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Help build the future of Scotland as a Digital Nation

The ScotlandIS Challenge, launched in partnership with The Scottish Government, is calling on companies of all sizes to submit ideas that will help increase the pace of Scotland’s digital progress and develop the critical national digital and data infrastructure the country needs.

OPEN: Tues 19th May 2020

CLOSE: Tues 16th June 2020

OUTCOME: Early July 2020

I am really keen to hear the views of Scotland’s Tech businesses on how we can work together through and beyond the Covid-19 crisis to create a more productive economy, tackle climate change and build a healthy and more equal society. I hope that many of you take this opportunity to share your thoughts on how we can build an innovative and inclusive Digital Nation to be proud of.

BEN MACPHERSON MSP, MINISTER FOR PUBLIC FINANCE AND MIGRATION, SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

Through this challenge, Scotland has the opportunity to become a Digital Nation, a true digital democracy. Digital underpins everything and is critical to our economy. The rapid digital transformation of business and society would not have been possible without the infrastructure, products and services created by our digital ecosystem. 

But we can do more. And we can do it better.

We want to harness technology and innovation to evolve current business models, drive efficiencies and productivity gains across the economy.  To create a country known for innovation, for an ethical approach to data and an integrated approach to public services.  By building the right transformational infrastructure and working collaboratively, we can create a Digital Scotland that is good for the people, the economy, the environment and the government.

Jane Morrison-Ross, CEO, ScotlandIS

The Ask

The current crisis has changed the way in which we work.  We have seen greater remote working and unprecedented use of teleconferencing, video conferencing and other digital tools that support collaboration.  As we have seen in other sectors, it has required many government organisations to re-imagine how their services can be delivered online at scale and for the public sector to work in ways that cross traditional organisational boundaries.

As we plan for the future, we want to learn these lessons and seize the opportunity to build a digitally enabled Scotland.  This will be one where digital connectivity, data and digital systems are recognised as part of the critical national infrastructure of Scotland; an essential element in our ambitions for a fairer, greener and more equal society. The Scottish Government digital strategy is underpinned by a platform-based approach. A high level overview and summary of our architectural approach can be made available if you would like to see it.

We are therefore asking Scottish based tech companies to help us increase the pace of progress by putting forward challenging and innovative ideas and solutions for how we develop the critical national digital and data infrastructure that Scotland needs.

We also want your ideas for how we do that in a way that promotes and supports the tech industry in Scotland.

How to respond

Working with ScotlandIS, Scottish Government therefore want you to share views on

  • What are the key components of a new digital and data infrastructure and why should we prioritise them?
  • Whilst considering the above, how do we protect the national digital and data assets of Scotland
  • What are the technical solutions to build these components? (i.e. how)
  • How could we deliver more essential public services online – be that healthcare, education or the way we carry out financial transactions?
  • How could Government work more closely with the private sector to speed delivery, innovate and maximise benefits and investment to the Scottish economy?

We are looking for innovative ideas, for technical expertise and solutions thinking. Above all, we want to work together to accelerate the rate of change, open doors to new ways of working and focus on the changes that can make the biggest difference.


What Happens Next

This is an inclusive, open exercise.  We will not be taking forward specific proprietary solutions but are looking for principles that benefit government and the technology industry as a whole.  Your responses should reflect in order to enable us to consider them fully.

Once ideas have been submitted, an expert multi-disciplinary team formed from Scottish Government and ScotlandIS will review the results and will:

  • Identify common themes
  • Make the results available across Scottish Government
  • Agree the priority actions we need to take
  • Communicate back the findings and recommendations

We hope that the ideas provided will result in some truly ground-breaking and transformative practical projects.  These will be taken forward as part of the our CivTech process which has an established track record of bringing the public and private sectors together to deliver innovative solutions and create new commercial opportunities.


Submit your response

Please send your response directly to the Scottish Government via email digitalnation@gov.scot or by using the form below.

If submitting via email, please include responses to the following questions:

  • What are the key components of a new digital and data infrastructure and why should we prioritise them?
  • Whilst considering the above, how do we protect the national digital and data assets of Scotland
  • What are the technical solutions to build these components? (i.e. how)
  • How could we deliver more essential public services online – be that healthcare, education or the way we carry out financial transactions?
  • How could Government work more closely with the private sector to speed delivery, innovate and maximise benefits and investment to the Scottish economy?

All responses must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 16th June 2020.

Once ideas have been submitted, an expert multi-disciplinary team formed from Scottish Government and ScotlandIS will review the results, identify common themes, make the results available across Government, agree the priority actions to take and communicate back the findings and recommendations to the sector.

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