Scotland’s first smart things accelerator centre has launched headed by global big tech leaders including Dyson, Wistron, BlackBerry and Plexus Corp.
The 18-month Filament STAC accelerator will support 10 firms in each cohort and is supported by Scotland’s strong tech partnership ecosystem.
The three-year target in Scotland is for the creation of more than 25 IoT companies supporting around 750 jobs, with an estimated revenue of around £750 million and more than £100 million in investment.
Filament STAC is partly modelled on a Canadian programme that has supported around 650 startups and created more than 4,000 jobs. The centre’s founder, Tim Ellis, has been lined up as a consultant to the Scottish project.
It will also build on the IoT foundations already put in place by CENSIS, Scotland’s Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and IoT technologies, and Glasgow-headquartered product design firm Filament.
Commenting on the programme, Filament STAC CEO Paul Wilson said: “We believe Scotland has the potential to be a main player in smart, connected devices and moving ahead with the accelerator gives us a real chance to gain a leading position in an IoT sector forecast to reach $1.5 trillion over the next few years.
“Beringar and R3-IoT are bright stars in Scotland with huge potential, but we need more and STAC will make the scale-up journey quicker and easier.
“We have great talent here in Scotland which we export incredibly well to leading global tech companies. We evidently do less well in producing international Scottish tech companies of scale.
“Filament STAC will address this by developing highly ambitious Scottish IoT companies that will be ready to go out and compete on the global stage.”
The programme will be based in Skypark in Glasgow in October and is “underpinned” by an industry-government partnership which will see Scottish Enterprise support the first phase of growth alongside Filament, Plexus Corp and CENSIS.
Additionally, plans are in place to open international offices in Singapore and Canada over the next two years, as launchpads into the Asian and North American markets.
Wilson added: “For the Scottish IoT sector to succeed, it will need bridgeheads into North America and Asia, something built into Filament STAC from the start.”
Scottish Enterprise is supporting Filament STAC with a grant of £223,000 over three years as a contribution towards start-up costs, as well as expert advice and industry connections.
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Linda Hanna, the interim CEO at Scottish Enterprise, said: “I am delighted to see this first Smart Things Accelerator Centre launched as it’s vital that Scottish manufacturers embrace IoT to scale up, internationalise and also use the opportunities from ‘smart things’ to improve connectivity, capability, monitoring and data, not least to help drive our green economic recovery.
“Filament STAC offers manufacturers looking to scale up the support to get their high-tech products, often requiring significant investment, into production. It’s fantastic to see the expertise and collaboration from Scottish firm Filament and the depth of IoT expertise at CENSIS, as well as international partners, particularly Plexus, come together.
“This is a key action from Scotland’s Manufacturing Recovery Plan and we at Scottish Enterprise are delighted to play our part in getting this manufacturing accelerator off the ground and ready to welcome its first cohort of businesses.”