyPark, Finnieston in Glasgow.

Gregor Aikman, STAC COO, said: “At STAC, we believe in creating environments that not only inspire creativity but also provide the practical resources for groundbreaking innovation.  The Beyond is more than just a co-working space, it’s a thriving ecosystem where startups and scaleups can access top-tier facilities including fully equipped technology labs.  It is also pivotal to partnerships with the likes of Volvo Cars, as we collaborate with the aim of seizing global market opportunities.”

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