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Scottish Government announces ‘initial’ £4m for tech start-ups

Five ‘technology hubs’ will be set up with a £4m fund to support Scottish tech start-ups, the Scottish Government has announced.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes announced the “initial funding” as a response to the sector review report authored by entrepreneur Mark Logan, published last week.

She told BBC Good Morning Scotland that the investment was “signaling [the government’s] intent” and the plans are to support at least 300 new tech businesses by 2025.

The move comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon committed to implementing the recommendations made in the report in full, during her programme for government speech on Tuesday.

Logan’s review made 34 recommendations, including suggesting computing science should be treated as a core subject in schools.

It also it recommended that funding be set up in four areas: foundational talent, for early stages of the ecosystem and skills; a ‘tech-scaler start-up fund’ to provide grants for start-ups; an ‘ecosystem-builders’ fund’, to support those organisations that contribute to strengthening the ecosystem through peer networking and informal education; and an ‘international market square fund’  for events that bring international expertise and raise awareness of Scotland’s tech sector.

As well as the £4m funding announced today, the Scottish Government is also setting up an ‘Ecosystem Fund’ to make strategic investments in the sector, with plans to establish a more formal partnership with the tech industry, it said.

Forbes said: “I’m pleased to announce this initial investment in tech scalers, the central recommendation from Mark Logan’s groundbreaking review of our technology sector.

“These hubs will transform the quality and intensity of support available to Scottish start-ups, delivering world-class education to tech entrepreneurs, helping this vital sector to grow and create jobs.

“They will also offer the chance to network and share ideas, laying the groundwork for Scotland’s digital future.”

Commenting on the announcement, ScotlandIS chief executive Jane Morrison-Ross said: “Scotland has a proud heritage of tech start-ups, and we need this cohesive strategy and leadership to maximise the nation’s potential in digital technology.

“The creation of these new tech scaler hubs creates the perfect opportunity to create a genuinely inclusive approach to technology across Scotland. We need these hubs based throughout Scotland to enable remote and rural economies to thrive in a digital world.”

Source: Holyrood

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